The School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) interest rate dropped to 1.19% last week, saving some local school districts about $8 million in interest.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Senate Bill 618 that adjusted the SLRF interest rate.
“Every student, in every district, has a birthright to a phenomenal public education so they can pursue their potential,” Whitmer said in a statement. “With these cost savings, we will have even more resources to invest where they matter most – in our students, teachers, and classrooms. I am proud of the work the Michigan Legislature and I have done to close the funding gap between districts and increase per-pupil funding to its highest amount ever.” Read More
Over a decade ago, a convicted child rapist was given a light sentence by Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, only to commit another crime after his sentencing.
According to the New York Post, Leo Weekes was convicted in 2010 of raping his 13-year-old niece in 2006. He was sentenced to serve 16 months in jail, plus 4 years of supervised probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. Weekes subsequently failed to register and evaded authorities by lying about his residence, claiming in 2013 to be in Washington D.C. when he in fact lived in Temple Hills, Maryland.
In February of 2014, Weekes was brought before Brown, who was then U.S. District Court Judge of the District of Columbia, after pleading guilty to the charge of failing to register as a sex offender. The prosecutors requested that Weekes be sentenced to two years in jail with an additional five years of supervised release, while his defense attorneys requested a sentence of 10 months and three years of supervised release. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed two bills that aimed to keep voter roll lists updated – a security risk flagged by the state auditor in 2019.
House Bill 4127 and House Bill 4128 aimed to require the Secretary of State to send notices to registered electors with an unknown date of birth in the Qualified Voter File and to those who haven’t voted since the 2000 general election, within 90 days of the bill’s effective date.
That registered elector would have to sign the notice, add a date of birth, and mail back a copy of an original birth certificate, current driver’s license, or state personal ID card. Read More
“You’re in big fucking trouble.”
So said an FBI agent to Julian Khater, one of two men accused of assaulting Capitol police officers with pepper spray on January 6, during a tense interrogation last year. Desperate to sustain the falsehood that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by Trump supporters during the Capitol protest, the FBI claimed to possess video footage that showed Khater and his friend, George Tanios, attacking Sicknick and other officers with chemical spray. Khater was arrested on an airplane at the Newark airport on March 14, 2021 after he arrived home from a trip to Florida.
For more than two hours—shackled to a metal bar in a freezing room at the New Jersey FBI field office—Khater, who has no criminal record, was interrogated without a lawyer present. FBI Special Agent Riley Palmertree refused to tell Khater why he was under arrest until he agreed to proceed without counsel in the room, which Khater reluctantly did. Recently released video confirms Khater initially told the agents he “would feel more comfortable if I had a lawyer” answering questions on his behalf. An hour later, Khater again said he wanted his lawyer. Read More
Federal prosecutors last week scored a big victory after a Washington, D.C., jury took less than three hours to find Guy Reffitt, the first January 6 defendant to stand trial, guilty on all counts.
The Justice Department’s winning streak might be short-lived, however. Prosecutors will have a tougher task with the trial starting Monday for Couy Griffin, the “Cowboys for Trump” leader arrested for his minor and nonviolent involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6.
Griffin was the subject of my very first article over a year ago on the Justice Department’s abusive prosecution of January 6 protesters in which, coincidentally, I asked the rhetorical question, “Where is the outrage over America’s political prisoners?” as official Washington was in a tizzy over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imprisonment of his country’s star dissident. Read More
A great plague of our contemporary political landscape is that one bad policy begets even more bad policies. Such is the case with many of America’s existing immigration laws.
Federal law, for example, calls for specific enforcement protocols. But our elected representatives have decided that some of those protocols simply should be ignored. This mindset led to ideas like catching and then releasing illegal aliens into our communities, preventing local law enforcement from working with federal law enforcement, and “sanctuary” cities where those who have broken our laws can hide from accountability.
From this witches’ brew of bad ideas has come the latest product rollout, one suited for our time: stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Using the economic damage caused by COVID-19 as a pretext, anti-borders activists and their allied politicians have found a way to sustain those here illegally while creating further incentives for even more foreign nationals to move here. Read More
Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner was convicted nearly four years ago of securities fraud and still he has not spent a day in prison. And now Devon Archer’s lawyers are trying to delay his punishment yet again with a new appeal that did not amuse federal prosecutors.
