Dave Portnoy’s ‘Barstool Fund’ Raises $20M, Helps More Than 90 Small Businesses

The Barstool Fund, created by Dave Portnoy, has helped raise more than $20 million, helping nearly 100 small businesses hurt during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Portnoy started the Barstool Fund one month ago with his own $500,000 to help small businesses.

The fundraiser has raised $20,119,270 from more than 156,000 donors and has aided 92 small businesses across the country as of Thursday evening.

Earlier in the day, Portnoy announced his fundraising success on Twitter, but stressed that their mission is far from over.

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Minimum Wage Hikes Set for 2021 Imperil Businesses Struggling Amid COVID Shutdowns

More than 80 states and local municipalities are slated to see minimum wage hikes in 2021, even as business owners continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Employment Policies Institute, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that studies how public policy impacts employment growth, released a comprehensive list of the minimum wage increases that will go into effect next year and in subsequent years.

“Minimum wage increases are demonstrated to cause job losses even in times of economic health,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI’s managing director. “These states and local areas are increasing the cost of labor as businesses are dealing with forced closures or a drastic drop in revenue. Employers and employees will pay the price for these misguided good intentions.”

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Commentary: Teachable Union Moments

Lesson plans are a teacher’s daily guide for what students need to learn and how it will be taught. Because educators are always looking for new and interesting ways to engage kids, I have a few ideas that can be used to further student knowledge.

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PUSHBACK: 400 Michigan Restaurants Band Together to Fight Whitmer’s COVID-19 Rules

Hundreds of restaurants banded together to push back against Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent coronavirus mandates, Fox Business reported Monday.

Joe Vicari, president of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group in a Monday appearance said a total of 400 eateries in the state have joined the push against Whitmer’s lockdowns, Fox reported. Michigan is nearing the end of a three-week pause that shuttered indoor dining and bar service, but the governor has indicated a willingness to re-extend the restrictions that end on Tuesday, according to Bridge Michigan.

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Mississippi Governor Refuses to Participate in Possible Nationwide COVID-19 Lockdown

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said his state is “not gonna participate in a nationwide lockdown,” as coronavirus cases surge throughout the nation and some areas have re-issued COVID-19 mandates.

“The fact is, we’re gonna try to work with whomever the president is, but we’re not gonna participate in a nationwide lockdown,” Reeves said in a Thursday press conference, according to Fox News.

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Truckers Plan ‘Stop the Wheels’ Shutdown in Protest of Joe Biden’s Plans for Fracking Ban, Green New Deal

If you notice store shelves that are empty of toilet paper and canned food again, it may be because of a truckers’ shutdown and not the Chinese coronavirus.

Truckers have been taking to social media to try to organize a “Stop The Wheels 2020” shutdown in protest of Joe Biden’s plans for the Green New Deal and a fracking ban in the event he assumes the presidency.

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REJECTED: SCOMI Denies Gov Whitmer’s Request for Shutdown Extension

The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday rejected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s statement asserting her unconstitutional orders still hold power over Michiganders through Oct. 30.

Whitmer previously claimed her executive orders retained the force of law for 21 days after the court’s Oct. 2 ruling.

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Criminal Charges and Fines Numbering into the Thousands Over Now-Unconstitutional COVID Orders Under Question

Thousands of Michiganders are wondering if criminal charges and fines levied against them are still valid after the Michigan Supreme Court last Friday ruled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders issued after April 30 are illegal. 

Some don’t have answers – yet.

Owosso barber Karl Manke’s attorney David Kallman told The Center Square he’s expecting Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to drop criminal charges against Manke, who operated his barbershop in violation of Whitmer’s orders.

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Commentary: We Have Had Enough Lockdown

Take off the masks and remove the “social distancing” circles from the floors. Open the schools, liberate college campuses, fill the restaurants and the gyms and the churches and the salons. Enough.

If 2020 wasn’t twisted enough, the current political imbroglio centers around a verboten visit to a California boutique for a routine blow-out. Americans are lining up either behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who claims she was “set up” to visit the San Francisco salon, or the salon’s owner, a woman struggling to keep her business alive amid cruel and unscientific edicts issued by her governor months ago.

