Nearly Three Million New Unemployment Claims Drives Two-Month Total to More Than 36 Million

New jobless claims continued their COVID-19 surge last week, driving the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to more than 36 million over the past two months.

Even as many states across the country began easing restrictions and slowly reopening their economies, 2.98 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 9, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Marsha Blackburn Promises Judiciary Committee Will ‘Bring Some Daylight’ to Michael Flynn Unmasking Matter

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) reacted to Wednesday’s bombshell news about prominent members of former President Barack Obama’s administration unmasking Michael Flynn.

Blackburn, in an emailed statement, said that in 2017 she expressed concerns about Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Specifically, the senator said she was concerned about Rice’s role in unmasking members of the Trump transition team on which Blackburn served. At the time, Blackburn wrote that Rice’s behavior appeared, “negligent at best and criminal at worst.” 

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Five Tennessee Government-Owned Internet Providers Misuse Public Resources, Watchdog Group Says

Five government-owned internet networks in Tennessee are among several others nationwide that don’t spend public money wisely and also steer business away from private competitors, according to a report a taxpayer watchdog group released Wednesday.

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Crom Carmichael Questions Dr. Fauci’s Coronavirus Data and Cites Inconsistencies with Keeping People Locked Down

On Wednesday’s 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 welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.

At the top of the third hour, Carmichael dissected Dr. Fauci’s recent claims and came to the conclusion that we are operating on models that have proven to be false.

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Bill Hagerty Releases New Video Highlighting Relationship Between Joe Biden Family and China

U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty this week released a digital video campaign ad highlighting what he called “Hunter Biden’s corrupt economic relationship with China” and criticized Joe Biden for defending the Chinese Communist regime.

Hagerty said Joe Biden should have held China accountable for jeopardizing the physical and economic health of millions around the globe. Hagerty said he was releasing the video as more incriminating information about Joe Biden’s closeness with Communist China surfaces.

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Judge Orders Paul Manafort Released from Prison to Home Confinement

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be released from prison to home confinement amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Manafort, 71, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on fraud and money-laundering charges. He was convicted in August 2018, sentenced to jail in March 2019 and scheduled to be released on Nov. 4, 2024.

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Tennessee Star’s National Correspondent Neil McCabe Discusses House Democrats’ New Coronavirus Bill Proposal

On Wednesday’s 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. – Michael Patrick Leahy and all-star panelist Crom Carmichael spoke with The Tennessee Star’s National Correspondent Neil McCabe.

During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill HR-6666 and whether the Republicans will vote to pass it. He was skeptical because of past patterns by Republicans who continuously vote to pass such bills regardless of the conservative opposition.

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Data Shows Michigan Residents Are Defying Gov. Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Orders

Michigan residents went out more last week, according to cell phone data reported by The New York Times, even as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to push her stay-at-home executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately one million more people began to move around the state between May 1 and MAy 8, to move around the state again, The NYT reported.

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Commentary: China’s Electrifying Rags-to-Riches Ascent – at America’s Expense

A friend of mine who traveled China from the 1970s until recently described what the country was like 30 years ago:

Its cities were sprawling, impoverished places with dirt roads and low-rise structures. With few automobiles in the country back then, the Chinese people got around mostly by rickshaws and bicycles. The country had only a few tall buildings and just two sizable airports, in Beijing, its capital, and Shanghai, its financial center. China had no modern highways, bridges or high-speed rails, and the only trains that traversed the country were pulled by antiquated steam engines.

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Gov. Bill Lee Not Keen on Voting by Mail in Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday that fear of catching COVID-19 is not reason enough to vote by mail in the coming elections.

“I think that what we want to do in this state is remove the reason to have fear about going to the polling booths. We have worked really really hard to set up businesses in a way that people can feel safe to go into them, and we’re going to do the same thing with our elections,” Lee said at a press conference Tuesday.

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State Rep. Bruce Griffey Requests AG Opinion on Constitutionality of Governor Lee’s COVID-19 Executive Orders

In a five-page letter to the state’s attorney general dated May 12, state Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) requested a legal opinion as to the constitutionality and authority of Governor Bill Lee in issuing executive orders in response to COVID-19.

In a press release about his inquiry, Griffey explained, “When I ran for office, I ran on a platform of small government, limited government – a campaign platform I intend to honor. Moreover, when I took my oath of office, I swore to not only support the Tennessee Constitution but also to not consent to any act or thing that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge the rights and privileges of the people of this state as declared by the Constitution of this State. I intend to uphold my oath of office, and defend the Constitutional rights of Tennesseans and protect them from government over-reach.

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University of Minnesota Students File Civil Rights Complaint Against School Alleging Misuse of Student Fees

Two students filed a civil rights complaint against the University of Minnesota for misuse of student fees and “worship[ing] the great god of political correctness.” Along with a student group called Viewpoint Neutrality Now!, students Evan Smith and Isaac Smith claim student fees being used to fund nine cultural centers in Coffman Union with subsidized space is unconstitutional, reported the Minnesota Daily.

Viewpoint Neutrality Now! is not officially recognized as a campus organization at UMN, but it is an association of students who pay student fees and “support and advocate for viewpoint neutrality and other reforms.” The students say that the current system has offered “preferential treatment” to nine cultural groups receiving student fees in that they are offered free lounge space in the student union.

