Democratic-Led Senate Votes 56-44 to Continue Impeachment Trial of Trump as Day One Concludes

The Democratic-led Senate formally voted on Tuesday to proceed with former President Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate following the first day of arguments.

The vote on the constitutionality of the trial of Trump was 56-44 in favor of moving forward with the trial. The second day of the trial begins at noon on Wednesday. There were six Republican senators voting yes with all Senate Democrats including Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

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Tennessee General Assembly Moves on Bill Protecting Girls in Sports, Challenging Biden’s Executive Order

Once again, Tennessee’s General Assembly has taken up a bill ensuring biological sex is a factor in youth sports. Although the bill would apply to both genders, its preamble identified girls as the motivator for drafting the legislation. It referenced the general biological differences between the genders in competition, as well as noted the impact on female athletes when it comes to college recruiting and scholarship opportunities.

“[I]t is unfortunate for some girls that those dreams, goals, and opportunities for participation, recruitment, and scholarships can be directly and negatively affected by new school policies permitting boys who are male in every biological respect to compete in girls’ athletic competitions if they claim a female gender identity,” stated the bill. 

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Commentary: States Taxing PPP Loans to Cover for Bad Decisions is Bad Business

The biggest gap in understanding how business truly works exists between two distinct groups of people: Those who have made a payroll and those who haven’t. 

Anyone who has run a business – small or large – would only be glad to tell you that it is equal parts fulfilling and terrifying. 

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Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman Launches Senate Bid

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will launch his bid for his state’s open Senate seat on Monday, becoming the first major candidate to vie for what will likely be one of the most competitive races in the country.

Fetterman previously served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a small steel town outside of Pittsburgh, but has found grassroots support across the country. He announced that he raised over $1.1 million in the weeks before his campaign, and his strong support in western Pennsylvania could make him an early frontrunner among the multiple Democrats expected to run for the seat.

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Seattle Can’t Keep Up with All People They’re Charging, Criminals Being Left on the Streets

Increasing crime and COVID-19 restrictions have added to court backlogs in Seattle, allowing criminals to be released back on the streets as they await trial, Komo News reported Friday.

Law enforcement has continued to make arrests for minor and major crimes, even as arraignment has halted, which leaves the courts and prosecutors to decide who is jailed for safety reasons and who is released, Komo News reported. Over 500 out-of-custody cases have not been arraigned since the court stopped holding them in person due to COVID-19 restrictions in November, and several defendants were booked into jail and released on promises to appear in court.

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Biden Quietly Nixes Trump-era Rule Combating Chinese Communist-Funded ‘Propaganda’ Centers

The Trump administration attempted to enact a policy that would force American universities to reveal cooperation with chapters of the Confucius Institute. President Joe Biden quietly revoked the policy a few days after his inauguration.

Axios reported that in the final days of his presidency, Trump enacted a policy that would compel primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions to disclose all contracts and transactions with the Confucius Institute. Under the policy, schools that do not report information would lose certification for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

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President’s Son Hunter Biden to Release Memoir ‘Beautiful Things’ in April

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, will release a memoir on April 6 titled “Beautiful Things.” The book will focus on the younger Biden’s well-documented and ongoing struggles with substance abuse.

The book is being published by Gallery Books, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. The book has received advanced praise from authors including Stephen King, Dave Eggers and Anne Lamott.

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Life Will Return to Normal in Seven Years, Vaccine Database Shows

It will take seven years for life to return to normal and for coronavirus to subside, a Bloomberg database tracking worldwide coronavirus vaccinations found.

Although countries like the U.S. and Israel have administered coronavirus at a rate that will ensure herd immunity by 2022, most countries have fallen behind that pace and will not catch up for seven years, according to Bloomberg. More than 119 million vaccines have been administered in 67 countries and the most recent rate of vaccination was 4.54 million doses per day, the vaccine database showed.

