An Unprecedented Day at the Tennessee General Assembly

In the wake of the developing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent declarations of emergencies by President Trump and Governor Bill Lee, the Tennessee General Assembly experienced its most unprecedented day in its history.

Monday started with access to the Cordell Hull Building limited to elected members, staff and members of the media. Anyone arriving at the home of the legislature would have been greeted to taped signs on the locked doors reading, “This Property is closed to the Public. If you need Assistance Call 741-7860.”

Not surprisingly under the conditions, the hallways, lobby areas, and cafeteria were all but deserted.

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Commentary: With Joe Biden’s Comeback, the Establishment Comes Out of Hiding

Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday comeback is something to be both relished and feared. It is an outrageous, grimly comical turn of events: a 77-year old man who refers to the Declaration of Independence as “the thing” and who seemed to be confused about his own last name is now a leading contender for the White House.

As funny as it may be on the surface, there is something dark and sad about Biden’s rise. The Democratic Party establishment knows Biden is unfit for office. They don’t care. With Biden, the political machinery that usually operates in hiding, in the shadows, has come out into the light, in aviator sunglasses and a sunny grin. The powers-that-be are declaring, openly, that their right to rule will not be reined in by anything, least of all the perception that they are incompetent and out of touch.

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Immigration Hearings Across US Postponed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The Department of Justice has ordered all initial immigration courtroom hearings in the month ahead to be postponed, following outcry from an unlikely coalition of immigration prosecutors, attorneys, and judges.

In a public statement issued on Twitter, the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) announced late Sunday night that all master calendar hearings scheduled between Monday and April 10 would be put on hold. The announcement marked one of the latest decisions to halt procedures due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

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Manny Sethi Schedules Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall for Thursday

U.S. Republican senatorial candidate Manny Sethi announced Monday he will host a tele-town hall this coming Thursday on Facebook to discuss the Coronavirus.

According to a press release, Sethi has scheduled his Coronavirus town hall for noon central Thursday on Facebook.

People may submit questions and get more information by going to Sethi’s campaign website.

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Metro Councilman At-Large Steve Glover Urges City Officials to Think Through Decisions and Their Consequences as Music City Shuts Down

During the top of the third hour on Monday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, Metro Councilman Steve Glover gave his take on how he thought the city of Nashville may have made drastic decisions without thoroughly thinking through the consequences. He suggested that the city needs to look at the economic impact of all the things that have occurred to us over the last two to three weeks as our number one priority.

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Richard Grenell Denies Reports Suggesting Trump Wants Exclusive Access to a German Vaccine

U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told his Twitter followers Sunday afternoon that the a report from Welt am Sonntag German newspaper discussing Trump’s offer is “not true.”

“The Welt story was wrong. But Business Insider, Reuters and others went with it anyway despite not having their own sources. Now everyone is back peddling,” Grenell said in his Sunday afternoon tweet.

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Commentary: The U.S. Economy Will Weather the Chinese Coronavirus

American Spirit

President Donald Trump praised the Federal Reserve for cutting the federal funds rate to a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, and restarting quantitative easing with $500 billion of U.S. treasuries purchases and $200 billion of mortgage purchases in response to the Chinese coronavirus global pandemic.

“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.” Trump has been hounding the Fed for years to cut interest rates to make the dollar more competitive against trading partners’ currencies including the yuan, euro and peso. Now he gets his wish.

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Commentary: The History of How Saint Patrick’s Day Played a Key Role in Irish Nationhood

Traditionally, March 17 was a day to remember St Patrick, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the 5th century. But over time, the day has evolved to represent a celebration of Irish culture more generally. Today, as with Halloween and Christmas, the true meaning of the celebration has been watered down even further. Now, it is just as likely to be marked by non-Irish people who use it as an excuse to consume large quantities of alcohol and dress as leprechauns.

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Steve Bannon Discusses the Potential Impact the Coronavirus Could Have on the United States and What We Can Learn from Other Infected Countries

Steve Bannon

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by War Room Pandemic host Steve Bannon.

