Holiday Blues: Economic Challenges Threaten Season with Delays, Shortages and Price Hikes

A series of economic struggles that have grown increasingly worse this year will likely have a significant impact on the holiday season, many economic experts predict.

After President Joe Biden gave remarks from the White House this week, one reporter called out, “Will Christmas presents arrive on time, sir?” The president did not respond to that question or the flurry of others as he walked away from the podium.

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Texas Democrats: Biden’s Energy Policies Will Cost Jobs, Create Dependence on Foreign Oil

Henry Cuellar

Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.

Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.

Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.”

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Border Patrol Agents Confiscate Counterfeit Vaccine Cards at Checkpoints Across U.S.

While much attention has been focused on the fallout of increased illegal immigration and crime at the southern border, Customs and Border Patrol agents also say they are routinely finding packages shipped from China containing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

CBP says its agents have seized more than 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in Chicago, Memphis, Anchorage and Pittsburgh in the past few months.

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Pelosi: ‘Yes,’ IRS ‘Tracking’ of Bank Accounts over $600 Still on Table as Opposition Grows

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., doubled down on the inclusion in a spending bill of a Democratic provision that would require banks to report to the IRS transactions for accounts holding over $600.

When asked Tuesday if the IRS monitoring would remain in Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation legislation, Pelosi emphatically said “yes.”

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Republican Leaders Push Back Against Global Business Tax

Mike Crapo and Kevin Brady

Republican lawmakers are pushing back against the Biden administration’s plan to join a global compact implementing a tax on U.S. corporations regardless of where they operate.

One hundred and thirty six136 countries agreed Friday to implement a global business tax, and G-7 finance leaders agreed to the plan Saturday. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised the plan.

Proposed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization, the global tax is necessary to respond to an “increasingly globalized and digital global economy,” OECD said.

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Pennsylvania Schools Would Be Required to Post Curriculum Online Under Proposed Bill

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a measure this week that would require schools to post curriculum online.

Prime sponsor Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Harrisburg, said it’s only an extension of what some districts already do – and gives parents access to what their kids are learning without having to visit a school building in person.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp, Others Criticize IRS Monitoring Plan as ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s business and banking community are pushing back against a federal proposal that would allow the IRS to monitor bank accounts with more than $600.

The plan is part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill currently being considered in Congress. Kemp and leaders of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bankers Association said it violates most Georgians’ privacy.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp, Others Bash IRS Monitoring Plan as ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s business and banking community are pushing back against a federal proposal that would allow the IRS to monitor bank accounts with more than $600.

The plan is part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill currently being considered in Congress. Kemp and leaders of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bankers Association said it violates most Georgians’ privacy.

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Oil Prices Hit a Seven-Year High as Industry Feud with Biden Administration Continues

Oil prices hit a 7-year high this week as American oil and gas companies continue to fight the Biden administration over policies restricting production.

As the economy began to reopen this year and the demand for fuel increased, President Joe Biden, through executive order, halted and restricted oil and gas leases on federal lands, stopped construction of the Keystone Pipeline, and redirected U.S. policy to import more oil from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) instead of bolstering American oil and gas exploration and production.

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GOP Governors Gather in Texas to Address Border Crisis

Nine Republican governors are joining Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to discuss the ongoing border crisis and President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

Ducey and Abbott will be joined by Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.

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Commentary: How the COVID IP Waiver Could Sabotage Crucial Cancer Research

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

President Joe Biden craves a cure for cancer. In a speech to Congress this spring, he vowed to “end cancer as we know it.” And as vice president, he helped start the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Yet by giving his backing to a global waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden may have endangered millions of Americans living with cancer.

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Report: COVID-19 Hit More Vulnerable Schools Hardest

A new report found that only 12% of educators in some schools believed students would complete the 2020-21 school year proficient in math, English Language Arts, science, or social studies.

That’s according to Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) report that found Partnership districts were hit harder by COVID-19 as they remained remote longer than schools in more affluent areas.

This report is part of a multi-year evaluation of Michigan’s Partnership Model district that aims to improve outcomes in the lowest-performing schools by serving districts’ specific needs. If these goals aren’t met by the end of the three years, the schools could close.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Believe Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job

New polling on President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate shows the majority of Americans do not think unvaccinated workers should lose their jobs.

Convention of States Action released the poll Wednesday, which reports that 65% of surveyed voters “do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.”

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Critics Pan Biden’s Claim $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill Costs ‘Zero’

President Joe Biden is taking fire for comments he made about his $3.5 trillion legislation just as the bill faces a deeply split Congress.

Biden made headlines for claiming the bill would cost “zero dollars,” despite media reports and members of both parties commonly naming the bill’s cost at $3.5 trillion for the last several months.

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Gov. Abbott Says Texas Will Hire Border Patrol Agents If Biden Administration Fires Any

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would hire any Border Patrol agent fired by the Biden administration after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said agents would no longer be permitted to use horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas.