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Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Talks Block Grant and Big Agenda Items

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senator Jack Johnson to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the Medicaid block grant and the legalities of Joe Biden’s refugee resettlement executive order.

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SBA Hid Communications with Planned Parenthood Amid GOP Criticism Over PPP Loans

The Small Business Administration hid communications with Planned Parenthood regarding COVID-19 loans that Republicans say were illegal, emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The SBA released heavily redacted emails between the agency, lenders and Planned Parenthood affiliates in response to a Freedom of Information Act request the DCNF filed in May 2020. GOP lawmakers had previously demanded an investigation into $80 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, saying they were obtained illegally.

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National Mental Health Crisis Emerges Among Youth During Pandemic Lockdowns: Reports

Children and young adults are experiencing increased mental health issues, and suicide also is on the rise within the age group at least in part because of ongoing state shutdowns, according to several reports.

Within months of governors and local authorities shuttering schools, children were increasingly brought to emergency room doctors and specialists, according to a by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Zach Wamp Says Time Magazine Grossly Distorted His Role in Outcome of 2020 Presidential Election

Former Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp said Time Magazine mischaracterized him and his role with a coalition of well-known political figures and what they did in the months leading up to the November 2020 presidential election. The Time article seemed to brag that various groups collaborated “behind the scenes” to defeat former U.S. President Donald Trump. The article has attracted nationwide attention.

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Commentary: Tribalism Turns Toxic in the Social Media Age

Man is by nature a tribal creature. For many thousands of years, human existence was defined by family connections, with ties of blood and marriage providing the social network that ensured cooperation and support necessary to sustaining life. Loyalty to one’s kinship group — the tribe or clan — was vital to this system of cooperation, and from the deeply rooted tribal nature of human life emerges the sense of national identity that inspires what we call patriotism.

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Issues 60-Day ‘Stand Down’ Order to Address ‘Extremism’ in the Military

Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has issued an unprecedented “stand down” order for the entirety of the United States military over the course of the next 60 days, for the purpose of addressing alleged “extremism” in the military’s ranks, as reported by Breitbart.

Austin announced the decision in a Tweet on Wednesday, saying that he “met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, I’m ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command, and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue.”

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Pharmacy Student Sues University of Tennessee for Alleged Free Speech Violations

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) initially expelled a student for content on her personal social media accounts. Officials claimed that the nuclear pharmacy student, Kimberly Diei (’23), used speech that violated the university’s conduct policies, though Diei has claimed they never informed her of which specific policies she’d violated. Neither of her profiles or any of her content identified Diei as a UT student or mentioned the school in any capacity. Only after Diei obtained legal help did the university reverse her expulsion.

Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions based on anonymous complaints. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus in September 2019 regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general. Following its review, the committee required Diei to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.
Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions, instigated by anonymous complaints from other program students. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus, September 2019, regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general; the committee required her to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.

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McConnell, Schumer Strike Deal on Impeachment Trial Rules

Senate leaders said on Monday that a deal has been agreed upon regarding the framework for former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial slated to begin on Tuesday.

“For the information of the Senate, the Republican leader and I, in consultation with both the House managers and former President Trump’s lawyers, have agreed to a bipartisan resolution to govern the structure and timing of the impending trial,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday on the Senate floor. “All parties have agreed to a structure that will ensure a fair and honest Senate impeachment trial of the former president,” the New York Democrat said.

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Crom Carmichael Examines the Unconstitutional Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who weighed in on the unconstitutionality of the looming Senate impeachment trial of citizen Donald Trump.

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Commentary: The Left’s 1960s ‘Animal Farm’ Dream is America’s 2021 Nightmare

George Orwell published Animal Farm in August 1945, in the closing weeks of the Pacific War. Even then, most naïve supporters of the wartime Soviet-British-American alliance were no longer in denial about the contours of Moscow’s impending postwar communist aggression. 

