Florida Algal Blooms Could Get Worse According to State Report

A report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force has found that Florida’s algal blooms and red tide could get worse in the coming years. The report recommends more research into determining the causes of such water quality issues.

The task force was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and found more Floridians could suffer from respiratory illnesses and sea life could die. Algal blooms are increasing amounts of nutrient rich water build-ups found in algae and lead to harmful effects to humans’ breathing and the life of sea animals. Florida’s coastlines and freshwater ecosystems have been enduring intermittent flare ups for years.

Read More

Commentary: Biden’s ‘More Inflation’ Economy Could Prove Fatal for Democrats

“No, it’s a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.”

That was President Joe Biden’s hot mic description of Fox News’ Peter Doocy on Jan. 24 after he asked “Will you take questions on inflation then? Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?”

Read More

FDA Cites Non-Peer Reviewed Study to Revoke Monoclonal Antibody Authorization

As reported Tuesday by The Florida Capital Star, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19, but did not provide the data is cited in making its decision. 

Without the help of the FDA, which did not return a follow up comment request Wednesday, The Star was able to locate what appears to be the data used in the decision-making process. It is on the website for the National Institute of Health (NIH), which is headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Read More

Republican Lawmakers Demand Answers from Mayorkas Regarding DHS Documents TSA Allows Migrants to Use as Identification

Republican lawmakers have demanded the Biden administration answer questions regarding alternate forms of identification the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it accepts from migrants traveling throughout the country.

Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, along with 21 other Republican lawmakers, sent a letter Wednesday to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas raising concerns over a number of DHS documents migrants can use as identification, including certain arrest warrants, and the methods through which they are vetted.

The letter, exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, also seeks information on how border patrol agents and others are able to verify a migrant’s identity when issuing the documents in the first place.

Read More

International Monetary Fund Projects Weaker Than Expected 2022 Economic Growth for U.S. and China

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global economic growth forecast for 2022 on Tuesday, citing growing COVID-19 cases, supply chain bottlenecks and soaring inflation.

The IMF now projects global gross domestic (GDP) product to grow 4.4% in 2022, down from 5.9% growth in 2021, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report published Tuesday. The IMF projected global GDP would reach 4.9% in its Fall report.

“The global economy enters 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected,” the report said, blaming “downside surprises,” including soaring COVID-19 cases and turbulent markets.

Read More

Federal Reserve Indicates Interest Rate Hike Arriving in March

With both volatile markets and significant inflation in the mix, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday indicated that it may soon raise interest rates for the first time in more than three years.

“With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” the body said n a highly anticipated statement following its meeting.

The Federal Open Market Committee added that the central bank’s monthly bond-buying will proceed at just $30 billion in February, signaling that the program could come to an end in March as the interest rate increases.

Read More

If Feds End Soybean Tax, Missouri Bill Would Hike Tax by Same Amount

If the federal government’s .25% assessment on each bushel of soybeans is halted, a bill in the Missouri legislature would capture that amount and add it to the state’s current collection of .25%, giving additional millions to the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

“If the federal goes away and this (bill) were to go into effect, we would continue to collect at a rate of one-half of 1% like we are now,” Rep. Curtis Gregory, R-Marshall, told the House Agriculture Policy Committee on Tuesday during testimony on HB2387. “If the bill doesn’t go into effect and the federal is done away with, we’d revert back…to one-half a penny per bushel…That would not bring in the amount of funds necessary to fund the checkoff mission.”

Read More

Iowa Governor Requests DHS Staff Salary Increases, ‘Status Quo’ on Medicaid Funding

For the first time in at least 15 years, an Iowa governor has not recommended funding changes for Medicaid.

The announcement was made by Legislative Service Agency Analyst Jess Benson as he presented Gov. Kim Reynolds’ fiscal year 2023 Department of Health and Human Services budget recommendations Tuesday.