Criticism of mounted agents was widespread after a photograph showing agents using horse reins was misconstrued by members of the media and some politicians suggesting the agent was using the reins as a “whip.”

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All Bets Are Off on Mobile Sports Wagering Being Legal in Florida on October 15

Under the Florida-Seminole Tribe gaming compact signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and approved by lawmakers in May, mobile online sports wagering becomes officially legal in the Sunshine State on Oct. 15.

But after two Florida pari-mutuels filed a motion in federal court late Tuesday to block the sports wagering component of the 30-year gaming deal from being implemented, don’t bet on it.

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FBI Reports Most Murders in Decades, Police Point to George Floyd Fallout

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released crime data Monday showing a sharp spike in homicides in 2020.

While some crimes diminished in the unusual, COVID-shutdown year, homicides rose nearly 30% and aggravated assaults rose more than 12% in one year, the first time in four years that violent crime increased from the previous year.

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Arrested, Accused of Harassment, Violating Protection Order

Kevin Boyle

State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Philadelphia, was arrested late Friday by city law enforcement on charges accusing him of harassment and violating a protection from abuse order.

Court documents show the 41-year-old lawmaker was arraigned in the early hours of Saturday morning. A trial date is set for Tuesday.

The news comes just days after Spotlight PA reported that House Democratic leadership stripped Boyle of his committee chairmanship and limited his access to the state capitol building.

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Pennsylvania Leaves Schools in the Lurch on Enforcement of Masking, Quarantine Policies, Educators Say

Teacher up front, giving lecture to students in a school classroom

A number of Pennsylvania educators said Thursday the Department of Health hands down COVID-19 mitigation orders and doesn’t back them up when it comes to enforcement, leaving schools in a difficult spot.

Michael Bromirski, superintendent of Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, told the Senate Education Committee that since pandemic mitigation rules lifted earlier this summer, school districts no longer handle quarantine orders for students exposed to the virus after the department told them it’s the state’s responsibility – and authority – to do so.

Except, parents rarely receive such instructions, generating confusion and frustration.

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Businesses Push Back Against Biden Plan to Track All Bank Transactions over $600 Through the IRS

Joe Biden outside

A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more than 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raising the alarm about the plan.

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Feds Trim Florida’s Monoclonal Antibody Allotment After State Fueled National Surge in Demand

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has spent two months cross-crossing the state promoting sites and clinics that offer monoclonal antibody treatments, an increasingly popular alternative to vaccines for protection from COVID-19.

In fact, so popular that last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHS), while increasing overall supplies by 50%, from 100,000 to 150,000 doses a week nationwide, but capping the number of doses being delivered to Florida and six other Southern states that had previously consumed more than 70% of the nation’s monoclonal antibody treatments.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Challenges Election Subpoena

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro challenged a Republican-led election subpoena on Thursday, saying that it “goes too far” and violates the constitutionally protected privacy of up to 9 million residents.

“By trying to pry into everyone’s drivers license numbers and social security numbers they have gone too far,” he said. “Today we say enough is enough. What they are doing is against the law and we intend to win.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Dems’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill ‘Existential Threat’ to Economy

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

One of the nation’s leading economic and business groups is warning that the $3.5 trillion spending bill before Congress is an “existential threat” to the nation’s economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a six-figure television ad campaign targeting the proposed tax hikesin the measure that would be “taking more hard-earned money from small businesses and working families.”

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CDC Tells Medical Professionals to Be on Alert over Afghan Evacuees Potentially Spreading Infectious Diseases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that medical professionals and clinicians be on alert for infectious diseases among Afghan nationals recently brought into the country, including measles, mumps and rubella, diseases for which Americans have already been vaccinated.

After the CDC announcement, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said Afghan evacuees were required to get the MMR vaccine and then be quarantined for 21 days.

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States Prepare for Limits on Key COVID Treatment, Criticize Federal Rationing

Gov Ron SeSantis

Demand for a key COVID-19 treatment has led to a nationwide shortage, and as President Joe Biden’s administration rations how much each state receives, some governors are pushing back over having to decide how to use their limited supplies.

Many states are warning their residents that the treatment may not be available, and some are discussing offering it only to unvaccinated individuals. On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, warned his states’ residents that there is “not going to be enough” of the treatment.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Reconsider Roe v. Wade

United States Supreme Court building

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it would hear a case in December that directly challenges the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade.

The high court set Dec. 1 as the date it would hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which means a decision could be reached by June 2022. 

This case features a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The case especially addresses the constitutionality of abortion bans that take effect before a fetus would be viable outside the womb. 

