Blinken Replaces ‘Controversial’ Pro-Hong Kong Tweet with Milder Statement

Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken took down a tweet he posted Thursday saying the U.S. would “stand with the people of Hong Kong,” the South China Morning Post reported.

“Beijing should let the voices of all Hong Kongers be heard. The PRC’s disqualification of district councillors only weakens Hong Kong’s long-term political and social stability,” Blinken said in the tweet, as shown in screenshots from the South China Morning Post.

“We stand with the people of Hong Kong & continue to support their human rights & fundamental freedoms,” he added. Blinken took down his tweet on Friday, later replacing it with a milder message, South China Morning Post reported.

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Arizona Senate Candidate Blake Masters’ Plans to Tackle Big Tech’s ‘Predatory’ Business Practices

Woman in a red suit on Smartphone

Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful.

“I think Republicans need to reacquaint themselves with their history of antitrust enforcement, and realize huge concentrations of power in private hands can violate people’s liberties just as much as government,” Masters said in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Masters, who announced his candidacy in July, serves as chief operating officer at investment firm Thiel Capital and runs the Thiel Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. He competes in a crowded Republican primary with fellow candidate and current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for the chance to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022.

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Voting Reform Bill Reintroduced after Pennsylvania Governor’s Veto

Seth Grove and Tom Wolf

The prime sponsor of a vetoed voting reform bill said Friday he reintroduced the measure after Gov. Tom Wolf shifted his public opinion on some components of the legislation over the summer.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said House Bill 1800 would bolster voting rights “through three broad concepts of increased access, increased security and modernization.” 

“We know access and security are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

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Commentary: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Could Rise or Fall Based on 2012 Roberts Ruling on Obamacare Individual Mandate

“Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.”

That was Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion ruling in 2012 that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was unconstitutional under Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to regulate interstate commerce.

And yet, the mandate was rescued in the very same decision by Roberts, ruling that penalty under the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to collect taxes.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Look at Opt-out Option for Parents on Gender and Sex Classes

Girl student standing and holding books in hand in a classroom

Wisconsin lawmakers are wrestling with the question of who should talk to their kids about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Assembly Committee on Education on Thursday held a marathon hearing on a plan that would allow parents to opt their kids out of classes on both.

“This is merely just a way to give parents a choice,” Rep Bob Whitke, R-Racine, said. “Because there are a lot of concepts now that are coming out in school … it’s being done in a way that parents don’t understand, and parents aren’t notified.

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Commentary: Biden’s Medical Apartheid

Joe Biden

Events this weekend showcased the intense bifurcation of America into two separate realities. As our country observed the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, former presidents gathered, sans Donald Trump, in New York for a solemn ceremony — wearing masks even though they are fully vaccinated and were outside. In Shanksville, Pa., George W. Bush leveraged the occasion to take a not-very-veiled shot at the MAGA movement, comparing its most fervent adherents to the 9/11 terrorists.

Meanwhile, at stadiums across America, massive crowds of rowdy, unmasked college football fans tailgated, packed into stadiums, and also recalled the grim events of 2001, but in far more boisterous displays of patriotism.

This same-day divergence highlights the sharply divided nation of 2021. That chasm will now only widen as Joe Biden targets many of those same people, the ones unwilling to live under the thumb of onerous government virus mitigation restrictions. These ineffective mandates may nominally emanate from science, but they moreover stem from a preference for coercion and control by Democrat politicians, all with the assistance of powerful business interests, including Big Tech and Big Pharma.

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Democrats Plan to Hike Taxes to Pay for Their $3.5 Trillion Budget

House Democrats will consider nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade in an attempt to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget that includes most of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and would overhaul the nation’s social safety net.

The hikes are predominantly focused on wealthy Americans and large corporations. Among the increases is a top income tax bracket of 39.6%, up from 37%, which Democrats say would raise $170 billion in revenue over the next decade.

A summary of the proposals leaked Sunday, and was first reported by The Washington Post.

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Democrats Introduce Another Voting Bill, But Odds of Becoming Law Are Slim

Tim Kaine and Amy Klobuchar

Senate Democrats are set to release their new, trimmed down voting bill, but despite unanimous support from their caucus it faces a steep climb to become law.

