New Unemployment Claims Decrease to 837,000, Beat Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 837,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Sept. 19, in which there were 870,000 new jobless claims reported.

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Fox 17 Reports Nashville Bars and Restaurants Account for Less Than One-Half of One Percent of Virus Cases

Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.

Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.

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Commentary: When Trump Won the Debate

The crucial moment in Tuesday night’s debate was near the end when Joe Biden invited President Trump to throw the Proud Boys under the bus, and the president refused to do it. The president was asked by moderator Chris Wallace “to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland.” Trump replied, “Sure, I’m willing to do that,” but then added that “almost everything I see” in terms of violence “is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing. I’m willing to do anything.… I want to see peace.”

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DOJ Lawyer Who Signed Carter Page Spy Warrants Now Regrets Doing So

The Justice Department attorney who signed the four surveillance warrant applications against Carter Page says they would not have done had they known of the information withheld by the FBI, according to a letter sent to the Senate this month.

Sen. Lindsey Graham read portions of the letter at the beginning of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday.

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Majority of Spanish Speaking Telemundo Viewers Say Trump Won Debate

A majority of Spanish speaking viewers of Telemundo think President Trump won the presidential debate Tuesday night with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, according to a poll by the cable TV network.

During post-debate coverage, Telemundo anchors displayed a poll showing that 66% of Spanish speaking viewers thought Trump emerged victorious, compared to 34% who thought Biden won.

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Judge Approves $800M Payout Plan for Vegas Shooting Victims

A court on Wednesday approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

The action makes final a deal announced earlier this month and settles dozens of lawsuits on the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 at an open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay resort.

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Jack Windsor of The Ohio Star Discusses His National Story About Mom Being Tased Over Not Wearing a Mask

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor to the show to highlight his national breaking story.

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Nine People Cited for McCloskey Home Standoff Won’t Face Charges, St Louis Officials Say

The nine people who were cited for allegedly trespassing on Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s property during a June standoff will not be prosecuted, St. Louis officials announced Tuesday.

The group was issued summonses during the beginning of September, but City Counselor Michael Garvin said “prosecution is not warranted” and the arrestees would not have to face criminal proceedings, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Kamala Harris Dodges Court Packing Question Following Debate

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris dodged questions about whether or not her party would seek to add Supreme Court justices if Republicans were to confirm a justice before the November election.

“There should be consideration to adding seats to the U.S. Supreme Court,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said following the first presidential debate on Tuesday. “Neither you nor Joe Biden are willing to give a straight answer as to whether or not you’re willing to entertain that idea.”

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Tennessee to Receive Two Million COVID-19 Rapid Tests from White House

Governor Bill Lee announced during the weekly Tuesday briefing that Tennessee will receive around 2 million rapid viral tests for COVID-19. The tests from BinaxNOW will come in staggered shipments throughout the end of the year.
BinaxNOW tests are significantly more cost-effective and quicker at giving results. They are also more comfortable than the standard deep nasal swab. Instead of going up the nose and into the back of the throat, swabs will go just inside the nose.

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Commentary: A Wealth Tax Is Practically and Morally Bankrupt

Joe Biden hopes that his proposals to raise taxes significantly will propel him to victory on Election Day. Biden plans to increase the corporate tax rate by 33 percent, raise individual tax rates, and eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll tax. According to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, Biden’s tax plan will reduce national GDP and ordinary earners’ incomes. 

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Campus Survey: 42 Percent of Students Say Their College Doesn’t Empower Free Speech

Conservative students on college campuses across the U.S. are more likely to self-censor than their more liberal classmates out of fear of backlash or retribution, according to a first-of-its-kind student survey commissioned by RealClearEducation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The survey is the largest of its kind – canvasing 20,000 students at 55 U.S. colleges and universities about their experiences with free speech on campuses. Conducted by College Pulse, the survey ranks schools according to how open and tolerant students say they are, among several other criteria, and includes numerous student comments about their experiences.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Speaks at UT-Martin for Constitution Day

Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby spoke to University of Tennessee at Martin (UT-Martin) students for Constitution Day on September 17.

Kirby spoke to about 50 students via Zoom, said Student Government Association President Hunter McCloud. McCloud told The Tennessee Star that Kirby spoke about the rule of law.

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Virus Outbreak Pushes Steelers-Titans to Monday or Tuesday

The Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday after a new positive coronavirus test result Wednesday among the Titans, the NFL announced Wednesday.

The NFL said a new date and time would be announced as soon as possible and that the postponement would allow additional time for further testing.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Tennessee Court of Appeals School Voucher Ruling and Questions Judges’ Motives

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss the recent ruling deeming the ESA and school voucher programs for Davidson and Shelby Counties unconstitutional.

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Commentary: The Third Worlding of America

Whether it is forest fires caused by decrepit infrastructure, the use of intelligence agencies to target domestic political opponents, growing inequality, or a rejection of our political traditions, America more and more feels like a third world country.