Read More

Commentary: Sen. Hawley Pushes Stepped-Up Human Trafficking Reforms

In a press conference last week that lasted nearly two hours, President Biden expressed frustration with efforts by the opposition party to thwart the more ambitious aspects of his policy agenda.

“Think about this: What are Republicans for?” Biden said defiantly. “What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.” For instance, the president then asked, “What do you think their position on human rights is?”

Read More

Teacher Shortages Nationwide Causing Public Education Crisis

Schools throughout the country are experiencing teacher shortages due to several factors. In some states, legislatures have responded by lowering substitute teaching standards. In others, schools are calling on parents to fill the gap or are simply closing schools because they don’t have enough staff.

School choice advocates say it’s time to start funding students instead of government-run public school systems.

Nationwide, according to Burbio.com’s school closure tracker, 7,164 schools were “actively disrupted (not offering in-person learning) on one or more days during the week beginning January 10th.” Accompanying the tracker is a map, which shows which schools nationwide are closed or are providing no in-person instruction by day and week. The site, an industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and community information, tracks school closures and mask policies.

Read More

Department of Energy to Release Millions of Barrels of Oil From Reserve to Combat Surging Gas Prices

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday the release of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to combat soaring gas prices.

The DOE approved the release of 13.4 million barrels from its SPR, marking the second-largest exchange from the reserve and bringing the total amount of oil released from the cache to almost 40 million barrels.

Exchange contracts for the released oil have were awarded to seven companies. President Joe Biden authorized a plan in November 2021 to release 50 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR in a coordinated effort with China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. to combat surging gas prices and assist in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Read More

Biden’s FCC Pick Gigi Sohn Cut Sweetheart Deal with Broadcasters One Day After Nomination

President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn, cut a favorable deal with broadcasters shortly after she was nominated to the regulatory agency.

Sohn previously worked as a director of Locast, a streaming service that transmitted local television broadcasts on the internet. The company was shut down in October 2021 after broadcasters sued and a judge ruled the service was in violation of copyright law. Locast entered into a settlement agreement with broadcasters requiring the service to pay $32 million in damages.

Biden nominated Sohn to an empty commissioner position at the FCC, which is tasked with regulating the broadcast industry, in late October; however, one day after she was nominated, Sohn signed a confidential agreement with broadcasters cutting the amount of damages Locast would pay to around $700,000, according to a copy of the agreement seen by Bloomberg Law.

Read More

Poll Shows Floridians Like State’s Direction

A new statewide Florida poll shows most Floridians feel the state is heading in the right direction. The poll was conducted at the tail end of 2021, lasting from November 30 through December 9 and was facilitated by TargetSmart.

Read More

Federal Government Appealing Seminole Gaming Compact Decision

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino entrance

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) filed a notice last week that they intend to appeal a previous judicial ruling that shut down the Seminole Gaming Compact, the News Service of Florida reported Monday. The notice did not clarify details of the arguments the DOI plans to make.

The Seminole Gaming Compact was a multi-billion-dollar agreement between the tribe and the State of Florida where the state recognized the tribe as the sole controller of sports betting in the state. In turn, the state would net billions in revenue from tribal payments.

Read More

Another Florida School Board Sued over Concealing Gender Identity Counseling from Parents

The Clay County School Board is being sued by parents that allege school officials hid their 12-year-old daughter’s mental health and gender identity issues for months – only informing them after the child attempted suicide in the school bathroom on two separate occasions. Clay County is located just southwest of Jacksonville.

The father said he was alerted on Jan. 5 that his daughter attempted to commit suicide on campus.

The complaint states that when the child’s parents had arrived at the school, the child was being placed into the back of a police car to be transported to a hospital for involuntary examination under Florida’s “Baker Act” law. The Baker Act allows law enforcement and certain health officials to initiate a mental health examination in the event a person is an imminent risk to herself or others based on apparent mental illness.

School officials allegedly defended their actions by invoking “confidentiality rules” to justify not including the parents in the counseling sessions.

Read More