Executive Director of Community Oversight Board Not Responding to Questions About Vetting Board Members

Not all members of the Nashville Community Oversight Board (COB) have been entirely truthful with the public they serve – or the police they’re entrusted to hold accountable. Over the weekend, The Tennessee Star uncovered information that a recently-resigned member of the COB, Ovid Timothy Hughes, may have misled officials about his voting status in order to be appointed. COB Executive Director Jill Fitcheard hasn’t responded to The Star about why he wasn’t vetted prior to his appointment.

The COB is tasked with investigating police misconduct allegations, as well as issuing reports and recommendations based on research of misconduct, public safety, and the administration of justice. Those responsibilities necessitate a series of requirements for membership. Individuals must be registered voters in Davidson County; residents of the county for at least one year; and be nominated by a community organization, a petition of at least 50 county residents, or at least one Metro City Council member. Members can’t be current law enforcement members or have been one in the last five years, elected officials, or the spouse of any of the former. Members must also agree to continuous trainings in areas such as civil rights, equity, criminal justice, policing practices, cultural diversity, sexual harassment awareness. However, it is unclear if members are vetted prior to their appointment.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory as a Leftist Hammer

You have to hand it to the Left: they are relentless and always at war on a thousand fronts. As my father once told me when he was in Congress, “The shame is our people come and go, while evil never sleeps.” As I have pointed out, leftists are on the level of religious zealots; politics and government are their religion, the vehicle by which perfection and utopia will be achieved in this world. 

The worst that can be said about many on the Right, however, is that they are just careerists. Most are nine to five types on weekdays and politics is not a religion for them. They consider politics a necessary evil. So if it seems like the Left is always on the move, it’s because politics is a lifestyle for them and they fully intend to reshape this country into their vision for it, everything else be damned.

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University of Buffalo Med School’s Surgery Department Kicks off Anti-Racism Initiative with Cornel West Lecture

The Department of Surgery in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo has launched an Anti-Racism and Health Care Equity initiative.

The initiative includes a lecture series, with Harvard University Professor Cornel West as the inaugural speaker, presenting a speech via Zoom called “Beyond the Knife” on February 18. At the event, West discussed systemic racism, recent social movements and their relation to healthcare.

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Missouri House Sends Bill Clipping Health Officials’ Emergency Powers to Senate

A bill that would require local governments to approve extensions of public health emergency orders after 15 days is ready for adoption by the Missouri House.

House Bill 75, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, was perfected Wednesday in a floor debate and awaits only a floor vote to be transferred to the Senate, where a raft of similar bills are matriculating in committees.

HB 75, which has already passed through the House Special Committee on Small Business and Rules – Legislative Oversight committees, would allow local public health officials to order a closure for no more than 15 days.

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Biden Orders Examination of Trump Era Due Process Rights on College Campuses

President Joe Biden called for an examination of collegiate due process protections enacted under former President Donald Trump’s administration in a Monday executive order.

The president announced his “Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation” on International Women’s Day, calling on the Education Department to evaluate a Title IX regulation issued under the Trump administration that encouraged due process for those accused of campus sexual misconduct.

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House Passes Bills Allowing County Mayors to Have Exclusive Authority in Health Emergencies and Teachers to Remove Problematic Students

The Tennessee House passed two bills expanding the authority of county mayors and teachers in exigent situations. Both were approved on Monday and are awaiting passage in the Senate.

Under HB0007, county-wide policy-making powers related to public health emergencies would be reserved solely for the county mayor in counties with particular population counts. The bill would only apply to Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Sullivan, and Madison counties. Those six counties would also see their county boards of health or county health committees demoted to advisory roles. State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) introduced the bill last November. It passed 67-26.

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Ex-FBI Boss Has ‘Grave Concern’ FISA Court Was ‘Defrauded Intentionally’ in Russia Probe

“I have grave concern that the court was defrauded intentionally … There was some type of agenda, an inappropriate agenda beyond an objective intelligence or criminal investigation,” said Kevin Brock, a retired FBI assistant director for Intelligence who helped implement most of the intelligence and informant rules the FBI uses today.

“I struggle to find any other explanation,” Brock told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “Any other explanation just doesn’t pass the smell test. I mean, the glaring — the Steele dossier, for an experienced counterintelligence agent in the field, was blinking red lights Russian disinformation campaign, and yet you’re going to have the highest levels of the FBI executives use that to create an investigation?”

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100,000 Strong: Davidson County Metro Councilmember At-Large Steve Glover on Waking up to the Conservative Voice

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Councilmember Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the new capital spending plan and working with left-wing council members.