The bill, titled the Freedom to Vote Act, is Democrats’ response to a series of voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states across the country. But despite its framework, constructed around a compromise plan proposed by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it must still clear a filibuster to pass the Senate, meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to sign on in support.

The legislation, introduced by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, drops some of the more contentious provisions included in the For the People Act, Democrats’ previous legislation that fell to a GOP filibuster in June. While the new bill would no longer restructure the Federal Election Commission and requires a nationwide voter ID standard, it includes automatic registration provisions and would make Election Day a national holiday.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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Alaska Airlines Fired Flight Attendants for Saying Democrat Transgender Bill Harms Women

N615AS Alaska Airlines 2000 Boeing

Alaska Airlines fired flight attendants for questioning its support of a proposed federal law that would open women’s spaces to biological males, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Their union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, allegedly refused to defend their Title VII employment rights against religious discrimination during the proceeding and “disparaged” the employees’ Christian beliefs.

The Seattle-based air carrier, which once decorated a plane with the logo of Nirvana’s first music label Sub Pop, did not respond to queries from Just the News about the allegations and why employees shouldn’t fear official retaliation for expressing their views.

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Justice Breyer to Those Pushing Court Packing: ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’

Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Stephen Breyer issued a stark warning to those pushing to pack the Supreme Court: “what goes around comes around.”

Breyer made the remark during an interview with NPR published Friday, ahead of the release of his new book, “The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics.” He has pushed back on calls to add seats to the court — and on progressives urging him to retire — on multiple recent occasions.

“What goes around comes around,” he said. “And if the Democrats can do it, then the Republicans can do it.”

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Senators Cotton, Hawley to Work on Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Breaking up Big Tech

Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley

Senate Republicans are joining with Democrats to work on a series of antitrust bills aimed at breaking up and regulating major tech companies.

Sen. Tom Cotton is working with both Democrats and Republicans in developing complementary legislation to several of the antitrust bills the House Judiciary Committee advanced in June, a spokesman for Sen. Cotton told the Daily Caller News Foundation, including the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act.

The House’s version of the act, one of a series of antitrust bills introduced by bipartisan members of the House Judiciary Committee, sought to prevent major tech platforms from consolidating their market share by acquiring smaller competitors. Under the law, the burden of proof would be on big tech companies to prove their mergers are lawful.

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Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor, Ditch School Mask Mandate

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

Kentucky’s Republican legislature overrode the state’s Democratic governor late Thursday and repealed a statewide public school mask mandate.

The move, reported by the Louisville Courier Journal, came on the final day of a special session called by Gov. Andy Beshear. The mask mandate was repealed as cases in the state increased for the 10th straight week, and as over 30% of Kentucky’s new cases Thursday were in people 18 and younger, according to state data.

The legislature last month moved to significantly limit Beshear’s pandemic-related power, an action that was upheld by multiple judges in the state.

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Judge Okays Preliminary Injunction for Western Michigan University Athletes

Western Michigan University football practice

Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney granted 16 Western Michigan University (WMU) athletes’ request to continue participating in intercollegiate athletic competition without being injected with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Initially, four soccer stars sued in August over WMU’s vaccine mandate for athletes, which required athletic participants take the COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 31 or forfeit their spot on the team. WMU has denied all the athletes a religious liberty accommodation.

No similar vaccine requirement exists for any other students at WMU and other universities. The lawsuit says Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are granting religious accommodations to their athletes.

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California Lawmakers Send Newsom Bill That Could Ban Gas Generators

Gas powered Honda generator

Legislation to restrict the use of gas-powered landscaping equipment in California also would outlaw portable generators in a state only a year removed from rolling power outages amid deadly heat.

Lawmakers have sent Gov. Gavin Newsom Assembly Bill 1346. The bill’s sponsor, Assembly Member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said the legislation would phase out the sale of new gas-powered small off-road engines (SOREs) in California.

“Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other equipment with small gas-powered engines emit staggering levels of air pollution,” Berman said in a statement. “These noisy machines are terribly disruptive to communities across California, and the workers who breathe in exhaust from this equipment day in and day out face disproportionate health risks, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.”

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Poor Leadership During the COVID Era

“Get vaccinated,” whispered the doddering, white-haired failure of a president before beating a hasty retreat from the podium. Reporters barked questions at him which neither he nor his handlers had interest in answering, because they have no answers.

