Tennessee Residents Who Traveled to Washington, D.C. This Week Say The Vast Majority of People There Were Peaceful

Williamson County Republican Party Chair Cheryl Brown said this week that members of the mainstream media unfairly depicted supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump as people “who stormed the Capitol” and wanted to destroy Washington, D.C. But Brown, who was one of hundreds of Tennesseans who traveled to Washington, D.C. Wednesday, said she came only to make the case for a free and fair election.

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Commentary: The Left Finds Time for One More Big Lie Against Trump

As a preface, let there be no doubt that those who violated the law, acted violently, trespassed federal grounds on Wednesday, January 6, should be prosecuted and punished as prescribed by law for their crimes just as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other criminals who brought violence, destruction, bloodshed, and mayhem to Portland, Seattle, and so many other American cities during the months leading up to the presidential election should be arrested, prosecuted, and punished as the law demands for their crimes.

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House Homeland Security Chair Urges Authorities to Put Capitol Rioters on ‘No-Fly List’

Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, on Thursday urged the TSA and the FBI to place certain members of the Capitol mob on the “No-Fly List.”

“Given the heinous domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday, I am urging the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] and the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] to use their authorities to add the names of all identified individuals involved in the attack to the federal No-Fly List and keep them off planes,” Thompson said in a press release.

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Federal Government Approves Tennessee’s Medicaid Proposal, Swapping a Block Grant for an Aggregate Cap

The federal government approved Tennessee’s proposed Medicaid aggregate cap, granting a lump sum for a self-imposed, fixed budget. The ten-year agreement, referred to as “TennCare III,” is the first of its kind nationwide. It also allows for the state to reserve any unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with up to 55 percent of those savings potentially matched by additional federal funds for state health programs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described the measure as an “innovative financing approach.” Unlike what various reports claimed, federal officials explicitly stated that this agreement wasn’t a block grant. This agreement allows the state government to be flexible with its spending cap under certain circumstances – like last year’s pandemic and related unemployment crisis. 

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Commentary: It’s NFL Playoff Time! John Fredericks’ Selections

Well, here we are. Playoffs. Not a moment to too soon. A distraction from endless lockdowns, politics, and a very intense year. 

In celebration and preparation of legalized online sports wagering coming to Virginia in the next 30 days or so, we will start a new weekly column with my NFL playoff selections against the spread. 

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Pfizer Vaccine Effective Against Contagious Coronavirus Strain, Study Shows

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech protects against a highly contagious strain of coronavirus that originated in South Africa and the U.K., according to a study published Thursday.

The study, which was commissioned by Pfizer, is likely to alleviate some fears that the virus variant would evade protections offered by the vaccine.

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Commentary: President Trump’s Tenure Didn’t Have to End This Way

In the end, almost everyone got what they deserved.

The president’s Achilles’ heel—relying on the wrong people to advance his political interests—led to his final ouster this week. Donald Trump ran out of runway and instead of preparing for a soft landing, he pumped the gas. It’s hard to blame him: His court challenges had been thwarted by the very judges he elevated to the federal bench, his hodgepodge legal team whirred in defeat, and Republican senators he helped elect quickly turned on him.

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Caller Karl Wins Bet with Leahy and Gives Political Advice to Republicans

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Caller Karl to the newsmakers line to discuss how Democrats maintain a fierce strategy and to make good on his bet with Leahy.

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Co-Founder and Director of the Prague Strategic Studies Institute Roger Robinson Outlines China’s Threat to America’s U.S. Capital Markets

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Co-Founder and Director of the Prague Strategic Studies Institute Roger Robinson to the newsmakers line to explain the effect of unchecked Chinese companies within the U.S. capital markets.

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US Economy Lost 140,000 Jobs in December, Economists Expected a Modest Gain

The U.S. economy reported a decrease of 140,000 jobs in December while unemployment stayed unchanged at 6.7%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons stayed stagnant at 10.7 million. The number marked the first time since April, the U.S. reported negative job growth.

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Commentary: Our Future

This is no time for despair. This is no time for discouragement, and this is certainly no time for violence. Now is the time to use every constitutional prerogative at our disposal to peacefully fight for the future of our country.

I was deeply disappointed by the outcomes in the Georgia elections and the congressional certification of the electoral college vote making Joe Biden the next President of the United States. However, this is the reality we face, and it is time to acknowledge it.

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President-Elect Joe Biden Cabinet Nominations

Since President-elect Joe Biden won the election in November, he has been announcing the Cabinet nominees who will help him achieve his administration’s agenda.