During the third hour, Bannon gave his take on how the coronavirus could be managed in the United States based on the math proven in other countries. He described the dramatic steps that governor’s in Washington were taking around the nation and urged the public to take the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread until it becomes manageable.

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Report: HHS Computer System Hit with a Cyber Attack from a Potential Foreign Actor

Hackers seized upon a U.S. Health and Human Services Department computer system Sunday during the government’s public response to the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The cyber attack was designed to slow down the U.S. response and toss a wrench into the gears of the HHS’s computer system, Bloomberg noted, citing three sources who requested commenting anonymously to discuss something that was not yet public.

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Students to College Administrators: ‘Send Us Home – Pay Us Back’

Students at one New York university have gathered to demand that their school close campus and give them their money back. 

After an increasing number of universities nationwide have closed their doors and extended their spring breaks amid coronavirus concerns, students at Stony Brook University have begun to protest and demand refunds from the school’s administration.

While Stony Brook has moved to online courses, students have not yet been dismissed from campuses.

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Whitmer Orders All Bars, Restaurants, Theaters and More to Close

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a sweeping executive order Monday that orders the closure of several public places in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the executive order, the following places of public accommodation were required to close: restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

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Michigan Coronavirus Cases Up to 53

Michigan currently has 53 confirmed cases of the coronavirus after 20 more cases were recently confirmed, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Sunday.

The virus, identified by medical professionals as COVID-19, has been confirmed in seven different counties: Washtenaw County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Kent County, Wayne County, Ottawa County and St. Clair County. It has also been confirmed in the city of Detroit.

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Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Those Impacted by the Coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order extending unemployment benefits for Michigan workers impacted by the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Under the expanded eligibility, unemployment benefits are available to workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid time off; workers who have “unanticipated family care responsibility” such as ill family or additional childcare responsibility due to school closures; and first responders who are ill or quarantined because of the coronavirus. The extended eligibility is in effect until April 14.

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The State of Ohio Will Buy Back Excess Liquor from Restaurants and Bars

Ohio is buying excess liquor from restaurants as state leaders continue to roll out measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the Buckeye State.

Under DeWine’s order, restaurants with take-out and delivery options can still operate, and the state Department of Commerce is offering a “one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants.” The move is an effort to help restaurants that stockpiled “high-proof liquor” leading up to St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday.

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Ohio Hides Number of Coronavirus Tests It Is Conducting

Ohio leaders are so busy sending restaurant workers to the unemployment line over fears of the coronavirus they apparently do not have time to actually test for the presence of the virus among their citizens, nor do they want you to know how many they have tested.

As Monday afternoon, Ohio had 50 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Out of 551 tests that have been taken, 140 were negative and 361 results are pending.

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Minnesota Legislature Will Meet on As Needed Basis for Next 30 Days, Bars and Restaurants Ordered Shut

The Minnesota Legislature will be meeting on an “on-call” basis for the next 30 days, leaders announced Monday morning.

During that time, much of their legislative work will focus on responding to the coronavirus outbreak, which reached 54 confirmed cases in the state as of Monday afternoon.

“Over the next few weeks, the Minnesota Legislature will continue to work, but by alternative means. We expect to operate efficiently and safely to aid Minnesotans with COVID-19 preparedness and response, and to continue our work to address other pressing needs of the state,” leaders of both the House and Senate said in a joint statement.

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Government Red Tape May Keep Nashville Business Owners from Getting Tax Relief During Coronavirus Emergency

Nashville Democratic Mayor John Cooper hinted Monday that city officials will help businesses in the city that have either had to shut down or limit capacity because of the Coronavirus emergency, per city orders.

Will city officials offer tax relief?

Metro officials say a maze of government rules complicate matters.

On Sunday members of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville and Davidson County declared a public health emergency that forced business owners to either close their doors or limit capacity, according to the city’s website.

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