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Pennsylvania Senate Democrats File Suit, Allege GOP ‘Overreaching’ in Election Subpoena

Anthony Williams and Jay Costa

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats filed a legal challenge in Commonwealth Court against what they call an “overreaching” subpoena of election records containing personal information for nearly 7 million voters.

The lawsuit filed late Friday alleges Republican members of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee – including Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro and President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte – broke the law when they issued a subpoena against the Department of State seeking the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and partial social security number of each and every resident that voted by mail or in person during the last two elections.

In a joint statement, the Democratic members of the committee – including Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Pittsburgh; Minority Chairman Tony Williams, D-Philadelphia; Sen. Vince Hughes, D-Philadelphia; and Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-Lower Makefield – said the consequences of the subpoena “are dire” and leave the personal information of residents in the hands of an “undisclosed third party vendor with no prescribed limits or protection.”

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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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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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Thousands of Public Workers Seek Vaccine Exemptions in Washington

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

Some 4,800 state employees in Washington have already requested medical or religious exemptions from Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to information released this week by the state, those requests amount to nearly 8% of the 60,000 state workers who fall under Inslee’s 24 cabinet departments. As of Sept. 6, less than 50% of all employees in those agencies were verified as being fully vaccinated.

Inslee last month issued an executive order that all state employees, as well as K-12 and state university staff, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face dismissal.

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Oil Supply Losses from Hurricane Ida Reach 30 Million Barrels, Impacting Gas Prices

Hurricane Ida has already caused oil supply losses of 30 million barrels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports, resulting in the first decline in global oil supply in five months.

Hurricane Ida shut in 1.7 million barrels per day of oil production in the Gulf at the end of August, “with potential supply losses from the storm approaching 30 mb. An uptrend in supply should resume in October as OPEC+ continues to unwind cuts, outages are resolved and as other producers increase,” the agency stated in its September Oil Market report.

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Report: 74 Percent of Professors Targeted for Unpopular Speech or Research End Up Punished by Administrators

Attempts to sanction scholars for their speech, research or teaching practices has skyrocketed since 2015, with about three in four campaigns leading to some form of professional sanction – including termination – according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Such attacks are “on the rise and are increasingly coming from within academia itself—from other scholars and especially from undergraduate students,” FIRE research fellows Komi German and Sean Stevens state in their report.

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Americans Support Governors’ Revolt Against Federal Vaccine Mandate, Poll Shows

New polling shows that the majority of Americans do not approve of President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate.

Biden announced the mandate last week, which includes requirements that any business with more than 100 employees ensure they are vaccinated or be tested weekly. Biden’s announcement included a range of other federal rules that are estimated to affect 100 million Americans.

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Legal Challenges Await Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

President Joe Biden’s controversial vaccine mandate has sparked major pushback and talks of legal challenges, likely setting up a tense court battle that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden announced the new mandates in a speech Thursday, saying his executive changes will affect 100 million Americans. Notably, his new rules would require all federal employees to get the vaccine and require that any employers with 100 or more employees ensure their employees are vaccinated.

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Biden Withdraws Controversial Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Nominee After Bipartisan Concern

David Chapman

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”

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End of Federal Unemployment Benefits Raises Questions About Fraud, Joblessness

Jobless Claims Surge

Federal unemployment benefits ended over the holiday weekend, raising questions about how the payments’ expiration will affect the job market and whether Congress will renew the benefits.

Congress passed the $300 weekly unemployment payments as a remedy to joblessness during the COVID pandemic when government restrictions forced the layoffs of millions of Americans, but critics have since said the federal benefits are contributing to an economic quandary: elevated unemployment alongside widespread job availability.

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Feds Say California Too Expensive to Welcome Afghan Refugees

Hashoo Foundation (HF) is implementing a project for the Afghan Refugees residing in I-12 Islamabad who were deprived from the basic needs of life. Hashoo Foundation with the support of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Gesellshaft Technische Zusamenarbeit (GTZ) has been able to establish two basic health units for males and females, initiate primary education system for the children and equip young people with some marketable skills such as tailoring, embroidery, motor winding and electrician.

by Cole Lauterbach   Afghan refugees looking to resettle in the U.S. are being discouraged from picking California as a destination, despite the state having significant Afghan population centers. In the days after the U.S. announced it would resettle refugees fleeing a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, governors across the country…

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Wisconsin Charter Schools Growing, Overcoming Law and Misperceptions

Wisconsin charter schools are on the rise despite legal hurdles and widespread myths.

First established in 1993, Wisconsin charter schools now number 235 with 14 schools listed as new since last year. That’s a 6% upward trend.

One of the schools listed as new is the Carmen Middle School of Science and Technology South Campus. The school was categorized as new because of a location move.

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Virginia Universities Start Kicking Out Unvaccinated Students

Some Virginia universities have started kicking out students who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other institutions may start following suit.

Virginia Tech disenrolled 134 students this week who did not receive the vaccine. Before that, the University of Virginia disenrolled 288 students, and William & Mary withdrew 42 students for the same reason. All three universities require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.