Joe Biden has no answers for COVID-19. What Joe Biden has is blame and Otherization for Americans not invested in the tired narratives of his handlers and the managerial elite he represents so badly.

That’s clear. It’s the only true takeaway from the disgraceful, alarming speech Biden gave Thursday.

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Commentary: The Vaccine Mandate Assault on the Common Good

Joe Biden

As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue. 

United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.

Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida. 

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Commentary: The Unchanging Telos of the Democrats

Afghan people

Watching the Biden Administration bring into the country tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans, who are neither U.S. citizens nor native Afghans who assisted American troops, I am coming to wonder whether Biden was actually wrong to describe the withdrawal of American forces as an “immense success.” It was, in fact, exactly what Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other Democratic operatives said it was: a success that will move the Democrats toward their goal of creating a one-party state. 

Like the illegal aliens streaming across our southern borders and the efforts to remove restrictions against voting fraud, the influx of Afghan refugees is intended to increase the number of votes that will likely go to the Democratic Party, no matter how badly they mismanage the country. 

Looking at these coordinated steps, I am reminded of an idea put forth by Aristotle in book six of the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle famously insisted on a distinction between technical expertise (e.g., building a house) and deeper, more foundational forms of knowledge. The most primal wisdom is sophia, which deals with universal knowledge that underlies all other true modes of knowing. But Aristotle also raises the question of whether there are not forms of techne that are so well developed that they reflect sophia. The two examples that he cites are Phidias’s work as an architect and Polykleitos’s achievements as a sculptor. According to Aristotle, the excellence that characterizes their technical skills indicates their creators are truly wise.

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Newly Released Documents Show Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ About Wuhan Coronavirus Research, Infectious Disease Expert Says

A trove of newly released documents detailing U.S.-funded coronavirus research in China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that Dr. Anthony Fauci was “untruthful” when he claimed that his agency did not finance gain-of-research in Wuhan, an infectious disease expert said Sunday.

Documents published by The Intercept on Sunday show that Fauci’s organization, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided federal funds to the U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to construct laboratory-generated SARS and MERS-related coronaviruses that demonstrated enhanced pathogenicity in humanized mice cells, according to Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard Ebright.

“The documents make it clear that assertions by the [National Institutes of Health] Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said in a tweet Sunday evening.

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Commentary: To Win Elections, Politicians Should Focus on Family-Friendly Policies

Things stopped working in this country about 50 years ago. But it wasn’t really noticeable until a few decades later. I like to date the beginning of the decay to the summer of 1969, though it’s impossible to put a precise date on it. Still, the summer of 1969 was an inflection point much more important than 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

Consider: On July 20, 1969, Apollo XI landed on the moon and 39 minutes later, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on its surface. A few weeks later, on the night of August 8, the Manson family broke into Roman Polanski’s Hollywood Hills home and murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby, and three friends who were at the house. The following Friday, August 15, the Woodstock music festival began in upstate New York. A good argument could be made that Woodstock was the culmination of the ’60s, but in reality, the ’60s had ended a week earlier. Woodstock wasn’t the final flowering, it was an aftershock.

This isn’t the time for a full exploration of the summer of ’69 (look out for that in the future), but it’s worth noting that a lot changed after that. Things had already peaked. For example, the two fastest ever commercial aircraft had both flown for the first time earlier in 1969; the 747 in February and the Concorde in March. In fact, the average speed of commercial air travel has been declining ever since. (Though that may be changing for the better.) Then, in the early 1970s, the median real wages of American workers entered a period of extended stagnation characterized by exceptionally low growth which made it impossible for the average person (who, by the way, is not an entrepreneur) to get ahead. It’s still true today, which is why so many families require two incomes if they want to remain in the middle class.

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Commentary: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Texas’ Abortion Law Is Another Sign That It May Overturn Roe

Couple kissing, holding up ultrasound in front of them

Just before midnight on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued an order denying injunctive relief to the Texas abortion providers who had sought to halt Texas’ new abortion law which prohibits abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. 

The majority opinion said the Court would not intervene because the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate whether the defendants, including state judges, can or will seek to enforce the law against them. The five conservative justices in the majority, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett, noted that federal courts have the power to enjoin people tasked with enforcing laws, and not laws themselves. 

