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March 16, 2023

Stimulus Update: Americans in One State To Receive Extra $500

Certain Georgia residents are set to receive a little extra dough, thanks to some recent legislative action from Gov. Brian Kemp (R).

Kemp recently signed House Bill 18, which boosts the state’s budget by $2.4 billion through the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Under the plan, taxpayers with homestead exemptions will receive about $500 on average from the state. Additionally, the budget also allots enough funds to give taxpayers up to $500 in refunds for a second year.

The amended budget also gives one-time $500 bonuses for 54,000 retirees in the state’s Employees’ Retirement System.

“This mid-year budget includes a lot of benefits for hard-working Georgians, but I’m most thankful that it delivers on the promises I made last year to the people of our great state and it’s geared to help them fight through 40-year high inflation,” Kemp said during a speech on Monday.

“While some on the federal level are pushing a budget which raises taxes on Americans, we’re giving the money back to the people through our budget, because they know best how to use it,” he said.

“Last year, we returned over a billion dollars to the taxpayers of Georgia through a state income tax refund. This year, as you know, we are doing that again,” Kemp added.

Kemp said the mid-year budget should show federal lawmakers — who are about to start their own budget negotiations — that “you can hold the line on spending” and “use innovation to make government more efficient and streamlined” without raising taxes for hardworking Americans.

In addition to the various tax refunds to Georgia residents, the amended budget also allocates $115 million for school security grants and $92 million to reduce healthcare premiums.

Also in the works in Georgia is House Bill 162, which would give single filers a $250 tax refund, and joint filers would get $500. The state Senate is set to debate that legislation this week.

Source: Newsweek

March 16, 2023

Trump Allies Accuse DeSantis of Breaking the Law

1660: English Long Parliament disbands.

A super PAC aligned with former President Donald Trump is formally filing an ethics complaint accusing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of violating state laws with his “shadow presidential campaign.”

Make America Great Again Inc. filed a 15-page complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics on Wednesday morning, asking the commission to investigate DeSantis.

“Governor DeSantis knows, or should know, that his shadow presidential campaign is illegal under federal election law, Florida ethics laws prohibiting illegal gifts from political committees, and Florida ethics laws prohibiting illegal lobbying payments,” the complaint read.

DeSantis hasn’t formally announced his intentions to run for the GOP nomination in the 2024 presidential race, but he is widely expected to throw his hat in the ring. He is considered to be Trump’s biggest competition in the Republican primary, per CNBC.

The complaint specifically points out things that DeSantis has been doing, including visiting several states that are important in the primaries, receiving a significant amount of contributions in his Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, and signing a lucrative deal for a new book, The Courage to Be Free.

The complaint argues that if the commission finds that DeSantis did violate Florida laws, it should impose the “most severe penalties permitted” — which would include disqualifying him from the ballot.

However, the move faces an uphill battle and is unlikely to be successful. Five of the nine members of the Florida Elections Commission were appointed by DeSantis himself.

The governor’s office dismissed the move, calling it another “politically motivated” attack.

“Adding this to the list of frivolous and politically motivated attacks,” Communications Director Taryn Fenske told CNBC in a statement. “It’s inappropriate to use state ethics complaints for partisan purposes,” she added.

Source: CNBC

March 16, 2023

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Exposes Potentially Classified Information: ‘People Deserve to Know’

432: Saint Patrick, aged about 16, is captured by Irish pirates from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland (traditional date).

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) verbally disclosed classified information during a congressional hearing, saying that “people deserve to know.”

During a U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee hearing earlier this week, Greene addressed a question to U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

“Chief Ortiz, are you aware that there was an explosive device found by Border Patrol agents on January 17th in an area called No Man’s Land, and there’s surveillance of who put it there?” Greene asked. “And guess what? It wasn’t Americans; it was cartels. Are you aware of that?”

Ortiz refused to elaborate on his knowledge of the alleged incident, indicating that any such information would be considered confidential.

“I will tell you that some of this information that I receive, I receive in a confidential [sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF)], so I’m going to be a little hesitant of briefing what I know and what I don’t know with respect to some of those, an event like that,” he told Greene.

Despite Ortiz’s hesitancy, the congresswoman pressed on.

“I understand, Chief Ortiz, but I’m not going to be confidential because I think people deserve to know,” Greene said. “Our Border Patrol agents should not be in those type of conditions where they are at risk of being blown to pieces by the cartels, who, by the way, are criminals, and they should be treated as such.”

“As a matter of fact, I’ve co-sponsored legislation to declare war on the cartels because they are definitely declaring war on us, the American people, and our Border Patrol agents, and I’ve had enough of it, and I know Americans have had enough of it,” she added.

