State Revenues in February Exceeded the Budget by $191 Million, Puts Fiscal Year Surplus at $1.3 Billion

Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Friday that tax revenues to the state for the month of February exceeded the budgeted estimates by $190.9 million, which puts the fiscal year surplus at $1.3 billion.

February revenues of $1.13 billion represent an 11.06 percent growth rate or $112.7 million more than February of last year.

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Commentary: Federal ‘COVID’ Spending Just Hit $41,870 Per Taxpayer

President Biden just signed his sweeping $1.9 trillion spending package into law. Once this bill hits the books, total taxpayer expenditure on (ostensibly) COVID relief will hit $6 trillion—which, roughly estimated, comes out to $41,870 in spending per federal taxpayer. 

Did you see anywhere near that much in benefit? 

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Commentary: U.S. Territories Are the Frontlines of Global Competition with China

Not since the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis has an adversarial foreign power posed a direct military threat in close proximity to the U.S. mainland. Yet as the United States and the People’s Republic of China deepen their long-term competition, U.S. territories and possessions in the Pacific and the Caribbean find themselves on the front lines of Beijing’s malign influence, economic predation, and military ambitions. Washington policymakers have thus far barely recognized the growing threat to vital American interests on our own territory or in adjacent waters. 

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Attorney Jim Roberts Needs More Signatures for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to encourage people to keep downloading and getting back the petitions at 4GoodGovernment.com.

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Conservative Firebrand Candace Owens on Biden’s Decline, Derek Chauvin Trial, and Meghan and Harry’s Cries for Publicity

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed conservative firebrand Candace Owens to the newsmakers line to discuss the latest on Joe Biden’s prime time appearance, Derek Chauvin hearing, and the Meghan Markle, Prince Harry interview.

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Special Guest Candace Owens Talks About Becoming a Nashvillian and Her New Show ‘Candace’

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed conservative Candace Owens host of the new Daily Wire show ‘Candace’ to the newsmakers line to talk about becoming a Nashvillian and the context of her new evening talk show.

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New York Assembly Speaker Authorizes Impeachment Investigation into Cuomo

The speaker of the New York Assembly announced Thursday he authorized an impeachment investigation into allegations of misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a press release.

“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie, a Democrat, said. “The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.”

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Nashville Police Release Footage of Friday’s Fatal Shootout Between Police Officer and Female Suspect

A shootout at a Dollar General store hospitalized a Metro Nashville Police officer and killed a 31-year-old woman Friday, and police released body cam footage of the incident later in the day. The incident happened at Brick Church Pike and Ewing Drive, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Twitter feed.

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Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Significantly Halts COVID-19’s Spread, Effective Against UK Variant

Pfizer said Wednesday that real-world data suggests its coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective in halting asymptomatic infections and effective against a highly transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Israeli analysis of vaccine distribution shows the vaccine being over 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases and death, higher than the 90% efficiency that was reported in the vaccine’s Phase III trials, Pfizer said in a press release Thursday. Over 80% of the tested specimens were against the UK variant known as B.1.1.7.

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National Guard General Opposed Keeping Troops in DC, Overruled by Austin

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly overruled a memo from the commanding general of the National Guard who objected to keeping troops in D.C., according to Fox News.

The memo, written by Gen. Daniel Hokanson, was disseminated among the White House National Security Council last week and cited concerns over the National Guard already being overburdened with coronavirus issues, civil disturbances and wildfires, according to a report from Fox News.

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Network of Enlightened Women-Nashville Chapter President Allison Santa Rita Talks Challenges on Being a Conservative at Belmont University

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the president of the Network of Enlightened Women in Nashville, Allison Santa Rita to the studio to discuss the bias she and her fellow conservative women members have received on Belmont’s campus.

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Oklahoma Passes Bill to Grant Immunity to Drivers Who Hit Rioters Engaging in Violence

The Oklahoma House passed a bill Wednesday that extends punishments for rioters and grants immunity to drivers who injure or kill someone while fleeing a riot, USA Today reported.

House Bill 1674, introduced by Republican state Rep. Kevin West, would allow prosecutors to charge rioters with a misdemeanor for interfering with traffic and endangering drivers. If passed, motor vehicle operators would not face criminal or civil charges for hitting a rioter if they were fleeing for safety or exercised “due care” at the time of the injury or death.

The bill defines a rioter as anyone committing violence or robbery during the protest, according to the Courthouse News Service. Rioters can face a criminal charge and imprisonment.

