Three Senate Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider collecting revenue from major tech companies to fund broadband internet.
The Funding Affordable Internet with Reliable Contributions Act, introduced by Sens. Roger Wicker, Todd Young, and Shelley Moore Capito, directs the FCC to consider collecting Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from Big Tech companies “such as YouTube, Netflix, and Google,” the lawmakers announced in a statement Wednesday. USF is a subsidy fund of the FCC that dispenses around $10 billion a year for broadband internet infrastructure in rural areas, according to the FCC website.
Long before I started following country music and moved to Nashville, I listened to Big Band music and loved the jazz “standards.” It was the one genre in which my classically trained mother and I both equally enjoyed.
Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.
Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.
The Department of the Treasury has awarded a small fraction of the tens of billions of dollars Congress appropriated for pandemic rental assistance since January.
The federal government has expended less than $3 billion of the $46.6 billion in funds given to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday. The U.S. doled out $1.49 billion from January through May and $1.5 billion in June to low-income renters nationwide, according to a spreadsheet published by the Treasury.
Senate Republicans rejected an effort Wednesday to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure deal endorsed by President Joe Biden, saying that the vote came too early and that the bill was not yet finalized.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled the procedural vote in an attempt to begin debate on the package, but after filing cloture on Monday Republicans came out against it on the grounds that the deal had yet to be put into text and that senators were still finalizing how the plan would be financed. The bill failed 49-51, with Schumer voting no so that he can bring it up again in the coming days.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment.
A court of appeals in Michigan will hear a case from a Catholic school arguing mask mandates violate religious liberty because they cover “God’s image and likeness.”
“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity and because God created us in His image, we are masking that image,” the institution – the Resurrection School, in Lansing – told The Washington Post.
The Biden administration will reportedly keep restrictions allowing border officials to expel most migrants for another month, The Monitor reported Wednesday.
The Trump administration implemented public health order Title 42 prohibiting some individuals from entering the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June and over 100,000 of those were rapidly expelled under Title 42, according to CBP.
The Biden administration has sparked controversy for endorsing elements of critical race theory in education programs, and the latest polling reveals a source of that concern.
A poll released by Convention of States Action found that many Americans are opposed to critical race theory in curriculum, and are open to removing their kids from public schools to avoid it.
Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.
“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.
The feds faced another setback in their quest to keep $85 million in assets seized in a raid without charging hundreds of safe deposit box renters with a crime.
U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner issued a preliminary injunction July 16 in a lawsuit by several customers of Los Angeles-based U.S. Private Vaults (USPV), who alleged the FBI denied them due process by providing civil forfeiture notices that lacked “any legal basis” for seizing the contents of each box.
The Biden administration is “very weak, and they’re very slow out of the box right now” in supporting the popular, pro-democracy movement protesting Cuba’s communist regime, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) told the John Solomon Reports podcast.
The U.S. is missing a unique opportunity, Tenney fears, to pressure a weak and internationally isolated Cuban government. The Soviet Union is no longer “providing aid and comfort to the Castro regime,” she noted, and Raul Castro is “90 years old, with a very weak legacy and with basically a puppet that’s kind of running the government.”
A group of Democrats is pushing for the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps that could employ “millions” of young people at a minimum of $15 per hour as a way to tackle climate change.
“I was proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez this year as we reintroduced the Green New Deal and also brought forward our new Civilian Conservation Corps because that legislation is a pathway to new jobs in our country, union jobs for young people,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said during a news conference focused on including the Civilian Climate Corps in the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill the Democrats are drafting.
Between 96% and 98% of all political donations made by faculty members at Oregon’s three largest public universities went to Democrats, according to a new study by the Oregon Association of Scholars.
The report’s author, Portland State political science professor Bruce Gilley, told The College Fix that between 60% and 80% of college faculty donations nationwide go to Democrats, so “Oregon is way above normal.”
Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began in Michigan, the GOP-led Legislature has revoked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic powers.
The House of Representatives sealed the end of her powers Wednesday with a vote of 60-48. The Senate approved the petition on July 15 on a 20-15 vote.
Democratic Rep. Sam Steckloff said petitions are meant to go on the ballot to voters instead of enacted through the Legislature and contended petition gatherers “lied” to those who signed the petition.
Texas Democratic leadership continues to shield the identities of multiple, truant state representatives who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, even as the virus continues to spread among individuals who have had contact with the self-exiled legislators.
It’s a sharp contrast to the treatment many Republicans and conservatives received over the past year, when the positive COVID tests of multiple GOP members were covered aggressively by the media.