The Texas law gives citizens the power to sue abortion providers or anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion after six weeks gestation. This structure provided the legal technicality which allowed the near-ban on abortion to remain in effect. 

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Texas’ Elections Bill Clears State House, Setting Stage to Become Law

Texas State Capitol building

Texas’ controversial elections bill cleared the state House Friday afternoon, clearing its way to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk after a months-long battle that drove Democrats to flee the state in an attempt to block its passage.

Senate Bill 1 was lauded by Republicans as a means to better secure future elections, but was chastised by Democrats as an effort to restrict voting access following former President Donald Trump’s discredited claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. It passed on an 80-41 vote that fell largely along party lines.

The Texas House considered dozens of amendments during a marathon session Thursday, and the bill now heads to the Senate for the provisions adopted to be approved before heading to the governor’s desk. Abbott, a Republican who has championed the issue, has vowed to sign it.

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Commentary: Between Afghanistan and Joe Biden, It Is a Struggle to See Which Fell Faster

Joe Biden

While the disadvantages of aging are often lamented and discussed, there are a few perks. One of which is having actual memories of events about which younger people can only read about or view on YouTube. For me, one of those memories etched indelibly in my mind is that of American helicopters airlifting diplomats and workers off of rooftops in Saigon as it fell.

I watched Vietnam fall with the voice of Walter Cronkite narrating. The symbolism of that long and failed endless American war was so vivid and so devastating that for me, like others in my generation, I was left to hope that the United States would never let something like that happen in the future.

Now, as I watch the scenes out of Afghanistan, I am put in mind of the immortal line given to us by New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra: It’s déjà vu all over again.

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House Lawmakers Set to Square off with White House, Treasury Department over ‘Stifling’ Crypto Tax Plan

House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.

The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.

The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.

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Biden Administration Won’t Push Pandemic Unemployment Bonus Extension

The Biden administration signaled to Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that it will not support an extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

President Joe Biden won’t advocate for an extension of the $300 unemployment bonus given to millions of out-of-work Americans on a weekly basis, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was implemented in March 2020 and extended by Democrats’ recent American Rescue Plan, is set to expire in early September.

“As President Biden has said, the boost was always intended to be temporary and it is appropriate for that benefit boost to expire,” the secretaries wrote.

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Biden Administration Won’t Say If It Will Reimburse Americans Who Were Charged Thousands to Board Flights out of Afghanistan

Joe Biden

The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.

State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.

“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”

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Court Rules Against Catch and Release for Migrants

A federal trial court in Texas ruled against the Biden administration’s directives to catch and release some migrants on Thursday.

A Texas federal judge blocked Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials from enforcing the Biden administration’s Jan. 20 and Feb. 18 memoranda prioritizing certain migrants for detention over others, granting Texas and Louisiana’s motion for a preliminary injunction, according to the court opinion.

“The States point out that the priority categories enumerated in these Memoranda omit certain others—namely, aliens convicted of serious drug offenses, aliens convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, and aliens subject to a final order of removal,” the opinion continues.

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‘Squad’ Members Earned Tens of Thousands as Landlords, Even as They Supported Eviction Moratorium

Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib

Far-left Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who have both been vocal critics of landlords and supportive of the eviction moratorium that prevents them from collecting rent indefinitely, made tens of thousands of dollars themselves collecting rent last year, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Tlaib disclosed in a recent financial statement that she made between $15,000 and $50,000 from rent out of a property she owns in Detroit, even after she had recently criticized “landlords and bill collectors” and said that Americans needed to be protected from them “in the midst of a pandemic.” Pressley made roughly $15,000 from 2019 to 2020 off a property she owns in Boston. Pressley has denounced landlords for trying to collect rent during the pandemic, claiming it to be “literally a matter of life and death.”

Both congresswomen, along with others in the so-called “squad” and other congressional Democrats, were supportive of extending the eviction moratorium that has forbidden landlords across the nation from collecting rent, ostensibly to provide financial relief to Americans who cannot pay their rent due to losing their jobs to lockdown orders. The Biden Administration extended the eviction moratorium through October, after the original moratorium implemented last September by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was set to expire earlier this year.