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Councilmember Glover and Co-Host Cunningham Discuss Mayor Cooper’s Courting of Conservatives and Broken Promises

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Councilmember Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to discuss the broken promises of Mayor Cooper and committee confirmation requirements.

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Commentary: Progressive Educators Dumb Down Education in the Name of Antiracism

Some progressive educators are calling on their peers to go easy on students when grading their essays or math homework, all in the name of antiracism.

Don’t mark them down too much, you might hurt their feelings, the argument goes.

Or, it’s white supremacy to actually grade students using traditional, objective standards. Who are you to tell them they’re wrong? As long as they try, let’s not break their hearts or bruise their egos!

I wish I were kidding. I’m not.

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Three More Universities Close China-Funded Confucius Institutes

Confucius Institutes across the country are closing, the most recent being at Michigan State University, the University of South Carolina, and Colorado State University.

MSU began its Confucius Institute in 2006 and USC followed in 2008, according to The State newspaper. Both schools will discontinue their programs by the end of 2021. Colorado State University also recently announced that its Confucius Institute will close by the end of June.

While national intelligence officials, including President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the CIA, have warned that Confucius Institutes serve as a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party, these schools are not closing their institutes for this reason. Rather, each of the three schools cited former President Donald Trump moving to restrict the amount of funding for universities with Confucius Institutes.

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Middle School Lesson Separates Students into ‘Privileged’ and ‘Targeted’ Groups

A sixth-grade teacher in Minnesota recently offered her charges a lesson in “oppression” when she separated them into groups dubbed “privileged” and “targeted.”

According to documents obtained by The Blaze.com, Sunrise Park Middle School teacher Odelis Anderson prefaced the lesson by reminding students it is easier for the privileged to talk about race, while “much harder” for those who are not.

Students then were asked to consider what group they belonged to based on five types of oppression: racism, sexism, religious oppression, heterosexism, and xenophobia. Among the “privileged”: whites, men, Christians and heterosexuals.

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Leaders In Newsom Recall Effort Believe They Have Enough Signatures To Trigger Special Election

Organizers of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday they had gathered over 1.95 million signatures supporting the effort, enough to trigger a special election.

The signatures were announced during a press conference, with the effort’s organizers saying that they were on track to obtain 2 million signatures before the state’s Mar. 17 deadline.

“That is more than enough to be able to have this initiative qualified for a special election later this year to let the people decide,” said senior advisor Randy Economy during the conference. “Californians are consistently becoming more disgruntled with how their state’s run.”

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Analysis: Senator Elizabeth Warren Appears to be Distorting Reality in Order to ‘Sell’ Her Wealth Tax Proposal

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently revived her campaign proposal for a wealth tax on taxpayers with a net worth exceeding $50 million. Unfortunately, the plan retains the same defects as her previous proposals to tax wealth, along with the same distortions she used to defend it last time.

Warren’s proposal, introduced along with companion legislation in the House sponsored by Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Boyle (D-PA), would tax wealth above $50 million at a rate of 2 percent, and wealth above $1 billion at a rate of 3 percent.

Senator Warren has routinely presented her wealth tax proposal as a minor, moderate tax on the ultra-wealthy. Just as she did on the presidential campaign trail, Warren is describing her plan as a “two cent” tax. This dishonest framing allows Warren to pretend that the tax is small.

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Bill Expanding Charges for Out-of-State or Paid Rioters Heads to Senate Floor for Vote

The General Assembly may increase charges for rioters that came from out of state, were paid to riot, or committed multiple riot-related offenses. Under the proposed bill, rioters would face a minimum of 60 days’ incarceration if they engage in two or more of those riot-related offenses. Current Tennessee Code doesn’t factor in details of residency or compensation for punishing rioters.

State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) introduced the bill in the beginning of February. Its companion bill in the House was introduced by State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) a day later. The bill is expected to be placed on the Senate’s calendar soon, and may soon emerge from committee in the House.

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Metro Councilmember At-Large Steve Glover and Co-Host Cunningham Discuss Public Safety Spending and Getting Involved in Local Politics

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Councilmember At-Large Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to discuss his views on public safety, spending, and getting involved in local politics.

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Adam Smith’s Grave Targeted by Pro-BLM Investigation

In Scotland, the gravesite and memorial of Adam Smith, the Enlightenment philosopher who is widely considered the father of modern capitalism, is now being targeted by local officials’ in an investigation over possible ties to “slavery and colonialism,” as reported by Breitbart.

The Edinburgh City Council launched a formal review of various statues, memorials, monuments, and other historical locations throughout the city in the aftermath of the far-left race riots last summer. The investigation is seeking any potential candidates for “removal or re-interpretation” if any of them are found to allegedly have ties to “racism and oppression.” The council consists almost entirely of members of left-wing parties, including the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party.