Watch a video of the interaction below:

Source: Raw Story

March 15, 2023

Tucker Carlson Says Donald Trump is ‘A Little Bit Autistic’ [Video]

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said former President Donald Trump is “a little bit autistic” during a lengthy interview on the Full Send Podcast.

The eyebrow-raising remark came after while the group was discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Podcast host Kyle Forgeard asked Carlson: “I saw Trump said he could close that in 24 hours if he wanted to. Do you think he could?”

“I have no idea,” Carlson said. “I mean, he couldn’t build a border wall in four years. So, you know there is a gap between promises and delivery with all politicians, very much including him.”

The Tucker Carlson Tonight host went on to call Trump “a little bit autistic,” saying that it gives him a different perspective than other politicians.

“But I will say in Trump’s defense, and maybe cause he’s a little bit autistic, he saw the stakes of this, like at the very beginning — and this is what I do love about Trump, particularly in foreign policy. He sees the big stuff. He’s like, ‘Wait, you’ve got Russia and China. They don’t trust each other. We can’t let them get together.’”

Carlson went on to say that the former president was correct about the growing relationship between Russia and China, but his critics dismissed his warning as racist rhetoric.

“’They’ll kick our ass and — we’re not gonna fight a war against them, one hopes, but we’ll definitely be taking orders from them, definitely.’ And he said that five years ago when everyone’s like, ‘Shut up racist!’ Okay, he’s a racist, but is he wrong?” he said.

“He says, if we start a war by proxy against Russia, Russia will align with China and we’ll be f***ed. Like — do you think that’s true or not? ‘Shut up.’ I mean, they would never address it,” Carlson continued.

“That’s when I was like, whatever you think of Trump, these people are speaking in bad faith. They’re stupid. They’re also the ones who got us into the Iraq war to no benefit to anybody,” he added.

Watch the clip below:

Source: Mediaite

March 15, 2023

Lab Owner Pockets $83M in COVID Scam

1783: In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. His plea is successful and the threatened coup d’etat never takes place.

Federal prosecutors have accused a Chicago man of allegedly running a bogus COVID-19 testing lab that sent out made-up results while pocketing millions of taxpayer dollars, which he spend on cars and cryptocurrency.

Authorities have charged Zishan Alvi, 44, with 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government funds for allegedly scheming to “defraud and to obtain money and property” through false COVID tests between February 2021 and February 2022, according to the federal indictment. Prosecutors say the company raked in $83.5 million from the federal government within that time.

Alvi allegedly told employees to give customers negative results without even testing their samples at the height of the Omicron surge, prosecutors said.

From Block Club Chicago:

Alvi’s lab sought reimbursement from the federal government for tests Alvi knew had not been performed, for tests the lab had “modified” so the results weren’t reliable and for tests already paid for by customers, prosecutors said.

Alvi told workers to give customers negative test results, despite knowing that they’d actually been tossed out and not tested, according to the indictment. Workers “eventually” completed the tests, but when the found positive results, they didn’t inform customers — since they’d already given them false negatives, prosecutors said.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors call for Alvi to forfeit the property from the alleged crimes if he’s convicted — up to $83.5 million.

When federal authorities seized Alvi’s accounts in Feb. 2022, he had more than $6.8 million in his personal bank account, roughly $810,000 in an E*Trade account, about $500,000 in an investments account, and more than $245,000 in a Coinbase account, prosecutors said. He also allegedly used the fraudulent funds to purchase several luxury cars: a 2021 Mercedes-Benz, a 2021 Range Rover, a 2021 Lamborghini Urus, a 2021 Bentley, and a 2022 Tesla.

Alvi faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and 10 years for the theft charge.

Source: Block Club Chicago

March 14, 2023

1.2 Million Walmart Products Recalled

Walmart is recalling 1.2 million candles over “fire and laceration hazards,” according to U.S. officials.

The recall pertains to about 1,210,000 Mainstays Three-Wicked Candles, sold exclusively at Walmart (both in-store and online) between Sept. 2022 and Nov. 2022, per the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The candles sold for about $7. The varieties include: Jack-O-Lantern, Mystic Fog, Warm Apple Pie, Warm Fall Leaves, Fall Farm House, Pumpkin Spice, and Magic Potion.

The warning comes after the CPSC received at least a dozen reports of the candle “burning too close to the side of the container and the glass cracking.” The hazard resulted in one reported injury — a “minor cut” — and multiple reports of damage to nearby items, the agency said. The agency also received one report of a fire.

The agency says consumers should immediately stop using the candles and contact Star Soap Star Candle Prayer Candle for a full refund. Consumers can reach the company online or by phone. The phone number and hours of operation are available on the CPSC’s recall notice.