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Conservative Media Company Is the Fastest-Growing Advertising And Marketing Business in the U.S., According to Inc. 5000

Person setting up lighting in front of green screen filming location

A conservative digital media company’s focus on the culture wars in America appears to be paying off, as it is the fastest-growing private advertising and marketing business in the U.S., according to the 2021 Inc. 5000 list released Tuesday.

“We focus on working with groups that are advocating for or otherwise advancing conservative causes or conservative beliefs,” Olympic Media Founder and CEO Ryan Coyne told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

Olympic was founded in 2018 and has had many high-profile clients, such as Reps. Elise Stefanik, Jim Jordan, and Madison Cawthorn, Sen. Bill Hagerty and Turning Point USA.

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Biden Administration Plans to Cancel $5.8 Billion More in Student Loan Debt

Man on macbook working

The Department of Education announced Thursday that it will cancel student loan debt for over 300,000 borrowers with severe disabilities.

The program, set to erase over $5.8 billion in total debt, will begin in September and apply to over 323,000 borrowers classified as having a “total and permanent disability” by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Education Department announced. Borrowers will now receive automatic discharges of their debt, whereas previously needed to fill out applications.

“Today’s action removes a major barrier that prevented far too many borrowers with disabilities from receiving the total and permanent disability discharges they are entitled to under the law,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in the announcement.

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Pentagon Does Not Deny That U.S. Military Is Buying Fuel from the Taliban to Evacuate People from Afghanistan

William Taylor

Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor and Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about whether the US military is buying aviation fuel from the Taliban as evacuation efforts continue at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.

During a briefing at the Pentagon Thursday, Kirby also revealed that of the 2,000 people evacuated over the last 24 hours, only 300 of them were Americans.

“How are you fueling your planes… are you now in a position that you have to buy fuel from the Taliban?” asked Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin during a briefing at the Pentagon.

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Texas Supreme Court Rules That Democrats in Legislature Can Be Arrested to Compel Attendance

Texas Justice Jimmy Blacklock

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Texas Constitution authorizes the state’s House of Representatives to arrest members who flee in order to break the quorum required to vote.

The opinion states that “just as” Texas’ Constitution enables “‘quorum-breaking’ by a minority faction of the legislature, it likewise authorizes ‘quorum-forcing’ by the remaining members,” including by “arrest.”

“The legal question before this Court concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel the attendance of absent members. We conclude that it does, and we therefore direct the district court to withdraw the TRO,” wrote Justice Jimmy Blacklock on behalf of the state’s Supreme Court.

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Democrats May Hand GOP a 2022 Election Gift: Hearings on Biden’s ‘Flawed’ Afghan Exit

President Joe Biden is facing bipartisan backlash over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as lawmakers from both parties call for an investigation into his administration’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal.

Democrats vowed “tough questions” Tuesday as they used words like “flawed,” “failures” and “horrifying” to describe the administration’s exit strategy and the scenes unfolding in Kabul.

The president, for his part, is not changing course and vows to complete a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. But he now faces the specter of his own party investigating his team’s conduct and competence in the shadows of a 2022 election where control of Congress is up for grabs.

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Federal Court Sides with Biden’s Eviction Moratorium, for Now

Eviction Notice

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday against a challenge to President Joe Biden’s latest eviction moratorium.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich denied a request from the Alabama and Georgia association of Realtors to overturn an eviction moratorium from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 60-day order bans landlords from evicting tenants, even if they do not pay rent, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

“About half of all housing providers are mom-and-pop operators, and without rental income, they cannot pay their own bills or maintain their properties,” National Association of Realtors President Charlie Oppler said. “NAR has always advocated the best solution for all parties was rental assistance paid directly to housing providers to cover the rent and utilities of any vulnerable tenants during the pandemic. No housing provider wants to evict a tenant and considers it only as a last resort.”

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GOP Senators Put the National Institutes of Health on Notice for ‘Complete Disregard for Congressional Oversight’ Surrounding Risky Virus Research in China

Ron Johnson

The National Institutes of Health’s refusal to cooperate with congressional oversight on risky gain of function virus research in China is unacceptable, a group of seven Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter Thursday obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, railed against the agency’s director, Francis Collins, for blowing off their previous May 20 letter demanding answers to 17 questions related to gain of function research, noting that the NIH’s response to that request was nearly identical to the response provided to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who had asked a completely different set of questions about its funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Your refusal to provide detailed responses that fully address each oversight request is unacceptable,” the GOP lawmakers wrote to Collins on Thursday. “NIH’s lack of response to the May 20 letter shows a complete disregard for congressional oversight and transparency.”