The Pennsylvania Department of State decertified Fulton County’s voting machines on Wednesday after officials there participated in a third-party audit.
The voluntary probe came at the request of Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) who’s currently spearheading a larger effort to audit machines in Tioga, York and Philadelphia counties amid his ongoing campaign to ferret out fraudulent activity during the past two elections.
Race relations have hit a new low, with the majority of black and whites calling it “somewhat” or “very” bad, according to a Wednesday Gallup poll.
The poll said 57% of blacks and whites felt race relations are “somewhat” or “very” bad, while 42% called them “very” or “somewhat” good. In comparison, 55% of respondents said relations were “somewhat” or “very” bad in 2020, and 44% said they were “very” or “somewhat” good.
The Texas Farm Bureau and 50 other state and national farming organizations have asked the Biden administration to “enforce legal immigration” after an influx of illegal immigration resulted in a crime wave impacting ranchers and farmers.
“The current situation should not be acceptable to you or to any American,” they write to the secretaries of the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture and Interior. “People are being treated as a disposable source of income, and landowners are living in fear while Coyotes [human smugglers] reap a windfall from leaving people destitute. You must not allow this to continue. On behalf of farm and ranch families and our communities, we urge you to recognize the crisis and take swift action.”
Congressional Democrats and Republicans are raising concerns over China buying prime agricultural real estate across the U.S. – in an apparent, continuing effort to exert influence on the American economy.
Members recently advanced legislation that warns that such purchases also increases China’s involvement in the American food system, posing a national security risk.
The lobbying firm of Jeff Ricchetti, brother to senior Biden counselor Steve Ricchetti, saw its revenue more than quadruple in the first half of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ricchetti, Inc. pulled in $1.67 million in revenue in the first half of 2021, more than quadrupling earnings from the same period last year, according to a report by the WSJ that cited lobbying disclosure records. Since President Joe Biden took office, Ricchetti, Inc. added clients such as Amazon, General Motors and Horizon Therapeutics, according to the WSJ.
Congressman and former presidential candidate Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has been discovered as having spent tens of thousands of dollars from campaign funds on luxury goods and services in the second quarter of the year, Breitbart reports.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) report, reviewed by Fox News, the Swalwell re-election campaign spent over $30,000 on luxuries such as limousines, high-class restaurants, hotels, and alcohol delivery services. The Democrat’s campaign funds paid for at least 26 different rides in limousines, amounting to well over $10,000.
After completing a 10 minute flight to the edge of space, Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he is gifting $100 million each to Van Jones and José Andrés.
According to Bezos, the new philanthropic endeavor, The Courage and Civility Award, awarded to the two “recognizes leaders who aim high, and who pursue solutions with courage, and who always do so with civility.”
In a communications backdoor reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s infamous private server, President Biden used a personal email account during the Obama years to send information he was getting from the State Department as vice president to his globetrotting, foreign-deal-making son Hunter Biden.
Messages, sometimes signed “Dad,” from the email account [email protected] were found on a Hunter Biden laptop seized by the FBI in December 2019 from a Delaware computer shop owner.
Some of the messages from the vice president to his son obtained by Just the News were deeply personal, others were political in nature, and still others clearly addressed business matters, often forwarding information coming from senior officials in the White House, the State Department and other government agencies.
The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice released the findings Tuesday of an investigation that found a former senior FBI official violated agency policy by having numerous unauthorized contacts with the media.
The investigation found that the official, who has not been named and has since retired from the agency, “had numerous contacts with members of the media between January and November 2016 in violation of FBI policy,” as well as accepted unauthorized gifts from media members, according to the report.
The senior official had unofficial contact with media officials during the opening months of the Trump-Russia investigation. That investigation by the FBI started in the months leading up to and after the Nov. 2016 presidential election. However, the report does not mention that this official was part of the investigation.
The Pentagon is working with a contractor to reportedly look into web searches such as “George Floyd deserved to die,” “Jews will not replace us” and “the truth about black lives matter” as potential signals of white supremacism, Fox News reported.
Pentagon contractor Moonshot CVE (Countering Violent Extremism), which has ties to the Obama Foundation, is gathering data to determine which bases and branches of the military have the most troops searching for domestic extremist content, Defense One and Fox News reported.
The exact details of the project are not clear, but the data is expected to be available in three weeks, Defense One reported. Moonshot Founder and CEO Vidhya Ramalingam said the data suggested active duty troops are less prone than the general American public to searching for violent extremism information.
