Conservatives Scold Tennessee AG Herb Slatery for ‘Cheerleading’ Controversial Joe Biden Cabinet Nominee

  Three well-known Tennessee conservatives on Tuesday found fault with Republican Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery for supporting Xavier Becerra, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Health and Human Services secretary. Becerra, a Democrat, serves as California’s attorney general. FOX News published an article Friday that described Becerra…

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Commentary: PolitiFact Says 90 Percent of Biden Stimulus Spending Not Directly Related to COVID-19

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” could soon become law.

The budget-busting legislation, sold as emergency COVID response and “stimulus,” passed the Senate over the weekend. But even the liberal-leaning fact-checking website PolitiFact is pointing out that almost all of the bill’s spending is unrelated to the health effects of COVID-19.

“Total spending directly on COVID-19’s health impacts ranges from $100 billion to $160 billion,” fact-checker Jon Greenberg writes. “At the high end, direct COVID-19 spending represents about 8.5% of the bill’s $1.9 trillion cost.”

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Tennessee Senate Approves Right-to-Work Resolution to Amend State Constitution

Tennesseans may receive explicit protections from union membership or affiliation as a condition of employment. If added to the Tennessee Constitution, the “Right to Work Amendment” would afford individuals the right to refuse membership within a union without facing repercussions concerning their employment. 

In order for an amendment to be made to the Tennessee Constitution, it must be approved twice. A simple majority is all that’s needed for the first approval. Then, the second approval must occur after an election via a two-thirds majority. State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) first introduced this proposed amendment last January. The Senate passed it quickly, and was approved by the House in June. for the required second time in November. 

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Republican National Committee Won’t Comply with Trump Order to Stop Using His Name, Likeness

The Republican National Committee will not comply with a cease-and-desist order by Donald Trump’s lawyers to stop using the former president’s name and likeness in fundraising materials.

Tump’s legal team sent a letter Friday to the RNC demanding the group stop using the “unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech,” according to Politico.

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Pfizer Vaccine Is Effective Against Fast-Spreading Brazilian Coronavirus Variant, Study Shows

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was able to neutralize the highly transmissible Brazilian virus variant, a new lab study showed.

The effectiveness of the vaccine against the variant was “roughly equivalent” to the original strain, researchers told the New England Journal of Medicine. Its ability to combat the variant, known as P.1, is especially encouraging in Brazil, where it has spread throughout the country.

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Chauvin Trial Will Continue with Jury Selection Despite Active Appeal

The jury selection process in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will continue despite an active appeal to reinstate previous charges, the Associated Press reported.

Judge Peter Cahill said he will continue with the trial unless the appeals court rules that a third-degree murder charge can be reinstated against former officer Derek Chauvin, the AP reported. Prosecutors have asked the court to pause the trial as the charges are considered.

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Tennessee National Guard Troops Deployed to Middle East

After an airstrike in Syria at the end of February, the Biden administration is mobilizing the National Guard – including one unit from Tennessee – for deployment to the Middle East. 

“Soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 181st Field Artillery Regiment, deployed on Sunday for a 10-month tour of the Middle East,” Associated Press reported. 

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Supreme Court Sides with Student Whose Christian Beliefs Were Suppressed by Georgia College Campus

In a rare nearly-unanimous decision, the Supreme Court sided with a Christian college student whose right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion were initially silenced by his college campus in Georgia, as reported by ABC News.

The 8-1 decision was led by Justice Clarence Thomas, with Chief Justice John Roberts being the sole dissenting vote. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas said that Chike Uzuegbunam, an African-American Evangelical Christian, can seek nominal damages from Georgia Gwinnett College, after officials at the school told him he was not allowed to hand out Christian literature on the campus’s “free speech zone.” This comes even after the school reversed course from its initial restrictions, and after Uzuegbunam ultimately graduated.