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Commentary: Inflation Hits 5.3 Percent in July as $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Easily Passes with $3.5 Trillion Stimulus Expected in September

The unadjusted consumer price index as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 5.28 percent for the month of July, slightly lower than June at 5.32 percent, but still measuring the highest inflation on record since July 2008, when it hit nearly 5.5 percent.

The latest numbers come as Congress has easily passed another gargantuan $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending plan that included $550 billion of new spending. Interest rates have already reacted as 10-year treasuries came off a near-term low of 1.17 percent on Aug. 2 to 1.36 percent as of Aug. 12, slightly increasing inflation expectations.

The $1.2 trillion spendathon was just the latest in a long line of spending that has added $5.25 trillion to the national debt since Jan. 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic all the way to the current $28.5 trillion: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion phase four under former President Donald Trump, and then the $1.9 trillion stimulus under President Joe Biden. It’s been a bipartisan affair.

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Following 15-Hour Filibuster Texas Senate Passes Elections Legislation

Carol Alvardo

The Texas Senate on Thursday morning passed the elections bill that state Democrats have attempted several times to prevent from becoming law.

Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Carol Alvarado filibustered the bill for 15-hours in the latest long shot attempt to prevent its passage, but the chamber endured and passed the legislation by a vote of 18-11 this morning. Filibuster rules required Alvarado to remain standing, addressing the chamber on exclusively the subject of the bill, without bathroom breaks or food.

The attempt came one day after Dade Phelan, the Republican Speaker of the Texas House authorized arrest warrants for the 52 Democrats who have failed to show up for the second special session this summer of the Texas legislature, thereby denying the chamber a quorum.

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Bipartisan Bill Targets Apple, Google for App Store Tactics

Marsha Blackburn

Senators from both parties introduced a bill Wednesday targeting alleged anticompetitive conduct among Apple and Google app stores.

The Open App Markets Act, introduced Wednesday by Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn along with Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar, would prevent app stores such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store from requiring developers to use the tech giants’ in-app payment systems as a condition of distribution. The bill would also stop Apple and Google from taking “punitive action” against developers who offer different pricing terms in other app stores.

“This legislation will tear down coercive anticompetitive walls in the app economy, giving consumers more choices and smaller startup tech companies a fighting chance,” Blumenthal said in a joint statement.

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Senate Democrats Publicly Release $3.5 Trillion Filibuster-Proof Budget Reconciliation Resolution

Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.

The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.

The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Senate Panel Warned That China Could Create Dossier on Every American Using Stolen Data

On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate panel was told by a former national security official that the Chinese government has amassed enough stolen data to be able to create a “dossier” on every American citizen, Fox News reports.

The startling report was made by Matther Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser from the Trump Administration, during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Assembling dossiers on people has always been a feature of Leninist regimes,” Pottinger explained. “But Beijing’s penetration of digital networks worldwide, including using 5G networks…has really taken this to a new level.”

“Beijing’s stolen sensitive data,” Pottinger continued, “is sufficient to build a dossier on every single American adult, and on many of our children too, who are fair game under Beijing’s rules of political warfare.” This information could subsequently be used by China to “influence, target, intimidate, reward, blackmail, flatter, humiliate, and ultimately divide and conquer” its enemies, including the United States itself.

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Commentary: Officer Fanone’s Bodycam Video of Capitol 6 Riot Still Not Released

At least one federal judge handling several Capitol protest criminal cases is paying attention to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s show trial about the events of January 6.

Judge Thomas Hogan, 83, who has served on the D.C. District Court for nearly 40 years, referred to public testimony given last week by four law enforcement officers while he scolded a husband and wife over their involvement in the protest. 

“[H]e begins by talking about the violence, and makes clear he listened to the police officers who testified before Congress last week about their experience, and notes the recent suicide of [a Metropolitan Police Department] officer,” Zoe Tillman, a reporter for BuzzFeed, live-tweeted during the couple’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

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Federal Infrastructure Bill Could Pump $7.8 Billion into Michigan Roads, Bridges, Internet

aerial shot of Michigan highways

Michigan could be on the receiving end of $7.8 billion in federal dollars if the U.S. Senate’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill becomes law.

