Commentary: Americans Should Pay Close Attention to the FBI and Zero-Click

During the Trump administration, the FBI paid $5 million to an Israeli software company for a license to use its “zero-click” surveillance software called Pegasus. Zero-click refers to software that can download the contents of a target’s computer or mobile device without the need for tricking the target into clicking on it. The FBI operated the software from a warehouse in New Jersey.

Before revealing any of this to the two congressional intelligence committees to which the FBI reports, it experimented with the software. The experiments apparently consisted of testing Pegasus by spying — illegally and unconstitutionally since no judicially issued search warrant had authorized the use of Pegasus — on unwitting Americans by downloading data from their devices.

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Wisconsin Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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Democratic Secretaries of State Warn ‘Independent State Legislature Theory’ Would Upend Elections

Thirteen Secretaries of State led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper, a case that will have the court considering the “independent state legislature” theory.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper in December, a case brought forth after the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature adopted a new congressional voting map based on 2020 Census results. A group of Democratic voters and nonprofit organizations alleged the map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution and challenged it in court, according to Ballotpedia.

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New Jersey to Become First State to Introduce Global Warming Curriculum in Public Schools

New Jersey is set to become the first state in the country that will mandate its public school students to learn about so-called “global warming,” with curriculum focusing on the subject being introduced in the 2022-2023 academic year.

According to ABC News, the effort was led by Tammy Murphy, the wife of Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.). In an interview on Thursday, the First Lady of New Jersey falsely claimed that “climate change is becoming a real reality.”

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Commentary: New Jersey Is Becoming a Hub of Education Entrepreneurship

When Ben Ashfield and Tammy Tiranasar couldn’t find their preferred educational environment for their two younger children, they decided to build it. Ben works in advertising and Tammy is an artist, but first and foremost they are entrepreneurial parents who want the best for their children. Last fall, the couple took over a vacated classroom space in Mountainside, New Jersey, and created The Village Electric as a full-day, colearning center for local children ages two to twelve, open five days a week. They launched with 45 kids and several teachers.

This year, their program continues to thrive, but Ben and Tammy aren’t content with creating just one alternative learning model that satisfies their family’s needs. They want their space to become an incubator for many other entrepreneurial parents and teachers who wish to build microschools and colearning communities of their own. 

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New Jersey’s Largest School District Mandates Masks for School Year

The largest school district in New Jersey is going ahead with plans to implement a mask mandate during the 2022-2023 school year, according to district policy.

Newark Public Schools in Essex County, New Jersey, is requiring students and educators to wear a mask on all school “locations and grounds” to combat COVID-19, according to the district policy. The school district also says educators and teachers should practice social distancing by remaining three feet away from one another, washing hands frequently and staying home if one has a fever of 100.4.

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Wisconsin AG Kaul Among 20 State Attorneys General Supporting National Gun Control Rule

A coalition of 20 state attorneys general, all Democrats, are backing a federal gun rule in court.

The Final Rule, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives named it, would enable law enforcement officials to trace any homemade guns used in crimes. In addition, the rule limits trafficking the weaponry.

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New Study Shows Red States Handled COVID-19 Better Than Blue States

A new study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that states led by Republicans did a better job than Democrat-led states at managing the coronavirus and keeping their states from slumping into an economic and social recession.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the three states that ranked the worst in mortality, economy, and schooling during the COVID pandemic were New Jersey, New York, and California, all of which had implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation. By contrast, the states that ranked the highest were Utah, Vermont, and Nebraska.

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New Jersey to Require Youngest Students to Be Indoctrinated in Gender Ideology

New Jersey will begin teaching its youngest students this fall that it is “normal” to “feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts.”

In June 2020, New Jersey LGBTQ activists, including abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood – now the second largest provider of transgender hormone treatments in the nation – praised Democrats for approving sex ed standards that indoctrinate young elementary students into the dogma that the science of biological sex is subservient to activist-invented gender ideology.

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NJ-7 Democrat Malinowski Under Investigation for Murky Financial Dealings, Also Benefited from Well-Timed Stock Trades

Incumbent U.S. Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07) appears to have financially benefited from exceptional timing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hill reported in 2021 that Malinowski previously faced two ethics complaints about his failure to report “trading roughly $1 million in stock in medical companies that were involved in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Analysis: Wisconsin Among the Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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Over Half of U.S. States Will Increase Their Minimum Wage in 2022

Over half of the states in the U.S. will institute a minimum wage increase in 2022, according to a report.

A total of 26 states will raise the minimum wage in 2022, with 22 of the states starting the pay hikes on Jan. 1, accordingto payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

“These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country,” Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer, said in the report. “In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes.”

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State Attorney Generals Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

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