“It is undisputed that he experienced a complete violation of his constitutional rights when respondents enforced their speech policies against him,” Thomas wrote. “Because ‘every violation [of a right] imports damage,’ nominal damages can redress Uzuegbunam’s injury even if he cannot or chooses not to qualify that harm in economic terms.”

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12 States Sue Biden Administration over Climate Policies, ‘Massive Expansion’ of Regulations

A group of Republican state attorneys general alleged in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that President Joe Biden’s climate policies are a major overreach and could damage their states’ economies.

The 12-state coalition said Biden overstepped his constitutional authority by declaring there were “social costs” of continued greenhouse gas emissions in a Jan. 20 executive order. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Missouri, argued that assigning such costs is a “quintessentially legislative action” that falls within Congress’ authority.

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Arizona and Montana Sue Biden Administration for Limiting Illegal Immigrant Arrests and Deportations

Arizona and Montana filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration Monday in an effort to block the limits on deportations, Fox News reported.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona, joined by Attorney General Austin Knudsen of Montana, filed a lawsuit in response to the 100-day deportation moratorium arguing that it will negatively impact their states. Brnovich said the immigration rules will cause a “humanitarian crisis,” Fox News reported.

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Convicted Felon Ovid Timothy Hughes Told Metro Council Members He Was a Registered Voter

Prior to his acceptance by Metro City Council members to serve on the Community Oversight Board (COB), Ovid Timothy Hughes asserted he was, in fact, a registered voter.

But records show that as a convicted felon, Tennessee law would have prevented Hughes from legally voting in any election without either obtaining an outright pardon from the sitting governor or successfully petitioning a court to expunge his criminal record.

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New York Republicans Seek to Impeach Cuomo as AG’s Office Ramps up Investigation

As New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday announced the attorneys who will conduct the independent review on the sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Republicans in the state Legislature said they intend to seek the embattled leader’s impeachment.

James appointed Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark to look into the sexual harassment allegations. Kim is a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Clark focuses on employment law.

James said the state is committed to a thorough review and heralded Kim and Clark as experts. Kim and Clark will be able to issue subpoenas, depose people and review records. They will give James’ office a weekly update throughout the investigatio

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Pepe Le Pew Fired from Space Jam Movie After Being Accused of Perpetuating ‘Rape Culture’

The Looney Toons skunk Pepe Le Pew is the latest fictional character to fall victim to cancel culture warriors. The comically lecherous Le Pew was axed from Warner Brothers’ new “Space Jam” movie after being called out in the media for perpetuating “rape culture.”

The popular toon has reportedly had his scene cut from “Space Jam: A New Legacy,”  the sequel to the film he was a part of in 1997.

The hybrid live-action animation scene was shot in June 2019 and featured both Le Pew and actress Greice Santo, according to Deadline.

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Commentary: ‘Follow the Science’ with Dr. Fauci

No matter what we are told by the “experts,” science is constantly evolving and is rarely ever as settled as those in power want us to believe. Doctors are often forced to make consequential decisions and recommendations based on partial or incomplete sets of data and information. Perhaps no one knows this better than Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

According to Fauci, it is now safe for schools to reopen. All it took was the passing of President Biden’s “COVID relief bill,” which will likely be signed into law this week. “As we now have the relief bill signed at $1.9 trillion — a lot of that is going into addressing COVID-19 including help to the schools to allow them to more safely bring the kids back,” Fauci said on Monday. Considering that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 95 percent of the money appropriated from the bill to fund schools will not be spent this year, there was no reason for Fauci to present its passing as a prerequisite for reopening schools — unless of course we fool ourselves into believing that he is motivated by science, and not by whatever the Biden administration tells him to say.

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Free Speech Bills Making Their Way Through the Tennessee General Assembly

The General Assembly is considering several bills to further expand upon the protected rights of free speech. These bills address free speech in areas of public life such as college campuses, social media, state governments, and elections.

