Tennessee General Assembly Passes Bill Making Federal Law Enforcement Information Confidential

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting public access to the information of federal law enforcement officers and agents operating in the state. Certain personal, financial, and residential information would be considered confidential and likely diminish the potential of the public doxxing law enforcement officers. The legislation passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. 

The bill expands current law, which already protects state and local law enforcement. State Representative Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) and Senator Bill Powers (R-Clarksville) are the sponsors on the bill. 

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Commentary: Election Integrity and the Jim Crow Slur

Person with mask on at a computer.

Not too long ago, a good friend of mine took umbrage at a Facebook post that compared a proposed “vaccination passport” to the requirement that Jews in Nazi Germany carry papers identifying them as such. As a Jew, my friend argued that such a comparison trivialized the horrors of the Nazi regime that culminated in the Holocaust.

My friend’s objection was justified. But this same individual has not hesitated to join the president of the United States in comparing the recent Georgia voting law to Jim Crow. Anyone who makes such a claim has no idea of what Jim Crow entailed. Second only to slavery, the Jim Crow era represents the darkest period in U.S. racial history, far darker than Reconstruction or the decade that followed.

Indeed, the racial oppression, segregation, and violence that prevailed throughout the South during the era of Jim Crow in many respects exceeded that of the period of slavery. At least during slavery, there were free blacks in the South who, while denied most civil rights, were protected by laws that left them free to go about their business unmolested and did not prevent commercial interactions between the races.

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Commentary: From ‘Insurrectionists’ to ‘Interruptionists’

Riot at U.S. Capitol

Well, this is a bummer for the sedition-baiting crowd.

The Biden Justice Department last week announced its first plea deal related to the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill: Jon Ryan Schaffer pleaded guilty to two charges—obstruction of an official proceeding and entering the Capitol with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

Schaffer, who has no criminal record, faced six counts of various trespassing and disorderly conduct offenses. (He did not plead guilty to any of the initial charges.)

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U.S. Issues ‘Do Not Travel’ Guidance to 80 Percent of Countries, Cites COVID-19

Airplane in the sky

The State Department is expanding the “Do Not Travel” guidelines for U.S. citizens to include nearly 80% of countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency announced Monday.

The travel advisories will be updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health notices as travelers are at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.

“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘Critical Race Theory Is the Worst Thing to Happen to America Since World War II’

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Epoch Times Senior Editor At Large and All-Star Panelist Roger Simon in studio to talk about his recent column addressing the letter written by a Brearley School father in response to the pushing of critical race theory in the classroom.

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Pro-Life Student Group Exposes Christian Universities with Ties to Planned Parenthood

Students for Life of America group

Students for Life of America, a pro-life organization that aims to “recruit, train, and mobilize the pro-life generation to abolish abortion,” recently released a list of Christian universities with ties to Planned Parenthood.

The group announced in a press release that they investigated over 700 colleges and universities, 100 of which had ties to Planned Parenthood. According to the release, the 100 schools are related to Planned Parenthood through “advertising Planned Parenthood internships and career postings, referring students to Planned Parenthood as a resource, incorporating Planned Parenthood into medical school rotations, or hosting events for students with the abortion giant.”

“There is an unholy partnership between a number of Christian schools and the abortion industry,” said Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America in the press release, “but Students for Life is mobilizing pro-life advocates nationwide to cut ties with the nation’s number one abortion vendor.”

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‘Enemy of the People’: Minneapolis Star-Tribune Publishes Biographical Information of Derek Chauvin Trial Jurors

Juror tag on dress shirt

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is being blasted online for releasing biographical information of all twelve jurors plus two alternates in the Derek Chauvin trial in the killing of George Floyd.

Without naming the jurors, reporters Paul Walsh and Hannah Sayle on Tuesday published enough details about their lives, internet sleuths and local snoops may be able to figure out who they are.

Walsh is a general assignment reporter at the Star-Tribune, and Sayle is a digital features editor. Online critics are accusing the paper of trying to intimidate the jurors into reaching a guilty verdict.

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Jill Simonian of Prager University Talks About Their New PREP Program for Parents and Teachers and Fighting Against Critical Race Theory

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Director of Outreach for Prager University to the newsmakers line to talk about their new PREP program which aids parents and teachers with videos that inspire and teach America’s values.

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Commentary: Manchin Saves the Filibuster for Now, so House Democrats Call Supreme Court Packing ‘Infrastructure’

Joe Manchin

On April 7, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) penned an oped for the Washington Post entitled, “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” appearing to foreclose any possibility of President Joe Biden ramming through major changes to law on a slim partisan basis expanding the Supreme Court, nationalizing election law, expanding statehood to D.C. or Puerto Rico, and so forth.

