Friday | October 22nd, 2021

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It’s Friday, October 22nd, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Attorney General Testifies Before Congress 

The Topline: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testified to Congress on Thursday regarding several issues, including his recent memo calling on the FBI to investigate threats of violence against teachers and school board meetings. 

Quote Of The Day: The Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish… That is not what the memorandum is about at all.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

The Hearing

Garland’s recent memo to DOJ employees announced that the FBI would investigate threats or intimidation by parents against school boards. Many viewed this as an attempt to silence parents who disagree with school policy by labeling them as “domestic terrorists.”

Critical Race Theory (CRT) was also featured in the memo, adding to the widespread outrage.

Critical Race Theory 

Loudoun County Public Schools has been the subject of many CRT-related reports, as well as a sexual assault scandal reported by The Daily Wire. 

Representative Chip Roy questioned Garland on the sexual assault scandal, but Garland repeatedly claimed he wasn’t familiar with the case.

When the subject of CRT in schools came up during questioning, Garland refused to answer whether or not he sought ethics guidance regarding his family connections to a company which promotes CRT in schools.

Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images

2) Police Nationwide Fight Vaccine Mandates

The Topline: As vaccine mandates go into effect at police departments in several major cities, some officers are pushing back.

NYC, Chicago

After New York City announced a vaccine mandate on Wednesday, New York’s largest police union said it will initiate legal action – as fewer than 70% of the New York Police Department is vaccinated. 

In Chicago, city employees were required to report their vaccination status on Friday, but over 3,200 Chicago cops are refusing to do so, according to the Fraternal Order of Police.

The Fraternal Order of Police and the city of Chicago have sued each other over the mandate, with the police union president, John Catanzara, arguing the vaccine mandate is illegal because the city did not negotiate its terms with the police union.

San Francisco

San Francisco was the first major city to require all of its employees to get vaccinated. 

As of Wednesday, 40 San Francisco police officers were on leave because they hadn’t received a COVID vaccine, according to the San Francisco Police Officers Association. In total, as of Tuesday, 93 officers hadn’t submitted proof of vaccination, including 46 active-duty officers. 

The police union said last week that no religious or medical exemptions had been granted so far. 

Unvaccinated officers will be suspended without pay on November 1st, and get a hearing before they’re fired.

Crime Point: Cities nationwide are dealing with crime spikes and officer shortages. The San Francisco Police Officers Association said the city “is experiencing a shooting and retail theft epidemic and fewer officers will only make things worse.”

Mario Tama/Staff/Getty Images

3) National Guard Considered For Supply Chain Fix

The Topline: As the worldwide supply chain backup continues to worsen, the Biden administration is considering deploying the National Guard to help alleviate backups at ports around the country. 

Discussions

According to reports, the White House has considered having states deploy National Guard units to help unload cargo ships at ports and offer logistical support to manufacturers. 

There are currently 80,000 trucking positions unfilled, and the White House has reportedly also looked into the legality of having troops serve as truck drivers.

Federal Response

In June, the White House created a Supply Chain Disruptions task force. 

The Department of Transportation is also working with states to loosen the requirements for a trucking license, which would result in more drivers. 

Last week, the White House announced they’re rolling out a new plan to keep ports in Los Angeles — where delays are the worst — operating 24/7.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they’d be sending $3 billion to companies in the food industry to be spent on increased transportation costs, labor, and expanded meat and poultry production. 

Public Reaction

A poll this week showed 54% of Americans say they’ve experienced delays or shortages when trying to buy common products.

Food prices are up almost 5% compared to the same time last year, and food prices globally are at a ten-year high. 

Kraft, Nestle, and Pepsi have all warned they’ve been hit hard by inflation and supply chain shortages, and will have to start raising prices even more in the coming months to stay profitable. 

George Rose/Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

In-N-Out

San Francisco temporarily shut down In-N-Out burger this week to punish the popular burger chain for refusing to enforce the city’s vaccine card mandate. The mandate requires some private businesses, like restaurants, to enforce the vaccine check at the door. “We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” In-N-Out’s chief legal and business officer told the press. “It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant Associates to segregate Customers into those who may be served and those who may not…”

Coach Rolovich 

An attorney representing recently fired Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich has stated that the former coach intends to sue the school saying the termination was “unjust and unlawful.” Rolovich — a devout Catholic — was fired due to the state of Washington’s vaccine mandate and was denied a religious exemption.

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