Chemical Pollution from East Palestine Train Wreck Blanketed Third of the Country, Study Reveals

East Palestine Train Derailment

Chemical pollution emitting from the East Palestine, Ohio, train crash in 2023 rained down on 16 different states, according to a study released on Wednesday.

A Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed and crashed in East Palestine in February 2023, sending plumes of black smoke rising over Ohio and Pennsylvania. The smoke carried the chemicals and polluted 16 states, spreading over roughly 540,000 square miles of land, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.

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Biden Administration is Mandating Heat Pump Water Heaters, but Contractors Report Big Problems

Rheem Heat Pump Water Heater being installed by workmen

In April, the Biden administration finalized efficiency standards for residential water heaters, as part of a broader climate goal of electrifying the American household.

The Department of Energy estimates that, under the new rules, 50 percent of newly manufactured electric storage water heaters will utilize heat pump technology to be in compliance. The standards go into effect beginning in 2029.

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ACLU to Spend $25 Million on November Elections, Pro-Abortion Measures

My Body My Choice

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to spend more than $25 million on the November elections and will particularly focus on pro-abortion state constitutional amendments.

This year, the ACLU is spending the largest amount of money it ever has on elections, Deirdre Schifeling, ACLU’s chief political and advocacy officer, told NBC News.

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Congressional Republicans’ Bill Seeks to Crack Down on DEI in Med Schools

Congressman Greg Murphy

Bills that seeks to block med schools from receiving federal funds if they maintain diversity equity and inclusion mandates are winding their way through Congress.

“Embracing anti-Discrimination, Unbiased Curricula, and Advancing Truth in Education,” or the EDUCATE Act, would limit the availability of funds for medical schools that “adopt certain policies and requirements relating to” DEI, it states.

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Commentary: Abortion Once Again at Forefront of Election

The prevailing belief in the Democratic Party is that abortion will again be a potent issue against Republicans in this year’s election cycle just as it was in 2022 – and that this time it will not just cost the GOP gaining the majority in the U.S. Senate, but also give Democrats the upper hand in retaining the presidency and winning back the House.

Abortion rights put the brakes on the Republicans’ chances in 2022 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years; a decision that transformed American politics that year, benefiting Democrats who were on their way to a bruising midterm election defeat.

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States File Suit to Block Biden’s Student Debt Forgiveness Plan

President Joe Biden

A coalition of states has filed a legal challenge to President Joe Biden’s latest executive effort to forgive a portion of Americans’ student loan debt.

The lawsuit comes after Biden on Monday announced the plan, which the states in question say is an overreach of executive authority. The White House claims that Biden has so far canceled at least some of the debt for 4 million Americans, totalling $146 billion so far.

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Ohio Congressman Introduces Bill to Repeal 16th Amendment, Arguing Government Shouldn’t Tax Income

Congressman Warren Davidson

Congressman Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, introduced legislation to repeal the 16th Amendment, stating that the government should not tax people’s income.

“Originally the country didn’t have an income tax,” Davidson said on the Wednesday edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “They passed the 16th amendment to make it legal to tax people’s income. It was originally just going to be for the really, really rich people. And of course, now it’s hitting everybody.”

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Biden Admin Threw Billions at EV Charging Stations, But Only a Handful Have Been Built

Electric Vehicle charging station

The Biden administration’s well-funded push to build out a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers has so far resulted in only a handful of installations, according to The Washington Post.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill of 2021 allotted $7.5 billion to subsidize thousands of EV chargers to help the administration’s goal of having EVs constitute 50 percent of all new cars sold in 2030, but only seven stations in total have been built in four states to date, according to the Post. The slow rollout of the EV charger funding is unfolding as the Biden administration has recently issued stringent emissions standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will result in significant increases of EV sales for all three classes of vehicle.

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States Focus on Squatting as TikToker Encourages Illegal Immigrants to ‘Invade’ Homes

Illegal immigrant being arrested

State and local officials are working to prevent property owners from having their residences taken over by squatters as a social media influencer from Venezuela encouraged illegal immigrants to “invade” homes in the U.S.

The issue of squatting has arisen in both Florida and Georgia, states fighting against squatting, while a New York City resident was arrested for trying to prevent a squatter from reentering her home. Squatting has become a concern with the influx of illegal immigrants as a Venezuelan national encouraged others to squat in Americans’ homes.

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Commentary: ‘Vice President J.D. Vance’ Could Be Just the Ticket We Need

JD Vance talking with people

Donald Trump has locked up the necessary delegates for the Republican presidential nomination, which means it’s time for every political junkie’s favorite quadrennial game: Veepstakes!

Every four years, commentators, political consultants, and elected officials all chime in with their takes on who a presidential candidate’s running mate should be. Perhaps the candidate ought to select a veep from a swing state. Perhaps the candidate ought to select someone who fits a certain demographic box. Maybe the candidate ought to pick someone with a very similar political philosophy—or perhaps someone whose ideological bona fides assuage any lingering concerns that party loyalists might harbor about the man at the top of the ticket. Or maybe it’s really as easy as picking someone who the presidential nominee simply likes and vibes with on a personal level.