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Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Introduces Constitutional Amendment Requiring Congress to Balance Its Budget

U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) this week proposed a Constitutional amendment that, if enacted into law, would require that Congress pass a balanced budget within 10 years and keep that budget permanently balanced. This, according to a press release that Green’s staff published on his website.

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Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan Weighs in on the Seriousness of America’s Southern Border Surge

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan to the newsmakers line to explain the urgency at the southern border as a result of the Biden administration’s encouraging unofficial policies.

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Music Spotlight: Emily Brooke

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  No one in Emily Brooke’s family was musical. Young Brooke was a cheerleader, not a singer. But like many preteen girls twelve years ago, Brooke was super into Taylor Swift and Hannah Montana. She wanted to learn to play guitar as they did.

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Biden to Direct States to Make All U.S. Adults Eligible for COVID Vaccine by May 1

President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is directing U.S. states to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all American adults by May 1 in an effort to more quickly reopen the country and prop up the staggering U.S. economy.

“To do this we’re going to go from a million shots a day … to 2 million shots a day,” he said.

In most U.S. states currently, only older Americans, front-line workers and those with pre-existing conditions are eligible, though getting scheduled for a first dose has been problematic in many states even for the most at-risk.

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Atlantic Council Ignored Anti-Corruption Activist’s Warnings About Burisma, the Ukrainian Firm Linked to Hunter Biden

A top foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C. rejected warnings from a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist against forming a partnership with Burisma Holdings, the energy firm linked to Hunter Biden that has faced allegations of corruption.

Daria Kaleniuk, the executive director of a Ukrainian group called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC), contacted John Herbst, a director at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, on Jan. 20, 2017, and asked him to reconsider plans to work with Burisma, newly released State Department emails show.

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Walz Hits Goal of 70 Percent Seniors Getting First COVID-19 Vaccination, Expands Eligibility to 1.8 Million Minnesotans

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility after reaching its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotan’s seniors.

The state will expand eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans, starting Wednesday.

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Michigan’s New Unemployment Director Faces Questions from House Oversight Committee

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Liza Estlund Olson was grilled Thursday morning by the state House Oversight Committee.

Committee members asked pointed questions about recent revelations relating to the departure of Olson’s predecessor, Steve Gray, in November. Gray received a $76,626 payout and another $9,246 in attorney fees and signed a confidentiality agreement with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

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Ohio AG Files Lawsuit Against Health Care Giant for Overcharging Medicaid

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims in lawsuit filed Thursday a health care giant raised prices for taxpayer-funded care to maximize company profits.

Yost said Ohio sued Centene Corp. in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleging its subsidiary, Buckeye Health Plan, used a web of subcontractors for the provision of pharmacy benefits to be able to misrepresent pharmacy costs. That, Yost said, resulted in millions of dollars of overpayments by the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

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Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming Loses Hancock County Attorney Gig Because of Stance on Voter Integrity

Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) is reportedly no longer the designated attorney for Hancock County because of voter integrity legislation he’s filed with the Georgia General Assembly. This, according to the Atlanta-based Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Lieutenant Governor Fairfax’s Defamation Lawsuit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax’s defamation suit against CBS on Thursday. In 2019, Fairfax sued CBS for defamation after CBS This Morning aired interviews with two women who alleged Fairfax sexually assaulted them in separate incidents in the early and mid 2000s. Fairfax has emphasized that the encounters were consensual.

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Virginia GOP Leadership Votes to Hold Unassembled Convention

After months of heated Zoom meetings, on Friday night the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) finally voted to hold an unassembled nomination convention. Delegates to the May 8 convention will visit one of 37 drive-in locations and drop off a completed ranked-choice ballot, and then return home.

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Governor Lee Films Video of Maskless Visit to Downtown Nashville, Where Mask Mandate Still in Effect

A maskless Governor Bill Lee visited downtown Nashville to encourage tourism and support the local businesses. Lee didn’t acknowledge the Metro government’s ongoing mask mandate, which has been in effect since last June.

“Hey everybody, Governor Bill Lee here down on Broadway in downtown Nashville,” said Lee. “I’m glad that you are here for the SCC tournament or whether you’re a spring breaker just about to be here, or someone looking for a place to come this summer – Tennessee is open for business! I’m about to go down to some of my favorite businesses, get me a pair of boots, might get me something to eat. I hope that you will come down and get you some boots and you something to eat in downtown Nashville soon!”

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