White House Coronavirus Task Force Advisor Deborah Birx Recommends Masks Statewide in Tennessee

Dr. Deborah Birx, a top White House Coronavirus Task Force advisor, advised all mayors in Tennessee to mandate use of masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Birx said that right now, 70 percent of Tennessee counties have mask mandates in place, but she said requirements are needed in every county.

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Commentary: Time to Grab Some Popcorn as Attorney Lin Wood Agrees to Take on Carter Page’s Case

Lin Wood, the attorney representing a Kentucky teenager in a number of defamation lawsuits against major media outlets, announced a settlement Friday with the Washington Post. The terms of the agreement between the family of Nicholas Sandmann – the Covington Catholic High School student accused of disrespecting a “native elder” while wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat during the January 2019 March for Life – remain secret. 

Wood and Sandmann settled a similar lawsuit against CNN earlier this year. Cases still are pending against NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Gannett.

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Nashville Attorney Jim Roberts Talks Progress With the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to talk about the number of petitions he’s received for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act and how it will appear on the ballot.

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After Talk of Collaboration, College Football Conferences Go Their Own Way

Plans for the 2020 college football season — if it is played — should start coming into focus this week.

They will trickle down from the top of major college football, with Power Five conferences putting in place revised schedules they hope will make it easier to manage potential disruptions brought on by COVID-19.

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Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler Says Antifa Violence in Portland is ‘a Myth’

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York said antifa violence in Portland is a myth in a YouTube video published Monday.

Nadler made the comment during an interview with Austen Fletcher. Fletcher hosts Fleccas Talks, a political channel, according to the Dartmouth Review.

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Senate Republicans Propose New $1 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

Senate Republicans’ latest COVID-19 stimulus package proposes another round of direct payments to Americans and more enhanced federal unemployment benefits for workers who lose their jobs during coronavirus restrictions.

The $1 trillion package, called the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act was released Monday.

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Wealthy Donors Pour Millions into Fight over Mail-In Voting

Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over $100 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump’s fate in the November election.

In the battleground of Wisconsin, cash-strapped cities have received $6.3 million from an organization with ties to left-wing philanthropy to help expand vote by mail. Meanwhile, a well-funded conservative group best known for its focus on judicial appointments is spending heavily to fight cases related to mail-in balloting procedures in court.

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NASA’s Next Mars Rover Sports Brawn, Brains, and Even a Helicopter

With eight successful Mars landings, NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover.

The spacecraft Perseverance — set for liftoff this week — is NASA’s biggest and brainiest Martian rover yet.

It sports the latest landing tech, plus the most cameras and microphones ever assembled to capture the sights and sounds of Mars. Its super-sanitized sample return tubes — for rocks that could hold evidence of past Martian life — are the cleanest items ever bound for space. A helicopter is even tagging along for an otherworldly test flight.

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Commentary: LARPers Lament as Real Life-and-Death Consequences Come to Austin

There’s a term, and an acronym, that every American interested in following the rank stupidity of this summer’s occurrences in America’s blue cities ought to be familiar with.

The term is Live-Action Role Playing, and the acronym is LARPing. What you’re seeing on the streets of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Austin, and other cities are textbook examples of this phenomenon playing out.

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Swing Voters in Michigan Focus Group Say They Are Voting for Trump, Call Biden a ‘Puppet:’ Report

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not mentally fit for the presidency, and he would likely become a “puppet” for the “deep state,” several Michigan of swing voters said during an Axios focus group session released Monday.

The focus group included nine people who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 but voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. Seven of the nine swing voters said would vote for Trump in November’s election, Axios noted in a report Monday on the group.

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New Durable-Goods Orders Rise Again in June

New orders for durable goods posted a second consecutive month of rebound in June, rising 7.3 percent following a gain of 15.1 percent in May. The two gains followed drops of 18.3 percent in April and 16.7 percent in March. If transportation equipment is excluded, new orders for durable goods increased 3.3 percent in June following a 3.6 percent rise in May. Durable-goods orders had been holding above the $200 billion level since May 2011 before posting sharp declines in March and April (see first chart). New orders for June are back above the $200 billion threshold, totaling $206.9 billion, but are still 21.9 percent below June 2019.

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Democrats Seek Coronavirus Aid Bill Provision to Limit Federal Agents from Patrolling Cities

Senate Democrats are planning to insert a provision in the coronavirus relief bill that would place restrictions on the Trump administration’s ability to send federal agents to help quell protests in cities across the country.

The provision would require federal agents to identify themselves, use marked vehicles and stay on federal property rather than patrol city streets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, according to NBC News. Local officials including mayors and governors would need to approve the use of federal agents patrolling streets.

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Minnesota Sees ‘Return’ of Vaping-Related Lung Injuries

Minnesota health officials warned Friday of a possible resurgence of lung injuries related to vaping, saying they’ve had 11 reported cases in the past two months.

The state Health Department asked medical providers to watch for additional cases. Officials also said the coronavirus has made it more difficult to identify vaping-related cases because the symptoms can be similar. All 11 cases — with a median age of 18 — required hospitalization and some needed ventilators.

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Virginia’s New COVID-19 Workplace Standards Amount to Unfunded Mandates on Businesses

Virginia business groups are decrying the expanded COVID-19 regulations adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry, which include unfunded mandates and additional training and sanitization requirements.

Virginia became the first state to adopt temporary COVID-19 workplace safety and health standards last week through a vote by the department’s Health Codes Board, which did not consider many of the concerns from business associations.

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Conservative Organizations Call For Next Ohio House Speaker to Have Character, Be Supporter of Faith and Family

Even as the Ohio House of Representatives looks to replace disgraced Speaker Larry Householder, a coalition of conservative organizations is urging lawmakers to be thoughtful in how they do so.

Householder and four others were arrested July 21 in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe in connection with the Legislature’s 2019 bailout of FirstEnergy and its nuclear power plants.

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City of Detroit Seeking Photos of Coronavirus Victims for Memorial

The City of Detroit is seeking photos of those who lost their lives to the coronavirus to display as part of a city memorial event.

Detroit will host Detroit Memorial Day on August 31 to honor city residents who died because of COVID-19, Mayor Mike Duggan announced earlier this month. The city plans to install large photo boards with the submitted pictures along a route on Belle Isle.

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty for Serial Killer

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentences of convicted serial killer Michael Madison last week. Madison, who was convicted of murdering three women after confessing to killing one, claimed that he did not recall killing the two others. The 2013 conviction was not without controversy however, as the defense took issue with several aspects of the prosecution including psychiatric reports, jury selection, and even the constitutionality of the death penalty.

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Minnesota’s Gov Walz to Review Extensive Police Reform Bill

Minnesota’s House and Senate approved the SSHF1 amendment last Monday, a big bill positioned to issue widespread police reform throughout the state. Since its passage 102-29 in the House and 60-7 in the Senate, the bill now rests in the hands of Governor Tim Walz. 

SSHF1 is as long as it is weighty in its impact, with around 15 action items up for approval. Not only does it endeavor to further define legal use of force, but it creates and funds an administrative host of units, councils, and boards.

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Out-of-Control Teenagers Cause Disturbance at Memphis Golf Park

A group of patrons, apparently teenagers, went on a rampage Saturday at Memphis’ Golf and Games Family Park and damaged nearly $500 worth of property, according to an employee.

This, General Manager Aaron Bos said, after several parents dropped their kids off at the park and left them unsupervised. Authorities did not arrest any of the unruly patrons, and no one was injured. But someone recorded the incident on video, and law enforcement officers are currently trying to identify the aggressors based off of that, Boss added.

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