Tennessee Historical Commission Delays Final Hearing on Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust in State Capitol

After months of waiting, the fate of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust in the Tennessee State Capitol won’t be decided this week after all. The Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) decided to delay the final hearing over the Confederate bust, as well as those of U.S. Navy Admirals David Glasglow Farragut and Albert Gleaves, on Wednesday due to the poor travel conditions.

THC Historic Preservation Specialist Susan McClamroch informed The Tennessee Star that they wanted to ensure no problems posed by virtual hearings would occur during the proceeding.

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Exclusive: Roger Stone Denounces New York Times Hit-Piece Tying Him to Capitol Riot

  One of President Donald J. Trump’s longest-serving political advisors told the Star News Network the Feb. 14 latest attack piece in The New York Times is part of a mainstream media attempt to tie him to the Jan. 6 chaos in the Capitol. “Just because the New York Times…

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Commentary: The Coming Parent Revolt over School Reopening

The public health community has long since concluded that the perils of prolonged school closures are far greater than the risks posed by COVID-19 to students and teachers. This fact has not been lost on parents, who are growing increasingly impatient with teachers who won’t return to the classroom. This frustration will increase exponentially now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance on how schools can and should safely reopen: “It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services.”

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Biden to Meet with Union Leaders About Massive Infrastructure Plan

President Joe Biden will meet with labor leaders at the White House Wednesday to discuss infrastructure investment and clean energy jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and other union heads are expected to meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, according to The Wall Street Journal. The White House said the meeting will focus on infrastructure and Biden’s coronavirus relief bill currently making its way through Congress.

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Gun Control Bills Quick to Pop up in Congress

Democratic congresswomen from New York and Texas each introduced several pieces of legislation that they say are aimed at curbing gun violence.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents New York’s 12th Congressional District, introduced a package of five bills, three of which she also tried to get passed two years ago, shortly before the third anniversary of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where 17 people were killed and another 17 injured by a former student.

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Wuhan Lab in China Is Eligible to Receive American Taxpayer Funding

The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the controversial laboratory in China that many have pointed to as the origin of the Chinese coronavirus, has been authorized to receive American taxpayer funding for the next three years, according to the Daily Caller.

A spokesperson for the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed this to the Caller, and said that the funding for which the lab is eligible would be focused on “animal research” through at least January of 2024.

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Maury County Superintendent Proposes $448 Bonus for All Educational Staff Instead of 2 Percent Raise for Only BEP Staff

Maury County educators not qualified to receive the statewide pay raise, may still receive a bonus of their own. Maury County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Michael Hickman proposed an additional local expenditure of $353,750 to supplement a one-time bonus for those left out of Governor Bill Lee’s special session teacher pay raise. 

Hickman’s proposal was presented during the MCPS Board of Education work session on Tuesday, in a discussion item referred to as a “salary funding bonus.” All board members expressed their support of the idea. Vice Chair Bettye Kinser called it an “equitable” solution.

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Crom Carmichael Looks at the Facts and Questions Texas Wind Farms and Power Outages

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to discuss the power outages in Texas and renewable energy champions’ contradictory actions.

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Second Round of Winter Weather Keeps Parts of Tennessee Shut Down

Tennessee Department of Health officials reported Wednesday that four people in the state died due to this week’s inclement weather. As of Wednesday, Tennessee officials had recorded two fatalities this week in Shelby County, one in Maury County, and another in Williamson County, according to TDH officials, in an email.

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Commentary: Will Senate Democrats Eliminate the Filibuster Just to Nationalize Election Laws Under H.R. 1?

After sweeping the trifecta of the House, Senate and White House in 2020 with the slimmest of majorities, Democrats have a diminishing window of opportunity to enact their agenda and keep their political base happy.

After all, majorities do not last forever, and in midterm elections from 1906 to 2018, the party that occupies the White House usually loses on average 31 seats in the House, and about three seats in the Senate. And with just a 10-seat majority in the House and a zero-seat majority in the Senate with it all tied, 50-50, the odds Democrats lose at least one legislative chamber in 2022 is exceptionally high.

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New York Sues Amazon over Allegedly Jeopardizing Workers’ Safety

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday night alleging that the online behemoth bypassed regulations meant to protect its workers from COVID-19.

The lawsuit claims that since the pandemic began in March the company refused to adopt legally required safety measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in its two New York City facilities. It also alleges that Amazon did not adequately sanitize and close its facilities, adopt necessary social distancing measures or notify its employees of possible coronavirus exposures.

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Examines Mitch McConnell’s Political Game After Failed Impeachment

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss Mitch McConnell’s strategies and waking up the Republican Party leadership.

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CNN and NBC Both Paid $35,000 to Left-Wing Activist for Footage of Fatal Capitol Shooting

A left-wing activist facing criminal charges for his involvement in the Capitol riots received $35,000 from both CNN and NBC for footage he recorded of a Trump supporter being fatally shot inside the Capitol building, according to records he filed in federal court on Tuesday.

Lawyers for John Sullivan, a 26-year-old Utah native, disclosed the payments as part of the activist’s argument that he was acting as a journalist in the Capitol rather than a rioter.

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The Heartland Institute’s Expert on Education Timothy Benson Outlines Trends in School Choice and the ESA Program

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed education expert Timothy Benson of the Heartland Institute to the newsmakers line to discuss school choice legislation trends and the true intention of teacher unions.