Archer faces one year and one day in prison and was ordered last month to pay financial penalties of $15 million and over $43 million in restitution.
His arguments to appeal and postpone serving prison time have no merit, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan told the trial judge Monday. Read More
Jury selection begins in a Grand Rapids courtroom Tuesday morning in the federal trial of four men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.
The long-awaited trial centers on the question of whether a loose band of misfits angry at pandemic lockdowns hatched a sinister plot to abduct Whitmer from her vacation cottage and possibly kill her—or if the foiled caper was yet another successful attempt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interfere in a election and sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Timing of the trial could not be worse for the scandal-plagued agency quickly losing the trust of the American people. Top FBI officials refuse to account for its role in the events of January 6, 2021, raising concerns even among some in Congress that FBI assets acted improperly before and during that day. The first trials of January 6 defendants start this month but the Justice Department has yet to make hundreds of thousands of FBI files available to defense attorneys. Read More
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined local leaders to announce the next steps of Michigan’s anticipated receipt of $800 million opioid settlements over the next 18 years.
The settlement includes the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
“I took legal action once I took office to try to recoup money for the devastating impact that the opioid epidemic has had on the communities across our state,” Nessel said in a statement. “I am pleased to see our work pay off with this historic settlement that will bring Michigan communities millions of dollars to support abatement efforts. I know that no amount of money will make whole the thousands of Michigan families impacted by opioids, but this is an important victory in a hard-fought battle.” Read More
On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a group of Navy SEALs who defied the U.S. Navy’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, dealing one of the biggest blows yet to the military mandate.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the court’s ruling was similar to a previous decision by a district judge in Fort Worth, Texas in January, who ordered a temporary halt to the Navy’s vaccine mandate while the case moved forward. The lawsuit was filed by a group of 35 Navy SEALs who all sought religious exemptions from being forced to take the vaccine.
The appeals court ruled that the Department of Defense failed to prove that the vaccine mandate served “‘paramount interests’ that justify vaccinating these 35 Plaintiffs against COVID-19 in violation of their religious beliefs.” The court noted that despite the Navy claiming to have a “compelling interest” in forcing all sailors to get vaccinated, it “undermined” its own mandate by preparing unvaccinated SEALs for deployment while the pandemic was still ongoing. Read More
A bipartisan bill, intended to clear confusion over an apparent contradiction between state and federal law over who actually qualified to receive benefits during the pandemic, is now law.
Senate Bill 445 amends the Michigan Employment Security Act to allow certain unemployed workers eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to keep benefits.
“As we continue to grow our economy, my top priority is working toward bipartisan solutions to save Michiganders time and money,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement commemorating her signing the bill. “I’ve always said that Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits. The changes in this legislation will streamline our unemployment system and provide relief to Michiganders who needed these federal benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses.” Read More
In the interest of a return to normalcy, we take this short break from COVID and Ukraine coverage to bring to your attention an actual conservative policy matter. The pesky trial lawyers and their junk science “experts” are at it again, providing certain justices of the Supreme Court an opportunity to show us they can still do the right thing.
I’m not pointing fingers at say, Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, but certain esteemed members of the court who had less than smooth sailing in their confirmation battles and for whom conservatives stormed the ramparts (figuratively speaking of course), have left us wondering if they were worth the battle scars. Here’s some low hanging fruit for them to pick off and make everyone breathe a little easier. All they have to do is vote to take a certain case.
The case involves a long-running dispute brought by the inventor of a special warming blanket called the Bair Hugger (now owned by 3M) which has proven to reduce post-operative infections and other complications and has been used in over 300 million surgeries worldwide to maintain patients’ body temperatures. The inventor, Dr. Scott Augustine made a fortune on this device but lost his rights to the product and its proceeds when he pled guilty to Medicare fraud in an unrelated matter. Dr. Augustine then invented a competing device and waged a campaign to discredit the Bair Hugger claiming that it caused infections. He then hired “experts” and funded studies to back up his claim. Except one of the actual authors of the studies called those studies “marketing rather than research.” As in not based on facts. The FDA admonished Dr. Augustine to stop the false campaign. And not a single physician who uses the Bair Hugger, or a single epidemiologist or any public health officials have supported Dr. Augustine’s contention. Read More
The American Bar Association House of Delegates has approved new law school accreditation standards at the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting, of which two amendments were focused on “diversity.”