“Of the approximately 37,000 students enrolled at Virginia Tech, 134 students were not in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, meaning that they did not submit vaccination documentation or receive a medical or religious exemption,” a statement on Virginia Tech’s website read. “These students have been disenrolled. The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.”

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Biden Defends Withdrawal, Declares End of War in Afghanistan

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon, presenting a detailed defense of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and once again honoring the lives of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack last week.

Biden’s speech came the day of the deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the country. All U.S. troops were reportedly evacuated, though at least 100 Americans, possibly several hundred, remain.

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Home-Schooled Children Increased from 13 Thousand in 1973 to 5 Million in 2020

The number of children being home-schooled has grown from an estimated 13,000 in 1973 to 5 million, according to a report by the National Home Education Research Institute.

The home-school population has grown an estimated 2% to 8% annually, but in 2019 home-schooling began to increase dramatically, the report said.

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Commentary: The Puppet Master of the Republic

“Ya know, reality has a way of intruding. Reality eventually intrudes on everything.”

– Joe Biden

During last year’s Democratic primaries when everyone fumbled the ball, the leftist voters turned to socialist Bernie Sanders. Although the DNC figured Sanders would fizzle with baseline Democrats, they misread their comrades. When Sanders won California and Nevada, they hurriedly regrouped. Their strategy was to pair Joe Biden with a babysitter VP, and use them as their progressive shills.

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Questions over Federal Renters’ Assistance Linger After Eviction Moratorium Tossed

Billions of available federal dollars for rental assistance remain in limbo after the U.S. Supreme Court for a second time rejected President Joe Biden’s plans to perpetuate a federal eviction moratorium without Congressional approval.

“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court ruled in a 6-3 decision late Thursday, with the court’s three liberal justices dissenting.

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Wisconsin State Superintendent Calls Mask Protests ‘Noise,’ Pushes Masks and Vaccines

Wisconsin’s state superintendent is taking a swipe at parents who don’t want their kids to be forced to mask-up this school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly on Wednesday wrote an op-ed that dismisses parents who are protesting mask mandates at their local schools.

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DeSantis Demands Feds Account for All People ‘Resettled’ in Florida

During the first six months of 2021, more than 6,250 “unaccompanied alien minors” were transported to Florida by the federal government and released to sponsors with little oversight, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Other than that, the governor says there’s little information provided by the federal government about where people detained for attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border are being housed and how many are now in Florida.

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San Diego Border Patrol Encounters 7,300 Brazilian Nationals, a 2,200 Percent Increase in One Year

Since Oct. 1, 2020, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 7,300 Brazilian nationals, an increase of more than 2,200% from the prior fiscal year. In all of fiscal 2020, 330 Brazilian nationals were apprehended, the sector reports.

Every month since April 2021, San Diego Border Patrol has encountered more than 1,000 Brazilian nationals who enter the U.S. illegally. In fiscal 2020, the sector apprehended six, the agency states.

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Nearly 8,700 Criminals Arrested at Southern Border in Past 10 Months, Including Repeat Sex Offenders

Crowd of immigrants

Over the past 10 months, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have arrested 8,691 known criminals who have entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border. Combined, they have committed 12,685 crimes in the U.S., according to federal data.

Because Border Patrol agents do not have access to criminal records from other countries, they rely on information reported in the National Crime Information Center database. Many individuals arrested by Border Patrol are registered sex offenders who were previously convicted and served time in U.S. prisons. They were released and deported only to reenter the U.S. again illegally this year.

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Trump-Era ‘Stay in Mexico’ Policy

The U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday denied the Biden administration’s request to stay a lower court’s ruling reinstating a former President Donald Trump’s “Stay in Mexico” policy.

The Trump-era policy requires immigrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while they navigate the court system to legally gain admittance into the U.S.

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Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Abortion Ban

Woman holding an infant in her arms

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2017 Texas law outlawing a second trimester abortion procedure called D&E (dilation and evacuation), or dismemberment.

In 2017, the Texas legislature passed the Texas Dismemberment Abortion Ban with bipartisan support, making D&Es a felony and banning them from being performed except in the case of an emergency. After the law passed and before it went into effect, Whole Women’s Health, several Planned Parenthood groups, several doctors, and others, sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The district court ruled in their favor, blocking the law from going into effect. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office appealed, and a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling last October.

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Missouri US Representatives, Hawley Push Probes, Bills Targeting Meatpacking Industry

There are more than 95,000 farms in Missouri with the Show Me State placing among the nation’s top 10 in terms of beef, chicken and pork production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But consolidation within the meatpacking industry – four firms (JBS, Tyson, Cargill, National Beef) control more than 80% of all the beef slaughtered in the United States – has long frustrated Missouri producers.

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