The company says that customers shouldn’t throw away the impacted items until after they receive their refunds, otherwise they will be ineligible.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

March 14, 2023

The Truth About Joe Biden’s Brain Aneurysms

1794: Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin machine, revolutionizing the cotton industry in the southern U.S. states.

President Joe Biden’s mental and physical fitness is often a topic of debate, with many people wondering if he is fit to serve as commander-in-chief.

Biden, 80, has endured several serious health problems, including two brain aneurysms that required surgery. Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s physician at the time, detailed the aneurysms in a medical assessment published in December 2019.

“The most noteworthy health incident that Vice President Biden has experienced was his intracranial hemorrhage from a cerebral aneurysm in 1988. His aneurysm was repaired surgically,” wrote O’Connor, the director of executive medicine at George Washington University.

“During this workup, his team discovered a second aneurysm, which had not bled. This was also treated. He has never had any recurrences of any aneurysms. A 2014 CT angiogram showed no recurrence of disease.”

Per the Cleveland Clinic, an intracranial hemorrhage refers to any bleeding between the brain tissue and skull, or within the brain tissue itself. This condition is commonly referred to as a “brain bleed.”

The terms “stroke” and “aneurysm” are sometimes used interchangeably, according to Healthline, but the conditions do have some important distinctions.

Biden’s most recent health issues

Just last month, Biden had a cancerous lesion removed from his chest, according to White House Physician Kevin C. O’Connor.

According to a letter released on March 3, the physician found the lesion during the president’s health assessment on Feb. 16. A biopsy later revealed that the lesion was basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.

Biden underwent a procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to remove the cancerous tissue. It was “successfully removed,” and no further treatment was needed.

Read more here:

Source: Snopes

March 13, 2023

Comedian Sues Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for Blocking Him on Twitter

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been sued by a comedian for blocking him on Twitter.

The lawmaker blocked Alex Stein, described by CNBC as a “political provocateur,” after he catcalled her outside the U.S. Capitol on July 13 and posted a video of the crude interaction online.

Stein called Ocasio-Cortez his “favorite big booty Latina,” and heckled her over her stance on abortion.

“She wants to kill babies but she’s still beautiful. You look very beautiful in that dress. You look very sexy. Look at that booty on AOC,” he shouted to Ocasio-Cortez. “Look how sexy she looks in that dress. Oooh, I love it AOC. Hot, hot, hot like a tamale.”

The comedian’s lawsuit cites a November 2019 federal appeals court decision that ruled against then-President Donald Trump, saying that blocking people from following him on Twitter had violated their constitutional rights.

The appeals court ruled that Trump was acting in an official presidential capacity when he blocked those individuals.

Shortly after that ruling, Ocasio-Cortez apologized and settled a case with Dov Hikind, a former Brooklyn assemblyman who sued her for blocking him on Twitter after he made critical replies to her tweets.

At the time, Ocasio-Cortez unblocked Hikind, saying he “has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them.”

Stein is seeking the same result with his lawsuit, which he filed with a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

“I really don’t have any hard feelings for AOC,” Stein said, noting that his suit does not seek any monetary damages.

“I really would like to have her unblock me,” he said.

“Mr. Stein has a constitutional right to access Ms. Cortez’s Twitter account as part of vigorous public comment and criticism,” the suit reads. “Ms. Cortez’s practice of blocking Twitter users she disagrees with is unconstitutional and this suit seeks to redress that wrong.”

But the appeals court decision that Stein’s lawsuit cites was actually overturned in 2021. The U.S. Supreme Court erased the appeals court’s ruling, and dismissed the case as moot because Trump was a private citizen by then. The Supreme Court’s order means that the earlier court’s ruling can no longer be used as a precedent for similar cases.

Additionally, in Stein’s case, he was blocked by Ocasio-Cortez for remarks made in-person, rather than online.

Source: CNBC

March 13, 2023

Officials Concerned Over Increasing Number of Power Grid Attacks

2019: U.S. grounds all Boeing 737 Max aircraft after bans by others countries following the plane type’s second crash in Ethiopia.

State and federal lawmakers alike are sounding the alarm over a dramatic rise in the number of attacks against the country’s electrical grid.

Recently, such attacks have resulted in mass power outages. In response, lawmakers are calling for new security measures to protect Americans.

Data from the Department of Energy shows that there were 163 reported electrical incidents or disturbances caused by acts of vandalism, physical attacks, or “suspicious activity,” according to Axios.

This number marks a sharp increase over the previous peak, which was 94 reported human-related incidents in 2020.