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Analysis: The New York Times’ Brazenly False ‘Fact Check’ About Trump’s Impeachment Trial

The New York Times has published a “fact check“ by Linda Qui declaring that Donald Trump’s lawyers “made a number of inaccurate or misleading claims” during the Senate impeachment trial. In reality, much of the article consists of flagrant falsehoods propagated by Qui and the Times.

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Tennessee Rep. Mike Sparks Discusses the Opportunity Scholarships Program Bill and Irresponsible Spending

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Rep. Mike Sparks to the studio to discuss his new bill and the challenges in fighting the unnecessary spending on schools in response to county growth.

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Bill Proposes Easing Licensing Burden on Tennessee Professionals

One legislator wants to alleviate the burdens for individuals to obtain any licenses required by their profession or occupation. The bill, called the “Licensing Independence for Future Tennesseans Act,” or “LIFT Act,” would allow licensing authorities to issue licenses to those licensed previously. The act would create addendums within Title 62 and Title 63 of the Tennessee Code. 

Specifically, the LIFT Act would require licensing authorities to issue licenses to an individual if they already have a similar license in another state for at least one year, haven’t had their license revoked or surrendered, don’t have unresolved disciplinary issues or pending investigations with other licensing authorities, and don’t have any disqualifying criminal history.  
Specifically, the act would require licensing authorities to issue licenses to an individual if they already have a similar license in another state for at least one year, haven’t had their license revoked or surrendered, don’t have unresolved disciplinary issues or pending investigations with other licensing authorities, and don’t have any disqualifying criminal history.  
Specifically, the act would require licensing authorities to issue licenses to an individual if they already have a similar license in another state for at least one year, haven’t had their license revoked or surrendered, don’t have unresolved disciplinary issues or pending investigations with other licensing authorities, and don’t have any disqualifying criminal history.  

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Democrats in Congress Renew Push for D.C. Statehood, but It Faces Uphill Climb in Senate

Democrats in Congress are renewing their push for Washington D.C. statehood with their party in the majority in the House and Senate.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting House member representing the District, has reintroduced the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which has picked up 210 Democratic co-sponsors so far. Delaware Democratic Sen. Tom Carper introduced the Senate version of the bill, which has 39 Democratic co-sponsors to date.

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Nonprofit Law Center Fighting for Michigan Man Fired for Saying ‘All Lives Matter’

A legal nonprofit has taken the case of a Michigan man who was fired from his job for using the phrase “All Lives Matter,” according to a press release.

Rick Beaudin, a Re/Max realtor in Pinckney, Michigan, posted what he thought was an innocuous comment on Facebook, in a response to Black Lives Matter organizing a protest there. 

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Virginia Senate and House Disagree over How to Restore Felon Voting Rights

The Senate and the House of Delegates face a disagreement over constitutional amendments to end felon disenfranchisement. SJ 272, introduced by Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and HJ 555, introduced by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) both effectively restore felon voting rights after the term of imprisonment is completed. However, the two bills feature different language, and on Wednesday, the Senate shot down an attempt by the House to change SJ 272 to match HJ 555. Now, the two chambers will attempt to draft a compromise bill in conference.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Pushes for Subsidized Biofuels but Economists Warn of Climate Damage, Higher Food Prices

Gov. Tim Walz asked for President Joe Biden’s continued support for the biofuels program last week, despite economists’ concerns over concerns about biofuels’ inefficiency and costs. 

Biofuels — bioethanol and biodiesel derived from plants — since 2005 have been pitched as a solution to climate change because they decrease dependency on fossil fuels.

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Ohio Business Group Says Proposals to Raise State, National Minimum Wage Would be Harmful

While President Joe Biden’s administration continues a push to increase the national minimum wage and an Ohio proposal does the same, a statewide business group says an increase would mean higher prices, reduced hours and job cuts.

Biden’s plan for a $15 national minimum wage continues to be one of the sticking points in negotiations over another COVID-19 relief package. In Ohio, House Bill 69 would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2027.

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Ilhan Omar Goes on Student Debt Rant After Biden Says He Won’t Cancel Loans

After a Tuesday evening town hall, president Joe Biden said he will not cancel up to $50,000 of student loans, prompting backlash from the progressive wing of his own party. 

“I will not make that happen,” Biden said when asked what he will do to cancel up to $50,000 in student loans. 

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Two Election Integrity Bills Headed Towards Georgia Senate Floor

Woman voting at booth

Two bills to help ensure election integrity in Georgia are one step closer to the Republican-controlled Senate floor, according to Tuesday reports. 

“Senate subcommittee votes 3-2 to end at-will absentee voting in Georgia, making it only available to those over 75, a doctor’s note or out of town. SB71 advances to full committee,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse said on Twitter. 

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Virginia House Passes Same-Sex Marriage-Ban-Repeal Bill SJ 270, But the Constitutional Amendment Still Has a Long Road Ahead

The Virginia General Assembly has taken another step towards repealing the one-man-and-one-woman marriage clause from the Virginia Constitution. On Monday, the House of Delegates passed Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) SJ 270 in a bipartisan vote.

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Tennessee Legislators Introduce Second Amendment Sanctuary Act to Oppose Potential Biden Executive Orders on Gun Rights

In response to President Joe Biden’s promises to further limit gun ownership, Tennessee legislators introduced the Second Amendment Sanctuary Act.

The bill summarizes its premise in just under a page – prohibiting enforcement of any federal government laws, treaties, executive orders, rules, or regulations that violate the Second Amendment. The summary explained that passage would render pressures on Second Amendment rights as “null, void, and unenforceable.” Additionally, the bill would limit state or local governments from using public funds, personnel, or property to enforce them.

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