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Democrats’ $3 Trillion ‘Relief’ Package Declared Dead-on-Arrival, Republicans Say

A new Democratic bill proposed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), without input from Republicans or the Trump administration is “dead on arrival,” top Republican leaders say.

The White House has said it wants to wait and see how the $3 trillion Congress already allocated will impact the economy and help Americans suffering from the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus.

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Emory Professor Xiao-Jiang Li Admits to Chinese Spy Ring Involvement

A former professor at Emory University pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns by failing to disclose $500,000 in income from Chinese sources.

The professor, Xiao-Jiang Li, worked at two Chinese universities as part of China’s Thousand Talents Program, according to the Department of Justice. Li was ordered to pay $35,089 in restitution and sentenced to one-year probation.

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Author Ben Teitelbaum Discusses the Reception of His Book ‘War for Eternity’

In a special interview on Wednesday’s 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.- Leahy and Carmichael welcome back Ben Teitelbaum who wrote the book called “War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers.”

During the third hour, Teitelbaum described his personal politics and admitted that because of its complex nature it was difficult for him to find a home within one political ideology. He went on to describe how his book has been received by different political points of view noting that it was the Jeb Bushes and Paul Ryans of the world that particularly seemed disturbed with Steve Banon.

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Facebook Is Giving $1,000 to Content Moderators Who Said Online Trolls Turned Them into Conspiracy Theorists

Facebook agreed to pay out a $52 million settlement to thousands of current and former content moderators who said they are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after viewing upsetting content on the job, The Verge reported Tuesday.

Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000 and will be eligible for additional compensation if they are exhibiting other trauma due to the kind of content they regularly view, the report noted. The settlement applies to 11,250 moderators, some of whom told The Verge in 2019 that they became conspiracy theorists while moderating content people post online.

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Conservatives Say Obhof’s Canceling Session Before Acton Vote is ‘Betrayal’

Conservatives are using words like “betrayal” to describe Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof’s late-night move to kill a vote on a bill to curb Dr. Amy Acton’s unrestrained powers in shutting the state down, and suggests he had an ulterior motive.

The Senate will not act this week on Senate Bill One pulling back the Health Department director’s powers, meaning it will likely fail, Fox 19 Now reported. The Senate is only having committee meetings this week and will hold a session next week.

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Jason Lewis Says Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar Have Made a Mockery of #MeToo Movement

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith have made a mockery of the #MeToo Movement by remaining silent in the face of sexual assault accusations against former Vice President Joe Biden, Senate candidate Jason Lewis said.

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Law on Takeovers of Underperforming Schools

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld a law that changed how the state intervenes with schools that consistently perform poorly. The court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the constitutionality of a law that shifts the operational control of a poorly-performing school from the elected school board to unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions.

Youngstown, Ohio, argued that the law stripped school boards of its power, according to AP News. The court said the school boards are currently set up in a way that does not require school board to receive any specific power.

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Buckeye Institute Supports Businesses Being Immune to COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony Wednesday to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies of Senate Bill 308, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

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Gov. Tim Walz Signs Six Bills, Skips Mail-in Election Bill

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed six bills into law on Tuesday on legislative topics ranging from health to underage marriage.

One law extends the funding used to increase testing capacity for the coronavirus pandemic, as well as ensure there are hospital beds and personal protective equipment. Another requires drug makers to provide a “detailed rationale to the state” for large price increases for drugs that cost $100 or more for a 30-day supply. A third prohibits marriage by residents in the state under age 18.

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Gov. Tim Walz Extends Peacetime Emergency Order Until Mid-June

Gov. Tim Walz announced late Wednesday that he will extend Minnesota’s peacetime emergency order for thirty days.

“Our actions have saved lives, but the threat of COVID-19 remains,” Walz said. “The next stages of this pandemic are going to challenge us – an extension of Minnesota’s peacetime emergency will allow us to protect Minnesotans’ health and wellbeing and continue to respond effectively to this rapidly-evolving situation.”

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Ohio’s Franklin County Experiences 11 Overdose Deaths This Past Weekend

Franklin County in Ohio saw another surge in drug-related overdoses last weekend, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the Franklin County coroner, told The Dispatch that 11 people had died.

Since the Wuhan virus came to Ohio, Franklin County has been one of state’s hardest-hit areas in terms of overdoses.

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Michigan Suspends License of Owosso Barber Who Opened During Lockdown

The state of Michigan has suspended the business license of the Owosso barber who was operating his shop in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Karl Manke originally reopened his barbershop, Karl Manke Main St. Barber & Beauty Shop, on May 4 and said he wore a mask, washed his hands between cuts, and sanitized his tools.

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Nashville Has Reportedly Suffered the Steepest COVID-19 Consumer Spending Drop in the Nation

Nashville has suffered the steepest drop in consumer spending of any major metropolitan area in the U.S due to COVID-19, according to a report Wednesday in the Nashville Business Journal.

The Journal used information obtained from Harvard’s new Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, working with Brown University and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to pull data from a variety of sources.

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