“I don’t think I have to tell all the people in this room that lately we have had an uptick in attacks on the physical security of our grid,” said Willie L. Phillips, acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

These attacks left tens of thousands of homes without power last year. In December, roughly 45,000 people in North Carolina were without power following a “targeted” incident wherein two substations were damaged by gunfire.

Later that month, thousands of people in Washington state were left in the dark on Christmas Day after two men attacked substations and caused no less than $3 million in damages.

“We have seen attacks such as these increase in Western Washington and throughout the country and must treat each incident seriously,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said last month in a statement. “The outages on Christmas left thousands in the dark and cold and put some who need power for medical devices at extreme risk.”

Last Friday, San Jose prosecutors charged a local man with bombing two electrical transformers.

Lawmakers in several states have introduced legislation to bolster security at substations, including requiring public public utilities to provide 24-hour security at substations and increasing penalties for trespassing into such facilities or damaging equipment.

Source: Axios

March 12, 2023

Seniors Beware: Here Are the 6 Worst States for Retirees

Many retirees rely on income sources from retirement funds like 401(k)s or IRAs, or other private and public funds like pensions or Social Security benefits. But it’s important to know that some states tax these income sources more than others.

Ideally, your retirement should be as stress-free as possible. So when you choose where to spend those years, it’s a good idea to not only consider state tax laws, but also estate taxes and the area’s overall cost of living.

Read on to learn which states are the worst for seniors looking to make their retirement savings last as long as possible, as compiled by The Senior List.


  • State income tax: 1.4% to 11%
  • Median property tax: 0.31%
  • Estate tax: 10% to 20%

While spending your retirement in a lounge chair on the beach with a tropical beverage in-hand may sound ideal, it can also be pretty costly.

Hawaii has a graduated income tax system — meaning the more you make, the more taxes you pay, up to 11%. Income from Social Security and public pension are tax exempt in the state, so that’s a positive. However, private pensions and retirement funds like 401(k)s and IRAs are fully taxed.

Living in Hawaii is expensive — with housing costs 222% higher than the rest of the country.


  • State income tax: 3% to 6.99%
  • Median property tax: 1.76%
  • Estate tax: 12%

While it has a lot of scenic sites to offer, Connecticut is also particularly aggressive when it comes to taxes for retirees.

Social Security income is taxed at 25%, the estate tax is 12%, and property tax is 1.76% — the third-highest in the country. On the plus side, the state recently made pension income tax-exempt for seniors with less than $75,000 of annual income ($100,000 for joint filers). The same applies to IRA accounts up to 25%.

While Connecticut’s bolstered its tax exemptions for retirees within the last few years, it also has a relatively high cost of living — 22% higher than the national average.


  • State income tax: 2% to 5.75%
  • Median property tax: 1.04%
  • Estate tax: 0.9% to 10%

History buffs and crab cake-lovers alike would find a lot of reasons to enjoy spending their retirement years in Maryland. While it is largely considered to be a tax-friendly state for retirees, given that Social Security and 401(k)s are exempt, people with other retirement income may find it a tad pricy.

Those with IRA income over $34,300, a public pension, or other retirement accounts will pay a lot higher of a price. Additionally, Maryland has an estate tax of up to 10%.

New York

  • State income tax: 4% to 10.9%
  • Median property tax: 1.38%
  • Estate tax: 3.06% to 16%

This entry may not be a surprise to you, but it makes the list nonetheless. Income from private retirement funds (including IRAs, pensions, or 401(k)s) of $20,000 or more could be taxed up to 10.9%.

New York’s cost of living is exceptionally high. The state’s property taxes are the sixth-highest in the country, and its combined local and state sales tax is 8.52% — the 10th highest in the U.S.

While Social Security benefits, federal pensions, and military retirement plans are exempt from taxes, the state’s housing costs are 258% higher than the national average.


  • State income tax: 3.1% to 5.7%
  • Median property tax: 1.32%
  • Estate tax: N/A

Under Kansas tax laws, in-state public pensions, federal pensions, and military pensions are all tax-exempt.

But private retirement funds, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and out-of-state public pensions, are fully taxed. Additionally, Kansas has the ninth-highest local sales tax in the U.S., as well as the 13th-highest property tax rate.

New Jersey

  • State income tax: 1.4% to 10.75%
  • Median property tax: 2.21%
  • Estate tax: 11% to 16%

Between Ellis Island and Atlantic City, New Jersey has a lot to offer. While most retirement income is taxed, the state allows deductions for most income sources, including retirement accounts, private pensions, and IRAs.

However, New Jersey has a significant estate tax and the highest property tax in the nation — 2.21%.

Source: MSN

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