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Stimulus Package Includes $86 Billion Bailout for Union Pensions

An $86 billion bailout for nearly 200 union pensions was included in the Democrats’ massive stimulus package, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign into law soon.

More than a million unionized truck drivers, retail clerks, construction workers and others would likely miss out on retirement income without the bailout, according to The New York Times. The union bailout, among the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package’s provisions unrelated to the pandemic, rescues 185 pension plans across several states.

“There’s more money in this to bailout [sic] union pension funds, than all the money combined for vaccine distribution and testing,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty tweeted last week.

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Anonymous Internet Accusations Point FBI to Former Ohio Senate Candidate

Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents made an unannounced visit to the home of a Marysville woman who was in Washington, D.C. on January 6 – the day a crowd entered the U.S. Capitol and the incident turned violent, resulting in an officer fatally shooting a woman and four others dying from medical emergencies. 

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Georgia Democrats File Bill to End Privately-Run Detention Centers

Six Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly filed legislation late last week that would, if enacted into law, forbid private corporations from running detention facilities. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Rep. Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville) as the bill’s primary sponsor.

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Ohio Prosecutors Support Bill to Force Convicted Rioters to Pay for Damages

Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.

Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.

State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently.

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Guzman and Davis Debate Future of Education in Virginia

Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) and Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), who are both running for lieutenant governor, started their education debate on Twitter during the 2021 General Assembly session. On Saturday, the two candidates met on Zoom to continue their discussion about the future of education in Virginia.

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Leftists Tell Georgia’s Biggest Corporations, Like Coca-Cola, to Stand with Them Against Voter Integrity Bills

Left-leaning groups have demanded that Georgia’s largest corporate entities, including Coca-Cola and Home Depot, fight two bills in the Georgia General Assembly, which they describe as racist. Members of this coalition made their demands in a full-page ad in The Atlanta Journal Constitution last week. The coalition called out Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Southern Company, Home Depot, UPS, Aflac, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce.

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Wedding Venue Sues Northam For Not Allowing Expanded Capacity at Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor wedding venue Belle Garden Estate (BGE) is suing Governor Ralph Northam over Executive Order 72.  The governor has begun relaxing restrictions on outdoor activities, allowing the lower of either 1,000 people or 30 percent capacity at many outdoor venues. However, outdoor wedding venues are not included in those relaxed restrictions.

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Hundreds Gather in Streets as Jury Selection Begins in Chauvin Trial

Ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s second-degree murder trial, hundreds have gathered in the heavily-fortified streets of Minneapolis to protest.

“Hundreds of people demanding justice for George Floyd and others killed by police as the trial of Derek Chauvin begins in Minneapolis,” Star-Tribune video journalist Mark Vancleave said on Twitter, attaching a video of the crowd. 

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Georgia Southern University Preparing to Return to ‘Normal’ Operation

One publicly-funded university in Georgia says it plans to resume normal operations in the fall semester.

“For Fall 2021, we are currently planning for a full return to campus, which means resuming ‘normal’ operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations,” Georgia Southern University President Dr. Kyle Marrero said in a message to students, faculty, and staff according to WTOC. 

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Beyond Pension Debts, Michigan Owes $31 Billion in Public Employee Retirement Benefits

Net liabilities in Michigan for so-called other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), which consist mainly of health care obligations to retired public employees, stood at about $31 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to a new analysis from the Reason Foundation. 

With a population of 9,986,857, the state posted a per-capita OPEB liability of $3,099, which represents the 15th highest value among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Reason study found. 

In total, these liabilities amount to 6% of the U.S. gross domestic product, the researchers said. These debts are also geographically concentrated, with 15 government jurisdictions representing 50% of the total, the study found. 

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’60 Minutes’ Chronicles Columbus’ Struggles During COVID Lockdowns

Sunday night, CBS’ “60 Minutes” chronicled the struggle in the city of Columbus, especially among young people, during the COVID-19 lockdowns that cost many their livelihoods.

The center of the segment was 23-year-old Courtney Yoder, who before the pandemic was homeless, and had almost saved enough money from working to be able to move off the streets before the birth of her first child. 

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Five Sponsors of Bill Enabling Randy Boyd’s Taxpayer-Funded Baseball Stadium Received More Than $90,000 in Campaign Funds from Individuals with Ties to the Project

Five of the eight sponsors of the bill that will enable a taxpayer-funded stadium for Randy Boyd’s minor league baseball stadium in Knoxville received a total of more than $90,000 in campaign contributions from several individuals who are involved with the proposed project.

All but one of the legislators are from the Knoxville area and all but one are Republicans while three are freshmen.

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