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Analysis: President Trump Was Correct About the Rapid Economic Rebound Post-Shutdown as Another 630,000 Americans Come Off Unemployment Benefits

Another 630,000 Americans came off continuing unemployment claims the week ending June 27, according to the latest unadjusted data from the U.S. Department of Labor, proving President Donald Trump is right about the economy rapidly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic state-based shutdowns.

Since the week ending May 9, unadjusted continuing unemployment claims have dropped from 22.8 million to 16.8 million the week ending June 27, a massive turnaround of 6 million Americans who temporarily found themselves on unemployment benefits but then rapidly came off of it on a net basis.

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Federal Judge asks Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Emergency Power Questions

A federal judge asked the Michigan Supreme Court to settle questions regarding whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to issue executive orders under two state laws.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney certified two questions to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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

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

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

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Refuses to Apologize for Coronavirus Restrictions, Says ‘I’m Not Changing the Way I Run This State’

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that she will not change the way she runs Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michigan governor discussed her coronavirus restrictions and the protests that have erupted against her executive orders during an interview with Fox News.

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Michigan Facing Estimated $3 Billion in Revenue Losses this Fiscal Year

Michigan is facing a grim outlook for the state’s economic future.

Legislators are divided over whether the crisis requires severe budget cuts or a federal bailout to fix.

Lawmakers are facing a projected $6.2 billion drop in revenue over the next two fiscal years.

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Industry Leaders Warn Hundreds of Businesses Won’t Survive Reopening Plan, Extended Stay-Home Order

Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.

Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.

Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses.

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STUDY: Anxiety From Reactions to COVID-19 Will Destroy at Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”

Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

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Commentary: The Tyrannical Soul of Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer

When Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation he was criticized by abolitionists for not issuing a more sweeping order. He refused to do so, asking “If I take the step, must I not do so . . . without any argument, except the one that I think the measure politically expedient, and morally right? Would I not thus give up all footing upon constitution or law? Would I not thus be in the boundless field of absolutism? Could this pass unnoticed, or unresisted?”

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Americans Are Ending the Lockdown, Despite Orders from Elected Officials

by Chris White   Americans are venturing out more to fast food restaurants, gas stations and public places even as health experts and government officials demand extending economic lockdowns, location data show. People are back to visiting gas stations and fast food restaurants at pre-COVID-19 levels, according to location data…

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Commentary: Constitution-Respecting Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Lockdowns

Across the country governors, county commissioners and executives, and city and town officials have announced “lockdowns” or stay-at-home orders of dubious constitutional validity. The result of these orders is the bizarre situation in which jails are being emptied of criminals while individuals engaged in their ordinary business at appropriate social distance have been arrested for the crime of being outside their home.

One of the most high-profile examples of this inverted constitutional order happened in California, where a paddle boarder was arrested near the Malibu Pier for ignoring orders from lifeguards to get out of the water. CBS News Los Angeles reports the unidentified man spent 30 to 40 minutes paddling in the ocean waters off Malibu Beach after refusing to heed orders from L.A. County lifeguards to go ashore. LASD Harbor Patrol brought in a boat, at which point the paddleboarder voluntarily swam in and was taken into custody.

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Commentary: Small Businesses Urge Federal and State Governments to Reopen America ASAP

Due in large part to government edicts, religious, social, and political gatherings, have been cancelled or drastically altered to meet government requirements. Schools and colleges have closed so there will be no proms or graduations to attend this spring. Restaurant dining rooms are closed, as are community centers, fitness centers, salons, barbershops, theaters, retail stores, and malls. Theme parks, beaches, and even some public parks are closed. Air travel and the use of public transportation has declined precipitously. Traffic on the roads is eerily light, and parking lots are nearly empty.

Of the businesses that have remained open, many have reduced their operating hours. While one can reasonably expect that stay-at-home orders will reduce Chinese coronavirus cases, it remains to be seen what the human and economic toll of these orders will be; but we do know that they are devastating to small businesses and their employees.

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