The estimated total is derived from $7.3 billion for Michigan highways and an additional $563 million to fix an estimated 1,200 bridges currently deemed in disrepair.

The monies earmarked from the bill would be in addition to the $3.5 billion in bonds issued by the Michigan Department of Transportation to fix the state’s roads and bridges, which is in addition to the $1.8 billion increase in the state’s transportation spending since 2012.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: No One Knows Where These Illegal Immigrants Are Going in America

Watching television coverage of people crossing the border illegally at our southern border I began to wonder: where are they going?

I was shocked to learn that the Biden administration refuses to tell the states and cities how many people they are sending – and who they are sending. Apparently, immigrants just get put on airplanes, buses, and trains, and go off into America.

We are learning that a substantial number of the people who have crossed the border illegally have COVID-19. McAllen, Texas had to declare a state of emergency when 7,000 infected immigrants arrived there. So, the Biden government could send people with COVID-19 to your neighborhood and then refuses to tell you that it has put you at risk. 

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act

United States currency

The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.

The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.

However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan): 

“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

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Greg Abbott: Biden ‘Knowingly Importing COVID-19 at Extreme Rates’ via Infected Illegals

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Alegal battle and war of words between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the federal government over COVID-positive migrants being released into Texas communities escalated over the weekend.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Texas Friday over an executive order Abbott issued restricting the transport of infected immigrants who entered the country illegally being released into the general population.

“The Biden Administration is knowingly admitting hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants, many of whom the federal government knows full well have COVID-19,” Abbott said in response to the lawsuit.

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Andrew Cuomo to Face No Criminal Charges from State Attorney General Despite Findings of Unlawful Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Andrew Cuomo

New York Attorney General Letitia James said there will be no criminal consequences for Gov. Andrew Cuomo despite her findings that he engaged in “unlawful” sexual harassment and retaliation against multiple women.

“Our work is concluded and the document is now public,” James said during a press conference Tuesday. “And the matter is civil in nature and does not have any criminal consequences.”

“We were tasked with the responsibility of engaging in an investigation. And we have concluded our investigation. And our work is done,” she added. “And so as it relates to next steps, that’s entirely up to the governor and or the assembly and the general public. But the work of the office of the Attorney General and these special deputies has concluded.”

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Biden to Push for Amnesty in Reconciliation Package

Joe Biden and his administration sitting in the Oval Office at the White House

In a meeting at the White House with Democratic lawmakers, Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for the radical notion of including mass amnesty for illegal aliens in the proposed reconciliation bill, according to CNN.

Biden met with 11 lawmakers – five senators and six members of the House – on Thursday to discuss a possible amnesty deal following the latest blow to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide blanket amnesty to illegal aliens who came into the country as minors.

Judge Andrew Hanen, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled earlier this month that as the law had been implemented via executive order only after its legislative counterpart, the DREAM Act, failed to pass through Congress, the law was unconstitutional. The order blocks any future illegals from applying for the amnesty, but does not affect current or past applicants.

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House of Representatives Passes Bill to Allow Illegal Aliens to Work as Staffers

Tim Ryan

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill allowing illegal aliens to work as House staffers, while also increasing the budget for staffing by 21 percent, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

The bill, H.R. 4346, was introduced by Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is currently running for the United States Senate in Ohio, and was supported by the most far-left members of Congress, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The bill spends a total of $4.8 billion on a wide range of Congressional expenses, including staffing increases and more Capitol Police funding.

The bill passed on a nearly party-line vote of 215 to 207. Every Democrat voted in favor, along with a single Republican: Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska). Every other Republican in the House voted against it. The bill has yet to pass the Senate.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Driver’s License Extensions into Law

People in chairs at the DMV

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills dealing with the consequences of a 15-months backlog at the Secretary of State’s office extending the validation of state driver’s licenses and ID cards.

“The pandemic was tough on all of us, and these bills put Michigan drivers first by giving Michiganders the flexibility they need to renew their drivers license and IDs,” Whitmer said in a statement. “It is crucial that we continue to offer services at our Secretary of State that fit the needs of all residents as we move forward.”

The three bills add 120 days of validity for the documents expired between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

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