In order to eliminate bias and enhance diversity, the ABA’s amended Standard 303(c) requires that “a law school shall provide education on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation.”
To fulfill this requirement, “Law schools must demonstrate that all law students are required to participate in a substantial activity designed to reinforce the skill of cultural competency and their obligation as future lawyers to work to eliminate racism in the legal profession.” Read More
Rochester Community School (RCS) officials were sued for compiling a dossier on parents who commented negatively on the school’s virtual learning policy. One official even called a parent’s employer, which possibly resulted in the parent’s termination.
Parent Elena Dinverno sued the district in 2021, claiming school officials called her place of work in the fall of 2020, and told her employer Dinverno was part of a group threatening the school district. She was fired in December 2020.
The Detroit News first reported the story. Read More
As West Coast states deal with the fallout of putting anatomically male inmates in women’s prisons, the East Coast is looking to join the club.
Maryland is considering legislation similar to a California law that lets inmates choose their correctional facility based on self-declared gender identity, an option that concerned even transgender inmates in the Golden State.
A purported draft executive order by President Joe Biden would do the same to federal prisons, prompting GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to introduce opposing legislation. Read More
Chaos. Disruption. Uncertainty.
The Chicago Teachers Union provides a real-world example of what happens when a government union has too much power.
CTU has gone on strike three times in three school years. In the latest work stoppage, over 330,000 schoolchildren missed five days of school. Parents were notified of the walkout after 11 p.m. on a school night, leaving them just hours to develop a back-up plan after the union decided not to show up. Read More
The Ingham County Health Department will repeal its mask mandate on Feb. 19 at midnight for thousands of students.
“We are at a point in this pandemic in which public health strategies will begin to shift more towards personal responsibility as we learn to live with COVID-19 long-term,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a statement. “As a public health agency, we will continue to support local school districts by recommending evidence-based public health measures, educating on current guidance and practices, and making recommendations for staying safe and healthy.”
The emergency orders issued on Sept. 2, 2021, require masks in schools and details quarantine and isolation rules. Read More
For months, the lawyer representing Kaleb Franks—one of six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020—has produced some of the most detailed and damning reports to make a case for FBI entrapment. Defense attorneys last year discovered that at least a dozen FBI agents and informants were intimately involved in the abduction plot, brought to a dramatic conclusion in October 2020 when the men were arrested after an FBI informant drove them to meet an undercover FBI agent to buy materials for explosives.
With the trial date just weeks away, the Justice Department’s case is imploding amid numerous scandals.
The timing could not be worse for the government, especially the FBI, which is now under scrutiny for its suspected role in fomenting the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. After all, the two events share many similarities, including plans to “storm” Michigan’s state Capitol building, the use of militia groups reportedly loyal to Donald Trump, and official designations that both represent “domestic terror” attacks. Read More
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.
“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.
Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management. Read More
Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger must be turning over in their graves.
Bernie Sanders must be having sleepless nights.
The left-wing anthem “Which Side Are You On?” is no longer about whether you’re a “union man” or a “thug for J.H. Blair.” It’s about the size of your stock portfolio or when to go public with your start-up. Read More
The first set of trials for the hundreds of protesters charged in the Justice Department’s sweeping criminal investigation into January 6 begins later this month. Since the Capitol building is considered the scene of the crime, every trial will be held in the District of Columbia—which means the jury pool will be composed solely of residents living in the nation’s capital.
To say this is a problem for Trump supporters facing even minor charges is a huge understatement.
January 6 defendants already have suffered the wrath of D.C.-based federal judges who’ve imposed unusually harsh prison sentences for low level misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies while routinely berating defendants from the bench. Read More
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to expand the eligibility for waivers for Michiganders who wrongly received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) because of the state jobless agency’s mistake.
“Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Coupled with the waivers we applied earlier, we are looking to help Michiganders who needed unemployment benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses. I look forward to working with our legislative partners to continue putting Michiganders first and keeping more money in their pockets.”
The USDOL updated its waiver guidance to approve five new scenarios for consideration of a waiver may apply blanket waivers for recovery of overpayments: Read More
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai walked back her allegations of sexual assault against a former top official, calling it an “enormous misunderstanding” during a controlled interview on Monday with French newspaper L’Equipe.
