House Democrats Pass Police Funding Bills Amid Crime Crisis

House Democrats passed a package of bills on Thursday aimed at bolstering police funding and public safety after Republican lawmakers accused them of being soft on crime amid a surge in violent crime across the United States.

Lawmakers voted to pass four bills as part of the package: the Mental Health Justice Act of 2022, the Invest to Protect Act of 2022, the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, and the VICTIM Act of 2022.

The Mental Health Justice Act of 2022, sponsored by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), creates a grant program for states and local governments to train and dispatch mental health professionals to respond to emergencies involving behavioral health, as opposed to police.

Elsewhere, the Invest to Protect Act of 2022, sponsored by moderate Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), raises funding for smaller police departments that employ fewer than 200 law enforcement officers.

The Break the Cycle of Violence Act, sponsored by Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), provides grants to fund community violence intervention initiatives in areas with higher rates of homicides and community violence.

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who introduced the VICTIM Act, called its passing a “major win for America’s public safety,” and said it passed the U.S. House with support from Democrats and Republicans.

The bill provides funding to local police departments to hire victim support personnel along with investigators to aid in solving unsolved homicides and violent crimes.

Specifically, the legislation would “establish a Department of Justice grant program to hire, train, and retain detectives and victim services personnel to investigate shootings and support victims,” Demings said in a statement.

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DHS to spend almost $700,000 of taxpayers’ cash on studying “extremism” in video gaming

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded researchers a $699,768 grant to investigate extremism in gaming.

As reported by VICE, the money will go to Logically, a company committed to the issue of “bad” online behavior, Middlebury Institute’s Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC), and Take This, a nonprofit that specializes in mental health in video gaming.

“Over the past decade, video games have increasingly become focal points of social activity and identity creation for adolescents and young adults. Relationships made and fostered within game ecosystems routinely cross over into the real world and are impactful parts of local communities,” the grant announcement on the DHS website said. “Correspondingly, extremists have used video games and targeted video game communities for activities ranging from propaganda creation to terrorist mobilization and training.”

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White House Announces Massive $10 Billion Aid Package for Jordan

The Joe Biden administration rolled out a new assistance agreement with Jordan. Washington will send Amman $10.15 billion over the next seven years. The new deal will make Jordan the third largest recipient of American aid, following only Ukraine and Israel.

The White House signed the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Friday. The Biden administration first discussed the new agreement with Jordan on the sidelines of the Jeddah summit in July. The MOU is the largest aid package the US has ever signed with Amman.

Jordanian officials celebrated the aid, and claimed it was essential. “It’s an extremely important MOU. It speaks to the strong friendship the two countries have,” foreign minister Ayman Safadi said. He added, “The US has gone above and beyond for Jordan.”

The State Department stressed Amman’s strategic importance to America’s foreign policy goals in the Middle East. “The MOU represents a major commitment to Jordan’s stability and the durability of the strategic partnership,” the press release said.

While the US sees Jordan as an important partner in the Middle East, Washington and Amman do not see eye-to-eye on Syria policy. Jordan recently endorsed the Russian presence in Syria as “stabilizing.” Some of the aid will help Amman manage the 1.3 million Syrian refugees. The reconstruction of Syria is currently being stifled by American sanctions.

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Here Are the 90+ ‘Equity’ Plans Taxpayers Are Now Funding Across the Federal Government

Under the Biden administration, more than 90 federal agencies have pledged their commitment to equity by adopting action plans that put gender, race and other such factors at the center of their governmental missions.

The Equity Action Plans, which have received little notice since they were posted online last month following a document request from RealClearInvestigations, represent a “whole of government” fight against “entrenched disparities” and the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism.”

The equity blueprints show that:

  • The U.S. State Department is keen on exporting American-style gender and race consciousness into foreign diplomacy and across the globe. Citing “identity” and “intersections of marginalization” as focal points, State Department officials acknowledge that promoting these Western concepts in foreign lands may clash with “societal norms” and elicit an “unwillingness to cede power by dominant groups.”
  • The Environmental Protection Agency plans to tap into “community science” from tribal nations and other interest groups, in addition to relying on academic peer-reviewed research. As the agency shifts its enforcement focus from responding to complaints to proactively initiating its own investigations, the EPA plans to fund “community scientists” to supply evidence of what it calls environmental racism and other corporate practices to be targeted for federal investigation.
  • The Smithsonian Institution is embedding diversity and equity in “everything we do” across the labs and collections that make up the world’s largest museum complex. The Smithsonian has, like other agencies, enthroned a Head Diversity Officer position to coordinate these efforts, and will refocus its energies to explore “how race has informed all our lives” and affirm “the centrality of race in America.”

The Equity Action Plans are a response to an executive order President Biden signed on his first day of office in January 2021, committing his administration to pursuing “a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”

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Taxpayers to Be Held Liable After Black Pastor Arrested for Watering Flowers

On the day he was kidnapped and thrown in a cage, Pastor Michael Jennings had harmed no one, committed no crime and was actually being a good neighbor. He never thought that being asked to water his friend’s flower bed would lead to such a police interaction but thanks to ignorant and apparently-racial profiling cops in Alabama, that’s exactly what happened. Now, the taxpayers of Alabama will be held liable for the actions of the cops.

