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7 Things: Fiscal responsibility led to surplus; knife-wielding murderer fears the needle; and more …

7. San Francisco was racist, now it is just dumb

  • San Francisco announced its black residents deserve $5 million in reparations each, and debt forgiveness. The city says that while slavery was never legal there, black residents are owed compensation for decades of racist policies and discrimination. The city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee said they settled on $5M not through a “math formula,” but as a result of a “journey.” San Francisco admits that this number is entirely unrealistic, even if funded by their weed tax, which only brings in $10.25 million a year. 
  • To qualify, black residents must meet two of the following criteria: “Born in San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and has proof of residency in San Francisco for at least 13 years, and/or, Personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs.” Which is … odd.

6. The air in Palestine is toxic

  • A review of the Environmental Protection Agency data found that the air in Palestine, Ohio, is in fact toxic and if it remains that way it will lead to long-term impacts on the health of residents.
  • The impact of this pollution in the long-term could be damaging but it would require months of exposure, according to researchers. The danger of health issues is still real.

5. Just ban TikTok already

  • The White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from all government devices within 30 days due to increasing concerns about how the Chinese government will use U.S. user data. Sen. Marco Rubio stressed, “It’s the massive amount of data that they’re collecting, not on one 16-year-old, not on a thousand 16-year-olds, but on millions and millions of Americans that give them commercial advantages, potentially the advantage of being able to shape American public opinion in a time of crisis.”
  • Now Republicans plan to push a bill that would give Biden the ability to ban TikTok from the U.S. entirely. Unless Elon Musk resuscitates Vine. Canada, India, and several other countries have already banned TikTok partially or entirely.

4. Fentanyl crisis spike is Biden’s fault, but the entire system is a disaster

  • U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) recently visited Yuma, Ariz., to analyze the ongoing border crisis and drug trafficking. 107,000 U.S. citizens have died from fentanyl poisoning, and that number is only increasing. California just seized 232 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill 50 million people, and valued at over $3 million. They didn’t catch them at the border, but 75 miles inland during a traffic stop.
  • Moore is clearly exasperated, “In Yuma, sheriffs told me … we seize about half [the drugs] and the other half is coming through these open holes in border where we stopped construction on the wall and did away with the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. To add insult to injury, these people come in through the border and turn themselves into the border patrol agents and then get a notice to appear in court which entitles them to subsidies to the tune of about $800 a month per person.”

3. Protesters camp out, teachers union flips out

  • Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from two cases against Biden’s executive order which would offer student loan forgiveness. One case was brought by Republican states who claim Biden exceeded his executive authority and used COVID-19 to fulfill his campaign promises when such a program should pass through Congress. The other case was brought by two individuals who didn’t qualify for the program. 
  • The real show took place outside the Court, with protesters camping out to demand loan forgiveness, and Randi Weingarton, president of the American Federation of Teachers, working herself up into a hysterical speech. She claimed if we could give businesses financial help during a global pandemic, we should cancel student debt or “that is not right, that is not fair.” This is ridiculous, so Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin suggested the same thing, they all ignore that these were congressional actions, not just vote-buying schemes.

2. Is an execution botched if the killer dies?

  • The Alabama Department of Alabama has announced the death penalty can resume. But now death row inmate Kenneth Smith, a preacher’s wife stabber, has questioned whether the ADOC’s internal review has actually improved their ability to complete a lethal injection. His lawyers ineptly argued, “If ADOC could not place IV lines in Mr. Smith in more than one hour when it attempted to execute him in November, there is no reason to believe that ADOC will have greater success with more time during a second attempt…” Time is a factor, but more time should make sure this murder gets pricked and dies.
  • This completely legal gamesmanship delays the process and creates a time crunch, it is done to run out the clock. It’s not Smith’s veins that are at fault, ADOC botched three different executions over a four-month period for the exact same reason – they can’t seem to hire workers capable of inserting an IV into a vein in time, but that has changed. Now legal groups are calling for an independent review because the state won’t share information with Smith’s lawyers. 

1. Alabama was responsible with federal money, this is why they have a surplus

  • In a state budget hearing last week, state Finance Director Bill Poole emphasized that Alabama efficiently handled the federal funds allocated to the state from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In particular, Alabama kept administrative costs low, below 1% of total funds. They believe that number could be better than any other state’s.
  • No negative reports came out during auditing, either. Poole said, “Those funds were administered very quickly and very efficiently through the Department of Finance, to the receiving entity, and out to field.” He hopes these findings will give Alabamians confidence as the state prepares to receive an additional $1.1 billion in federal money and decide what to do with it.

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