First, consider what it meant to be a first world country. This has always been a small club: the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and, more recently, Singapore and South Korea made the cut. 

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Country Star and Hit Elvis Songwriter Mac Davis Dies at 78

Country star Mac Davis, who launched his career crafting the Elvis hits “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” and whose own hits include “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” has died. He was 78.

His longtime manager Jim Morey said in a press release that Davis died in Nashville on Tuesday after heart surgery and was surrounded by family and friends.

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Adidas Touts Donations to Minnesota Freedom Fund, Which Bailed Out Convicted Domestic Abusers, Man Accused of Sexually Penetrating Child

Athletic apparel giant Adidas is still touting its donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bailed out a lengthy list of alleged violent criminals, including multiple convicted domestic abusers and a man accused of sexually penetrating a child.

Adidas ran a Twitter advertisement Tuesday that linked to a page on its website showcasing Adidas’s efforts to create “meaningful and lasting change” on the issue of racial justice, which includes matching employee donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund by 200%.

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Gov. DeWine Sends Mixed Signals on Mask Orders

  Last week The Ohio Star broke the story of Alecia Kitts.  She is the Ohio mom who was tased, arrested and escorted from a football stadium because she refused to wear a mask at her son’s middle school football game – consequently, Kitts was charged with criminal trespass, resisting…

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Northam Vows to Count Every Ballot – the Fraudulent Ones, Too

Governor Ralph Northam joined 10 other Democratic governors issuing a joint statement on Wednesday defending American democracy, vowing that every valid ballot will be counted in the election. 

The statement comes after a contentious debate where President Trump expressed skepticism of mail voting. Trump also called on his backers to scrutinize voting procedures at the polls, which critics said could cross into voter intimidation. Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors noted his refusal last week to commit to a peaceful transition of power.

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Virginia Colleges Enrollment Plummets

Enrollment in Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities for the fall semester declined by 1.3 percent or 6,658 students, according to early enrollment estimates from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) released Tuesday.

The data used by SCHEV is directly provided by 64 colleges and universities located in the Commonwealth, including some of the state’s most prestigious and largest schools such as William and Mary, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington and Lee University.

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Local Officials Report Virginia Election System Malfunctioning – Election Commissioner Says It’s ‘Fine’

Elections officials report that Virginia’s critical election system is malfunctioning during early voting, and worry it could fail on or before Election Day.
This isn’t the first time the Virginia Election and Registration Information System (VERIS) has presented issues. A 2018 report recommended the legislature replace VERIS. Specifically, the report stated that the system couldn’t be relied upon for elections.

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Steve Bannon Weighs in on Presidential Debate and Discerns This Debate Was Really Between Trump and Wallace

Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed political strategist and the host of War Room Pandemic Steve Bannon to the program to weigh in on the first presidential debate.

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Whitmer Extends State of Emergency Order Until October 27

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s state of emergency order on Tuesday, pushing back its end date until October 27.

Whitmer originally declared a state of emergency in Michigan on March 10 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has continuously extended it since then. She also extended four other executive orders that protect people in prison and long-term care facilities, those who are working in establishments that sell food, and those who are considered at-risk.

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15 New Historical Markers Coming to Virginia Highways

The Virginia Department of Historical Resources (DHR) has approved 15 new historical highway markers, many of them focusing on African-American and women’s history in Virginia.

Five of the fifteen markers were proposed by students during a historical marker contest. One marker in Hampton commemorates Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, a mathematician who worked for NASA and was featured in Hidden Figures. Johnson died at 101 earlier this year. Another marker, in Lynchburg, honors Elizabeth Langhorne Lewis; who was “one of the most influential women’s suffrage activists in Virginia,” according to the proposed sign text.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest from the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 1

Welcome to the Thursday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 33 days until the election on November 3 – and 30 days until early voting in Virginia closes. The deadline to register to vote in time for the 2020 election is October 13.

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Virginia House Passes $134B Budget with Rental and Utility Assistance, Justice and Police Reform Funding

The Virginia House of Delegates passed its two-year $134 billion budget on Tuesday with specific funding for rental and utility assistance, public education, internet access, affordable housing, criminal justice and police reform.

The revised budget from the House does not perfectly lineup with the proposed budget Governor Ralph Northam presented to the General Assembly at the beginning of the 2020 special session.

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Christian Wedding Photographer and Ministries Sue Virginia Over Law Banning LGBTQ Discrimination

A Christian wedding photographer and two churches, three Christian schools, and a pro-life ministry sued Virginia for its LGBTQ discrimination law. The plaintiffs argue that the law is a violation of religious freedom in the First Amendment.

The Christian plaintiffs say the state law forces their hand. If they don’t forsake God’s commandments, they could endure hundreds of thousands or more in fines and litigation fees. And, they could face a court order to adhere to the law. These individuals are also prohibited from expressing any religious beliefs that may be perceived as discriminatory.

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