A bipartisan Senate trio is seeking to reassert Congress’ control over war authorizations and military power.
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced the National Security Powers Act Tuesday, hoping to clamp down on presidential war powers that have expanded in recent years under presidents of both parties.
The bill requires the president to end foreign hostilities if they are not approved by Congress 20 days after they begin and cuts off funding if a president continues to act without congressional authorization. It gives Congress authority over weapons sales and allows it to prohibit the sale of weapons at its discretion, after former President Donald Trump irked lawmakers with his repeated sales to Middle Eastern allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Members of the Tea Party Patriots organization published a guide for citizens to push back on Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings in public education throughout the country.
The guide is meant to inform parents and concerned citizens on the fundamental beliefs of CRT and how the ideology is being spread through school systems.
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three other passengers successfully launched into space Tuesday aboard the billionaire’s Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches, carrying the company’s first crew and heading toward space.https://t.co/kYI3pmFsLB #BlueOrigin #JeffBezos pic.twitter.com/Xs0TnjpVbE
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) July 20, 2021
A group of 20 American professors signed a joint letter with a group of Chinese professors demanding that the United States work more closely with China on future research efforts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter, which appeared in the most recent edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal of Environmental Science and Technology, was signed by 21 Americans and 19 Chinese. Of the 40 signatories, nine of the Americans had received their educations in Chinese universities; 18 of the journal’s editors have worked for institutions backed in some capacity by the Chinese government.
The letter’s authors claim that while “increasing geopolitical competition has generated greater mistrust between the U.S. and China…a great deal of this mistrust results from misunderstanding.” The letter recommends that American and Chinese “funding agencies should also seek opportunities to fund joint global research projects in SDG [sustainable development goals] areas for the common good.”
The Department of Health and Human Services delivered 311 pages of heavily redacted emails Dr. Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization and other documents regarding COVID-19 to Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation, according to a press release Tuesday.
The redacted documents included personal edits from Fauci on COVID-related funding measures, which were redacted under a trade secrets exemption, Judicial Watch said in the press release.
“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in Covid,” DCNF President Neil Patel said in the statement Tuesday. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”
Houston Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux says that the cartels operating south of the U.S.-Mexico border will continue to do everything in their power to get drugs into American communities, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an exclusive interview.
“Look, everyone needs to understand drug cartels are vicious, they’re violent and it’s all about the dollar bill. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2021 or 2020 or 2016, drug cartels are going to get their drugs across our border,” Comeaux said.
“They’re going to do everything and anything they can do to get their drugs across our border and that’s what they’re doing no matter what,” he added.
ATexas state lawmaker on Monday unveiled legislation requiring a forensic audit of last November’s election results in his state’s most populous counties.
The House bill introduced by state Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican, would require forensic reviews of counties with more than 415,000 residents. The reviews would have to be carried out before Nov. 1, 2021, and completed before Feb. 1, 2022.
Toth’s legislation comes as the Texas legislature is in special session to consider new election integrity laws. The session has been interrupted by the departure of most state Democrat lawmakers in protest.
During a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged addressing whether the White House will reveal which Facebook posts it flags as misinformation.
Psaki said last week that the White House will flag posts deemed vaccine misinformation to Facebook. But the White House press secretary did not address Monday whether the White House will “publicly release information on posts that it considers misinformation on vaccines that it’s asked Facebook to block.”
An assistant professor at Appalachian State University recently argued that enforcing behavioral standards in public high schools is rooted in racism and unfairly affects Black students.
In the article “’Press Charges’: Art Class, White Feelings, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Albert Stabler writes that the desire to punish students for violating school rules, especially when the police are involved, is the result of “the overvaluation of White feelings” harming non-Whites.
A week after journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spurned its tenured job offer, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tells The College Fix it will attempt to fill her vacant position this fall.
“We have two open Knight Chairs to fill,” Hussman School of Journalism and Media spokesperson Kyle York told The Fix in an email. “We are building search committees and plan to begin searching in the fall.”
Hannah-Jones was offered a prestigious Knight Chair at UNC, a position endowed by the Knight Foundation to teach and practice journalism. Even though she eventually turned the school down after they reversed course and offered her a tenured position, UNC will keep the Knight endowment.
The city of Austin faces a crisis of rising violent crime after the City Council voted last year to drastically reduce the police department’s budget, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon says.
Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction.
Instead, the council redistributed the money to other city programs and suggested that community organizers respond to 911 calls, instead of the police department.