His nominees, if confirmed by the Senate after he takes office, would comprise the most diverse Cabinet in American history, a promise which Biden made while campaigning. Below is a list of who he has chosen to head departments throughout the executive branch.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Wednesday’s Capitol Hill Breach, Gaslighting the Public, and Invoking the 25th Amendment

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss who benefits from the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Bashes Republicans in CNN Interview, Intends to Certify Runoff Election for Democrats

CNN found a new darling in Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who bashed Republicans and President Donald J. Trump in an interview with the network Thursday.

“For two long months, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger endured, standing in the firing line of Trump’s baseless attacks,” CNN’s Amara Walker said in a television interview featuring Raffensperger.

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COVID-19 Accelerates Harrisonburg City Schools Plan to Increase Outdoor Learning

COVID-19 is accelerating Harrisonburg City Schools’ push for more outdoor classrooms. At a school board meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Michael Richards said outdoor classrooms would provide more space for safe in-person classes. But Richards said the plan isn’t just a temporary plan to solve a problem caused by the pandemic.

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New Ohio Website Makes Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports More Transparent

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced he fulfilled his pledge to bring more transparency to the Secretary of State’s office.

Unanimously passed at the end of 2020,  Senate Bill 107 (SB107) is an act to “allow certain entities to file campaign finance statements electronically, to require the Secretary of State to make the information in those electronic statements available online.”

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NFL Wild Card Weekend: Washington Football Team Hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL playoffs have finally arrived and the headline matchup of Wild Card Weekend day one will take place on Saturday night when the Washington Football Team faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington (7-9) will host the Buccaneers (11-5) at FedEx Field, and will be looking to spoil Tampa Bay and quarterback Tom Brady’s Super Bowl aspirations.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Pocket Vetoes Meijer Tax Break, Property Tax Deferment for Hard Hit Businesses; Industry Leaders Want Answers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday declined to sign two bills into law, exercising a “pocket veto” on legislation that would have given a tax break to Meijer and allowed businesses hit hard by COVID-19 to defer summer 2020 property taxes.

Whitmer vetoed SB 1153, which lawmakers said aimed to give Meijer a tax break on sales and use property taxes on automated consumer goods sorting systems.

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GOP Incumbent Secures Close Win in Re-Election to Public Service Commission Runoff Race

Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., narrowly secured re-election in the runoff race to represent District 4 in the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC). McDonald secured over 50 percent of the vote totals, while his Democratic opponent, Daniel Blackman, trailed McDonald by 1 point. 

The win marked McDonald’s fourth time being elected to the position. He has served GPSC for 16 years.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Asks Legislature to Enact COVID-19 Orders to Prepare for End of Emergency Powers

On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz asked the legislature to enact into law some of his executive orders to prepare for the end of his 11-month reign in a declared COVID-19 state of emergency.

Walz said they needed to work together to keep Minnesotans safe.

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Virginia Health Facilities Had Advanced Knowledge of Unannounced COVID-19 Inspections, State Inspector General Says

State health facilities operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) were tipped off with advance knowledge on unannounced COVID-19 protocol inspections, according to a report from the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) released last Thursday.

The report claimed that DBHDS personnel shared detailed information regarding inspections with as many as 11 facilities throughout the Commonwealth.

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Georgia Ethics Commission Dismisses Investigations into Governor Kemp; One Investigation into Stacey Abrams Still Unresolved

Governor Brian Kemp and Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams were both cleared of some wrongdoings in their respective 2018 gubernatorial campaigns. While the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission maintained that the complaints against Kemp had no merit, they only dismissed several of the complaints against Abrams.

The unresolved complaint raised against Abrams alleged that her campaign illegally coordinated with a political action committee (PAC) through a voting rights nonprofit that she founded. Abrams’ nonprofit, New Georgia Project, and a similarly-named PAC, New Georgia Project Action Fund, reportedly operated in the same office under some of the same individuals. In an attempt to investigate the complaints further, the commission petitioned a court for a subpoena to access more of Abrams campaign documents; the judge denied the request. It is unclear whether the investigation is still ongoing. Commission members may not comment on active investigations pursuant to the state’s Rules of Professional Responsibility.

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Facebook Bans Virginia Senator Amanda Chase from Posting for 30 Days

State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) said Friday that she has been banned from posting to her public Facebook page for 30 days, with an additional ban on posting live video for another 30 days. In addition to the ban, Facebook removed some of her posts, including a video showing a woman being shot in the U.S. Capitol and flagged as false Chase’s claims of Antifa involvement in the Wednesday Capitol riot.

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FBI Raids Locations Tied to Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, Plus Additional Lawmakers and Staff

The FBI on Friday reportedly raided locations tied to former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) and Republican allies over allegations of possible public corruption.

Current Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) issued a statement about the raid that took place at the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville.

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