“Sexual assault? I never said that anyone made me submit to a sexual assault,” Peng said in the interview with L’Equipe, delivered in front of a Chinese Olympic official, who translated her comments from Chinese, the AP reported. Interview questions were reportedly submitted in advance, and the format of the interview did not appear to permit follow-up questions.
“This post resulted in an enormous misunderstanding from the outside world,” Peng told L’Equipe, the AP reported. “My wish is that the meaning of this post no longer be skewed.” Read More
An adult biological male child molester will be housed in a juvenile detention facility for girls because he began identifying as a woman after being taken into custody, according to Fox News.
William Tubbs, a 26-year old who now goes by “Hannah,” pled guilty to molesting a 10-year-old girl when he was two weeks shy of 18, Fox News reported. Prosecutors said that Tubbs grabbed the 10-year-old victim by the throat, locked her in a bathroom stall and put his hands down her pants, Fox News reported.
Tubbs did not claim to be a woman until after he was taken into custody for the attack, prosecutors told Fox News. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon refused to prosecute Tubbs as an adult. Read More
Former President Donald Trump vowed Saturday night to ensure fairness for the Jan. 6 defendants if he is voted back into office, including possible pardons for some.
“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” Trump told a raucous rally in Conroe, Tex.
“And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons,” he added. “Because they are being treated so unfairly.”
Trump also dismissed Democrats in Washington as “raving lunatics” who put “America last” and suggested President Biden was more concerned about protecting Ukraine’s border from Russia than America’s border from illegal migrants. Read More
The Michigan Freedom Fund is seeking answers from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson related to her decision to allow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to disburse questionable campaign donations to other Democratic candidates.
The conservative MFF filed a formal request Friday for a declaratory judgment from Benson – who, like Whitmer, is a Democrat – over $3.4 million collected from 119 large donors. Michigan Campaign Finance law limits individual donations to $7,150, but allows an exemption to accept unlimited contributions if a governor is facing a recall attempt.
At the time Whitmer accepted the contributions, there was no active recall effort. Read More
The state’s Supreme Court has until Feb. 15 to render a decision on how Connecticut’s congressional district maps will be drawn.
The court heard arguments Thursday from attorneys representing Republican and Democratic members of the Reapportionment Commission, who have been unable to reach agreement on how the state’s congressional districts will be drawn.
At the crux of the arguments are maps that are to be drawn with the least amount of change from current districts, with close approximations of the number of residents in each district, and how to address the “lobster claw,” a gerrymandered district that dates back to 2001. Read More
Legislators are considering changes to Missouri’s teacher and non-certified school employee pension plans to alleviate pandemic-related teacher and staff shortages.
HB2114, sponsored by Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, will reduce restrictions on pensions if a retired public school teacher returns to the classroom or to a non-teaching position in a public school. The legislation also increases from two to four years the length of time a retired teacher or retired non-certified public school employee can work while still receiving their pension.
During testimony before the House pensions committee, Rep. Black, the committee vice chairman, said similar legislation was passed by the House and died in the Senate last year as the legislative session ended in May. He said the legislation simplifies and improves the amount retirees can earn before their pensions are restricted. Read More
Iowa schools must require masking when necessary as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis ruled Tuesday.
The court cited the Rehabilitation Act Section 504 in its determination.
What’s more, Iowa statute currently allows masking when federal law requires it, the court ruled, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa said in an explainer of the ruling. Read More
Julianne Pastula, the general counsel of record for Michigan’s Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Committee (MICRC) resigned Wednesday night amid lawsuits over proposed maps.
The Detroit Free Press first reported the story, which was overshadowed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 State of the State address.
“The purpose of this letter is to provide official notice of my resignation as General Counsel,” Pastula wrote. “Pursuant to Section 2 of my Employment Contract 30-day written notice is required. This makes my resignation effective February 25, 2022.” Read More
University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson, who famously opposed Canadian gender pronoun mandates, disclosed Wednesday that he had resigned as a tenured professor years earlier than planned.
In a lengthy and impassioned account of his decision for the National Post, the bestselling author argued that the “radical leftist Trinity” of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) is reducing his students to their race and ignoring their merit. He faulted colleagues for “going along with the DIE activists.”