The short, allegorical novel’s human-like farm animals replay the transition of supposedly 1917 revolutionary Bolsheviks into cynical 1930s Stalinists. Thereby, they remind us that leftist totalitarianism inevitably becomes far worse than the supposed parasitical capitalists they once toppled.

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Minnesota Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Allowing Dentists to Distribute COVID Vaccines

In a 67-0 vote Monday, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation that will allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

SF 475 is a bill “amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 150A.055,” which gives dentists the ability to distribute influenza vaccines. The amendment broadens the original bill, extending to cover COVID-19 vaccinations, too. 

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Hosts Leahy and All Star Panelist Ben Cunningham Analyze the Intellectual Dishonesty of Government Officials That Think They Know Better

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed guest host Ben Cunningham to the studio to discuss the disdain of conservatives and social media censorship.

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Rep. Tlaib Bashes Dems for Income Threshold on Stimulus Checks

One Michigan Democrat is leading the charge against her own party’s proposal to put income caps on the latest batch of stimulus check. 

“If they succeed (in capping stimulus checks at $50,000 in income), it would leave millions of suffering families out of this relief bill,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).

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Councilmember Cancels Meetings with Community Amid Attempt to Gut MPD

Minneapolis City Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham once claimed that “community engagement” is key to defunding the police. Now, Cunningham has canceled his “Community Office Hours” after facing backlash due to the council’s efforts to defund law enforcement.

Cunningham has served on the council since 2017, when he became the second female-to-male transgender person elected to public office in the U.S. Cunningham also took a key role in the push to amend the City Charter to defund the police in June, and presently heads up the continued action towards this goal.

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Ohio Statewide Curfew and Service Industry Revenue May Lift Thursday

During a COVID briefing last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced the statewide curfew could be lifted as early as this week if COVID hospitalizations stayed below 2,500 for seven consecutive days.

Over the last week, inpatient beds filled with COVID confirmed and probable patients numbered as follows:

February 2:         2,486

February 3:         2,380

February 4:         2,251

February 5:         2,172

February 6:         2,026

February 7:         1,969

February 8:         2,012

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Senate Approves Adding Six Judges to Virginia’s Appeals Court

A bill to add six judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals passed the Senate 21 to 18 on Friday. The bill would also create a right to appeal, something that every other state already has, but that advocates say is currently impossible due to the court’s manpower shortage. The court has just 11 judges, while states with similar populations often have more. However, Republicans oppose the bill because judges would be elected in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

SB 1261 sponsor State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) said in committee on January 25 that Virginia’s current system gives no automatic right of appeal in any Virginia court.

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AG Yost Reaches Nearly $25 Million Settlement with McKinsey for Role in Ohio’s Opioid Crisis

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has agreed to a settlement of nearly $25 million in a case with McKinsey & Co. for the company’s role in fueling and profiting from the opioid crisis in the state. 

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From Same-Sex Marriage to Equal Education Opportunities, Seven Constitutional Amendments Are Moving Through Virginia Legislature

The Virginia General Assembly considered over a dozen constitutional amendments in its two chambers this session; seven of them have been passed in either the House or the Senate. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) criticized the high number.

“I recognize that times change,” he said on the Senate floor. “I recognize that Virginia has changed and I recognize that there is a new cadre of legislators who have a different perspective on what the policies of the commonwealth should be.”

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Governor Lee’s State of the State Address: a ‘Roaring’ Economy, Growth, and Investments in Local Communities

Despite the past year’s events, Governor Bill Lee had plenty of good news for Tennesseans in his State of the State Address. The General Assembly appeared to agree with the governor’s assessments – at many points throughout the address, their socially-distanced, masked audience rose to applaud Lee.

“Scripture has a lot to say about those crossroads and what to do on the heels of suffering. Where do we find promise in this season?” opened Lee. “The promise is found in perseverance which produces character that leads to hope. Tennesseans will know tonight that tragedy has no hold on who we are or where we are headed. Tragedy won’t define us, it won’t rob us of the opportunity that 2021 holds.”

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