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Proposal would Halt Taxpayer Money to Medical Schools Promoting Racial Bias

Reps Greg Murphy, Brad Wenstrup, and Burgess Owens (composite image)

Educating from the podium and advocating for the inclusion of all, congressmen led by North Carolina’s Dr. Greg Murphy and Ohio’s Dr. Brad Wenstrup on Tuesday introduced legislation that would halt taxpayer money from going to medical schools promoting racial bias.

Multiple speakers, both Black and white and at least one saying she’s neither Republican nor Democrat, drove home the message directly and indirectly that health care is about the patients and their outcomes. Collectively, they explained how the best care comes from the best in education, that all can access it, and the promotion of “critical race theory-based woke philosophy based on DEI” will put Americans’ lives at risk.

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Firm Tied to China’s Military Industrial Complex Plans to Roll Out Massive Battery Chemical Plants in U.S.

Shenzhen Capchem Technology plant floor

The Chinese manufacturer of chemicals for electric vehicle batteries planning to build two U.S. factories has long-standing ties to China’s military industrial complex, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

Capchem Technology USA, the wholly-owned subsidiary of China-based Shenzhen Capchem Technology (Capchem), plans to build factories in both Ohio and Louisiana that would produce components for electric vehicle batteries. Chinese government documents reveal the Chinese chemical giant was selected over a decade ago to conduct aerospace research for China’s military industrial complex as part of a program overseen by a blacklisted Chinese government agency.

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Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Blasts DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg for ‘Tokenizing’ People of Ohio

Ohio resident and newly announced Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy at a campaign stop in Iowa criticized President Joe Biden’s transportation chief for “leadership from behind.” “It’s sort of a token gesture, sort of a cascade of tokenism,” Ramaswamy told The Iowa Star at a campaign stop Thursday in Ankeny.

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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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Seven Midwest States Enter Hydrogen Coalition

Seven Midwest states entered a coalition to pursue clean hydrogen development as an alternative to gas and diesel fuel.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin signed onto the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition. The coalition will accelerate clean hydrogen development, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

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Commentary: Ohio Jobs Head for Right-to-Work States

As workers across the country look forward to a long Labor Day weekend, we feel compelled to alert policymakers of a robust movement of manufacturing and other jobs and opportunities from Ohio to Michigan and Indiana, our home states.

We have examined the employment impact of state right-to-work laws at the county level. Right-to-work laws simply say that no worker need be compelled to join or financially support a union. These laws allow for greater worker freedom, and evidence shows that they are a powerful economic development tool. Our study found mostly positive impacts for states with such protections and an unambiguously negative impact on the Buckeye State, which lacks a right-to-work law.

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Jim Renacci: I Will Lead the American Greatness Fund to Make Sure ‘the MAGA Movement Continues’

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed former Republican Ohio congressman Jim Renacci about his new position leading the American Greatness Fund. Renacci said he was joining the fund so that he could help revive the MAGA movement, and create scorecards to hold politicians accountable to the voters.

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Probable Cause Found in Blystone Financial-Reporting Probe; Election Commission Books Expedited Hearing One Day Before Election

Joe Blystone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) found probable cause to further investigate and decide two complaints filed against Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone’s campaign and booked a full-panel hearing for May 2, one day before the primary election.

Thursday, a Probable Cause panel comprised of commissioners D. Michael Crites (R), Charleta B. Tavares (D) and Ernest C. Knight (I) voted unanimously on an expedited investigation into cases that allege the Canal Winchester farmer and restauranteur improperly reported campaign contributions and expenditures and spent campaign funds for personal use.

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OH-9 Incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur Facing Uphill Battle for Re-election

OH-9 incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur is facing an uphill battle in her campaign for reelection.

Prior to redistricting, Ohio’s Ninth Congressional district was considered a safe seat for the current Democrat occupant. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight gave OH-9 a partisan rating of D+16. It now gives the district a R+6 rating.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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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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In Fallout over National School Board Group’s Letter to Biden About Parents, Ohio, Missouri Depart

Man standing in front of a room, giving a lecture with a presentation

The backlash from the incendiary language in a recent letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking for federal law enforcement to intervene on outspoken parents at school board meetings escalated this week when the group’s Ohio and Missouri chapters withdrew their respective memberships.

The Missouri School Boards Association in announcing its departure said the national group “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance.”

The Ohio chapter was more direct, saying in its letter Monday that its departure was a “direct result” of the Sept. 29 letter to Biden.

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Trump Won’t Commit to 2024 Run, Says He’ll Decide ‘in the Not Too Distant Future’

Former President Donald Trump did not commit to running for president in 2024 while on Fox News on Thursday, but said he’d make a decision “in the not too distant future.”

“I think you’ll be very happy,” Trump told host Greg Gutfeld. “I’ll make a decision in the not too distant future, but I love our country.”

Trump contradicted his previous statement to Sean Hannity in June, according to which he had already made a decision on whether he would run for president again.

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Amazon Plans to Open Department Stores

Amazon is planning to open department stores where consumers can purchase a variety of goods like clothing and electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The planned expansion of Amazon brick-and-mortar stores is the online retail giant’s latest attempt to disrupt the industry, according to a WSJ report Thursday. The Seattle-based company has recently expanded its brick-and-mortar grocery store footprint, opening 17 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide, and is developing at least 20 more, Bloomberg reported.

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