The country is opening up and travel is increasing, but visitors are finding the rental car landscape a bit empty.
Rental car companies are continuing to have a hard time keeping up with demand after selling off fleets to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“The fundamental thing that’s causing it is the very rational corporate response to the pandemic and the almost shutting down of international and domestic travel for most of 2020 and the first half of 2021,” Gregory Scott, spokesperson for the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), told The Center Square. “Airport rentals dropped 70-90% in March and April of last year, and as a result there were literally tens of thousands of vehicles sitting unrented and unwanted because people stopped traveling.”
The Biden administration announced Monday the first transfer of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner back to his home country.
Abdul Latif Nasir was sent back to his home country of Morocco on Monday, the first detainee to be repatriated under the Biden administration, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced in a statement. Nasir, detained over ties to al-Qaeda, was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and had been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility since 2002, the Associated Press reported.
Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina will spend $1 million teaching “white dominant” churches how to strive for racial equity.
According to Davidson’s official news service, the college received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., a private philanthropic foundation that donates to race and faith-related charitable projects.
The partnership with Davidson is a fraction of the $93 million in grants the Lilly Endowment will offer throughout North America via its Thriving Congregations Initiative.
An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”
Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.
A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.
The number of coronavirus infections among Democratic lawmakers who fled to Texas to stall a voting reform bill increased over the weekend.
At least five members of the Democratic delegation have tested positive for the virus, a person familiar told the Associated Press. The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced three of the lawmakers had tested positive as of Friday, but said the entire group had been fully vaccinated.
Among a list of building names George Washington University has collected for study and review is Francis Scott Key Hall.
Key is the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
But the private, Washington D.C.-based university has received a request to rename Francis Scott Key Hall and it will consider whether to scrap the moniker at some point in the future, according to its Name Change Request Registry.
University officials did not respond to repeated requests from The College Fix over the last week asking about the nature of the complaint or complaints against Francis Scott Key Hall and whether students or faculty asked for it to be reviewed.
As more federal data show a major spike in inflation, another top federal official said the U.S. is in for more aggressive inflation for the rest of 2021.
Federal officials have been pressed to speak on rising inflation after \data released earlier this week showed that the all items index increased 5.4% over the last 12 months, the biggest spike since the 2008 financial crisis.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented on the rise in inflation, saying it would grow worse this year.
Former Obama Administration’s Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, announced on CNN’s “Out Front” that people who have chosen not get vaccinated should be limited in their movements, not be allowed to work and have limited or no access to children.
Sebelius said, “We’re in a situation where we have a wildly effective vaccine, multiple choices, lots available, free of charge, and we have folks who are just saying I won’t do it. I think that it’s time to say to those folks, it’s fine if you don’t choose to get vaccinated. You may not come to work. You may not have access to a situation where you’re going to put my grandchildren in jeopardy. Where you might kill them, or you might put them in a situation where they’re going to carry the virus to someone in a high-risk position.”
She continued, “That’s, I think the point where we are, is freedom is one thing, but freedom when you harm others like secondhand smoke and issues that we’ve dealt with very clearly in the past you can’t drive drunk. You can drink, but you can’t drive drunk because you can injure other people. You can’t smoke inside of a public place where you can give cancer to someone else in spite of their never having been a smoker.”
Catherine Lhamon’s (right) work in President Barack Obama’s administration on Title IX issues may have won her praise from liberal groups and organizations representing alleged and confirmed victims of sexual assault, but it drew criticism from the ranking member of the Senate’s education committee.
President Joe Biden has nominated Lhamon to lead the federal Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the same position she held under Obama. But Senate Republicans and due-process advocates have questioned her position on the rights of accused students.
Republican Senator Richard Burr said he is concerned that Lhamon “will charge ahead unraveling significant pieces of the previous administration’s Title IX rules.” He made the comments during a July 13 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee meeting.
Small business owners are continuing to have problems attracting new workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are trying to entice them with new incentives, a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.
“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the current worker shortage,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it is too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he still expects Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham to release a damaging report on the FBI’s corrupt Russia investigation, and while it “may not be as broad as we want it to be,” it will lead to prison sentences for some former senior Obama officials.
Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporter Sara Carter during her podcast Thursday that he still believes justice will be served. According to Carter, the congressman said that Durham’s report could come “as early as next week.”
Multi-Grammy nominated duo and Opry members, Dailey & Vincent are one of the most popular bands in contemporary American music, embracing bluegrass, country, and gospel.