Meanwhile, an Ivy League law professor who is even more politically incorrect than Peterson may not have a choice in whether she keeps her job of two decades. Read More
Iowa senators advanced a bill Monday that would change the makeup and leadership of district judicial nominating commissions.
Iowa’s 14 judicial election subdistricts each has a nominating commission that screens applicants and selects two nominees for district court judicial vacancies. The governor chooses one of the two to appoint for a district court vacancy.
Currently, the judge of the longest service in the district is the chair of the nominating commission, according to Iowa state statute. If there are two longest-serving judges, the elder is the chair. The commissions have 11 members: five elected by lawyers; five nonlawyers appointed by the governor; and the chair. Each commissioner, apart from the chair, serves a six-year term. Read More
On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram. Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.
Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack. The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”
Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786. This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Read More
Facing intensifying criticism from Democratic lawmakers, journalists, and even some federal judges for not seeking harsher punishment against January 6 protesters, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally produced charges to appease his detractors. Last week, more than a year after the so-called insurrection, Garland charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.
The star of the new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on January 12, is Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the alleged militia group. (His co-defendants were charged with several other offenses months ago.)
Rhodes, described only as “person one” for nearly a year in numerous criminal indictments related to his organization, has been a free man since January 6, 2021, raising plausible suspicions that he may have been a government informant at the time. After all, the FBI has a longstanding pattern of infiltrating fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and moving them to commit indictable crimes. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.” Read More
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.” Read More
The U.K.’s domestic spy service, MI5, informed the House of Commons speaker that a woman is suspected to have been used by China to exert influence over British lawmakers, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
The suspect, Christine Lee, is a London-based solicitor who “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party,” authorities said Thursday, AFP reported.
House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle confirmed to AFP he had informed lawmakers of the incident through an email, AFP reported. “The Speaker takes the security of members and the democratic process very seriously, which is why he issued this notice in consultation with the security services,” a spokesperson for Hoyle told the outlet. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
Emory University’s student-led law review is facing a revolt by contributors for demanding that one drop “insensitive language” from a “hurtful and unnecessarily divisive” critique of the concept of systemic racism.
Two contributors confirmed to Just the News they withdrew their essays from a forthcoming “festschrift” issue honoring the work of Emory’s Michael Perry, in protest of Emory Law Journal’s attempt to censor an essay by the University of San Diego’s Larry Alexander.
Alexander told Just the News that he, USD’s Steve Smith and Northwestern’s Andrew Koppelman are now publishing their essays in the Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, which he edits. Read More
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.” Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.” Read More
In June 2020, as the country attempted to recover from deadly and destructive riots after the death of George Floyd, a man from Wisconsin hosted a national conference of self-styled “militia” members in a suburban Columbus, Ohio hotel. Stephen Robeson, founder of the Wisconsin chapter of the Three Percenters, an alleged militia group on the FBI’s naughty list, pestered his contacts across the country to participate in the gathering.
People who attended the conference, including two men later charged with federal crimes related to a plot to abduct Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage in 2020, observed that the hotel was crawling with federal agents.
One of the feds at the conference was none other than Stephen Robeson himself. Read More
ACalifornia man who supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 was sentenced this week to 35 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman during an argument about the presidential race.
The incident occurred Jan. 10, 2017, when defendant John Kevin McVoy Jr. was told by a bandmate to “Get the f— out of my house,” after McVoy revealed he had voted for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, according to Fox News.
McVoy then fired two shots. One hit the bandmate, identified by the Press-Enterprise of Southern California as Victor Garcia, in the head. Read More
The U.S. Department of Justice received an unwelcome Christmas gift from defense attorneys representing five men charged with conspiring to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020: a motion to dismiss the case.
The Christmas Day filing is the latest blow to the government’s scandal-ridden prosecution; defense counsel is building a convincing argument that the FBI used undercover agents and informants to entrap their clients in a wide-ranging scheme that resulted in bad press for Donald Trump as early voting was underway in the key swing state last year. What began as random social media chatter to oppose lockdown policies quickly morphed into a dangerous plan to abduct Whitmer as soon as the FBI took over.
A Michigan judge delayed the trial, now set for March 8, so defense attorneys could investigate the misconduct of FBI special agents handling at least a dozen government informants involved in the caper. Read More