Several legislators proposed a bill to create accountability for social media companies and the government entities that use them. State Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) and State Representative Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) introduced legislation that would prohibit state agencies from utilizing any social media platforms that censor the free speech of others on the basis of political ideology, viewpoint discrimination, or personal animus. The language of the bill claimed that using those platforms was a “tacit acceptance” of the practice to limit or censor free speech and therefore a violation of the state constitution. That legislation is in committee currently in both the House and Senate.

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Prosecutor Says Whitmer Could Face Criminal Charges over Nursing Home Deaths

Facing a situation similar to New York’s embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is now under scrutiny from prosecutors about COVID-19 deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes. 

“If we find there’s been willful neglect of office if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the Governor,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told WXZY. “Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”

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Virginia Parole Board Whistleblower Sues over Alleged Retaliation; Northam Stands by Parole Board

An Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) employee who helped investigate the Virginia Parole Board (VPB) is suing Inspector General Michael Westfall. Jennifer Moschetti’s lawsuit, filed on Monday, states that she was placed on pre-disciplinary leave on March 5, days after she approached the General Assembly as an anonymous whistleblower. On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer said the lawsuit was motivated by politics and criticized the OSIG report.

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Georgia House Democrats Want to Expand TANF Benefits, Repeal Drug Felony Ban for Recipients

Six Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly filed a bill this week that calls on state officials to expand access to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. According to that bill, HB 741, those Democrats also want to make eligible people convicted of felony drug charges. The bill also would, if enacted into law, increase the lifetime maximum for TANF benefits and stipulate that the government could disregard a person’s assets when determining eligibility.

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Loudoun County Approves Gun Ban with Exception for CCH Permit Holders in Parks

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved a gun ban in parks, county buildings, and at permitted events in a six to three vote March 2. The vote is the culmination of months of consideration of the ban, made possible by legislation passed in the 2020 General Assembly.

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Lawmakers Say Legislation Would Curb Ohio Unemployment Fraud

Unemployment line

As legitimate and fraudulent unemployment claims rose over the past year, and with additional federal jobless assistance most likely on the way, Ohio lawmakers have introduced legislation they hope cracks down on system abuse.

If the bill passes and is signed into law, Ohioans would be required to provide proof of identification at a local employment office before state or pandemic unemployment assistances would be paid.

Senate Bill 116 outlines proof as either a driver’s license or any of the two documents required to obtain an Ohio driver’s license that contain the applicants name and address, including a birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of Ohio residency, legal presence or name change.

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Gov DeWine One Year Ago: I Wouldn’t Read Too Much into the State of Emergency

COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 9 was the one-year anniversary of Executive Order 2020-01D, the state of emergency “to protect the well-being of the citizens of Ohio from the dangerous effects of COVID-19.”

During a briefing the same day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the emergency as a tool to allow the State of Ohio to purchase health-related items.

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House Approves Georgia Adoption Tax Credit Increase

The Georgia House approved a bill Monday that would increase foster care adoption tax credits in the state.

House Bill 114 increases the annual tax incentive for adopting a foster child from $2,000 to $6,000. Proponents of the bill, including Gov. Brian Kemp, hope the legislation encourages more Georgians to adopt foster children. 

The bill cleared the House, 158-0, without debate.

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Georgia Republicans File Bill to Expand Number of People Accountable for Supervising Elections

Six Georgia House Republicans filed legislation that would provide for a probate court judge to cease acting as a superintendent of elections and then create a board of elections to assume that judge’s prior responsibilities. This, according to a bill that State Rep. Mitchell Scroggins (R-Cartersville) filed this week.

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Tennessee Historical Commission Finalizes Vote to Move Busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, David Glasgow Farragut and Albert Gleaves

The Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) voted overwhelmingly in favor of removing the busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, David Glasgow Farragut and Albert Gleaves. The only member to vote against the measure was Commissioner Joanne Cullom Moore. The commission convened on Tuesday for a final hearing on the three busts. The final hearing was scheduled to take place last month originally, but was delayed due to the winter storm. Judge Kim Summers presided over the hearing. The meeting convened around 10 a.m. CST. Public comment lasted around three hours.

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