According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, Jennings, a longtime pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Church in Sylacauga, Ala., is being represented in his newly filed federal lawsuit by national civil rights attorney, Harry Daniels, and attorneys Bethaney Embry Jones, Joi Travis and Roderick Van Daniels. They hosted a news conference Saturday with the Alabama NAACP to discuss the case.

“I’m here for accountability, and I’m here for justice,” Jennings said.

“These poor judgment decisions reflect poorly on the type of training the Childersburg police officers receive … if they were acting in accordance within police guidelines,” Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton said in a statement to NPR.

As we reported at the time, Jennings was kidnapped by police in May — his kidnappers, two officers with the Childersburg police department. The entire interaction was captured on video.

According to police, they showed up at Jennings’ neighbor’s house that day claiming they received a call about a suspicious person. Being that Jennings has lived in the neighborhood for years and is long time friends of his neighbors, he is hardly suspicious yet police would use this claim to violate his rights.

As the video shows, Jennings is literally watering his neighbor’s flowers when police show up because this is exactly what his neighbors had asked. When the unidentified officer asks the pastor what he is doing, Jennings told him that he had just gotten back from conducting church and he stopped at his neighbor’s home to water their flowers because they had asked him to do so.

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Former Gov. Phil Bryant helped Brett Favre secure welfare funding for USM volleyball stadium, texts reveal

Text messages entered Monday into the state’s ongoing civil lawsuit over the welfare scandal reveal that former Gov. Phil Bryant pushed to make NFL legend Brett Favre’s volleyball idea a reality.

The texts show that the then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so that it could be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services – even after Bryant ousted the former welfare agency director John Davis for suspected fraud.

“Just left Brett Favre,” Bryant texted nonprofit founder Nancy New in July of 2019, within weeks of Davis’ departure. “Can we help him with his project. We should meet soon to see how I can make sure we keep your projects on course.”

When Favre asked Bryant how the new agency director might affect their plans to fund the volleyball stadium, Bryant assured him, “I will handle that… long story but had to make a change. But I will call Nancy and see what it will take,” according to the filing and a text Favre forwarded to New.

The newly released texts, filed Monday by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show that Bryant, Favre, New, Davis and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. Favre received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility.

Bryant has for years denied any close involvement in the steering of welfare funds to the volleyball stadium, though plans for the project even included naming the building after him, one text shows.

New, a friend of Bryant’s wife Deborah, ran a nonprofit that was in charge of spending tens of millions of flexible federal welfare dollars outside of public view. What followed was the biggest public fraud case in state history, according to the state auditor’s office. Nonprofit leaders had misspent at least $77 million in funds that were supposed to help the needy, forensic auditors found.

New pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts related to the scheme, and Davis awaits trial. But neither Bryant nor Favre have been charged with any crime.

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IRS unmasked: Away from politics, America’s tax agency has lots of warts, and ammunition

The Internal Revenue Service has long been a political football. Democrats alleged that in the 1960s it was used by Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon to subvert civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activists, while Republicans alleged a decade ago it wrongly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups.

More recently, Democrats have argued the tax agency needs $80 billion in new enforcement to end tax cheating and ease budget deficits, while Republicans say the new spending signed by President Joe Biden will only create an army of 87,000 armed agents intent on wreaking havoc on the middle and working classes.

With so much emotion, scandal and political rhetoric, it’s sometimes hard for everyday Americans to sort fact from fiction. So the team here at Just the News did a deep dive to put together a list of facts about the IRS that aren’t in dispute, from whom it audits to why it buys ammunition and arms its agents.

As Sludge Pours from Mississippi Sinks, Biden Admin Seeks $13 Billion MORE for UKRAINE

According to Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, although the water treatment plant finally failed in August, the system “has been failing for decades” and nothing is being done.

“I have said on multiple occasions that it’s not a matter of if our system would fail, but a matter of when our system would fail,” Lumumba said.

Even before it failed, the city had been on a months-long boil notice because of a warning over disease carrying bacteria in the water supply. Since 2016, officials knew about the corrosion of the system and inadequate treatment — yet nothing was done — and now sludge pours from Jackson residents’ water taps.

Lumumba estimates that it would take roughly $1 billion to get the systems back up and running in a safe capacity but they don’t have it. This is particularly perplexing to many folks who have watched a record amount of US taxpayer dollars in recent months flow outside of the United States and into Ukraine.

Since the war in Ukraine began in February, Biden authorized $1.3 billion followed by an additional $13.6 billion. This original $15 billion of your tax dollars that got dumped into Ukraine to arm literal Nazis in the region was offensive enough but it was just the tip of the iceberg. In May, the House passed yet another massive spending bill, authorizing another $40 billion in your tax dollars to arm Nazis and keep the country at war. And they show no signs of slowing down.

Since then, various packages of cash and weapons of mass destruction, ranging from just a few hundred million to a billion, have flowed into the arms of welcoming Ukrainian politicians and military leaders.

In late August, the Pentagon announced that yet another $775 million would be sent to Ukraine. As Antiwar.com reported, this was the eighteenth weapons package to Ukraine in six months. But that wasn’t enough, apparently.

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