“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote, appearing to salvage the nation’s two-party system — for now.

But not so fast, say House Democrats, who last week unveiled a plan to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, the Judiciary Act of 2021.

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American Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan Returning to Washington as Tensions Heighten

John Sullivan

United States Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said Tuesday that he was returning to Washington for “consultations” with top American officials as tensions increase between the two countries.

The former deputy secretary of state and appointee of former President Donald Trump said that “it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Russia.”

Sullivan added that he was returning to see his family, and that he would “return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting” between President Joe Biden and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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21 Black Leaders Denounce the Left’s Lies About Georgia Election Law

Person voting in poll booth

Twenty-one civil rights leaders and prominent black conservatives defended Georgia’s new election law in a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, rejecting opponents’ comparisons to Jim Crow laws. 

“It has become clear that even well-intentioned critics of the law simply have no idea what the law is,” the black leaders write in the letter, adding:

It is clear they have no idea how favorably Georgia’s new law compares with most other states—including President Biden’s home state of Delaware. And it is clear they have no idea that a majority of black voters across the country support the key provision under attack by critics—the simple requirement that voters be able to identify themselves when voting. This is the same simple requirement needed to pick up baseball tickets or board a plane—activities hardly as important as voting.

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Music Spotlight: Nashvillains

Nashvillains

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  When I interviewed the Nashvillains I mentioned that they were like a modern country music supergroup. Turns out they agree.  Signed to Fate Entertainment, the newly formed country-rock-infused band is made up of veteran musicians Troy Johnson, Brett Boyett, and Scott Lindsey.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Expanding the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Democrats enthralled their base and alarmed Republicans with the recent announcement of a new push to add four justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the latest polling suggests the majority of Americans don’t favor expanding the highest court in the land.

New polling released by Rasmussen Tuesday found that only a third of likely voters support adding justices to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, 55% of likely voters oppose expanding the bench, which has remained at nine justices for over 150 years.

The poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters between April 15 and April 18 of last week. Respondents were asked:

“The U.S. Supreme Court as defined by law has nine members – a chief justice and eight associate justices, all appointed to lifetime terms. Do you favor or oppose increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court?”

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Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Discusses the Last Few Weeks of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Agenda

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the newsmakers line to weigh in on final General Assembly priorities and revisiting Big Tech legislation.

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Williamson County School Superintendent Jason Golden Is ‘The Enemy,’ Tennessee Stands Says in Tuesday Remarks

Williamson County School Superintendent Jason Golden this week cancelled a previously scheduled speaking engagement with the Williamson County Republican Party, and members of his staff did not return messages seeking comment as to why. Several sources informed The Tennessee Star last week that Golden would have a question and answer session with members of the Williamson County GOP Wednesday evening. Those same sources said they and several other people intended to ask Golden about the Williamson County School Board hiring, as reported in February, a consulting firm to stamp out what they call a pattern of racism within the school district. The name of that firm is Fostering Healthy Solutions.

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House Amends Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Student COVID-19 Vaccines to Expire After 2 Years

Even if the state adopts a bill prohibiting mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for K-12 students, it would only last two years. That is, according to the latest amendment to HB 1421. The amendment rendered the current status of the bill into a proposed sunset law during Tuesday’s House Health Committee hearing.

The committee member behind the amendment, State Representative Robin Smith (R-Hixon), asserted that it would give the FDA enough time to approve the vaccine for regular use – not just emergency use. 

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Rep. Mark White Discusses Critical Race Theory Federal Grants in Tennessee for Public Schools and Why Division in Soceity Does Not Make Things Equal

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Mark White of Memphis to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the Department of Education’s usurpation of power and federal grants used to push critical race theory in states public education.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Issues Statement Following Conviction of Former Police Officer in George Floyd Murder Trial

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Tuesday former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, Jr.

Soon after the jury released their verdict, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine released the following statement.

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Bill Thwarting Big Tech Censorship Headed to Florida Senate Floor

Florida Senate

A bill that would limit the ability of Big Tech platforms like Facebook and YouTube to ban political candidates passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday, and will head to the Senate floor.

SB 7072, which according to its summary is aimed at “prohibiting a social media platform from knowingly deplatforming a candidate,” along with establishing civil liability guidelines  for companies that do deplatorm candidates, passed the Committee with a 10-9 vote.

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Wise County Satellite Internet Success for Students Leads to Expansion to Neighboring Counties

Wise County Public School’s (WCPS) pilot program with SpaceX Starlink to provide satellite internet to rural students has been a success so far, and area officials and legislators are considering expanding the program to neighboring counties. In an April 8 press conference WCPS Director of Technology Scott Kiser provided an update on the program which has helped 45 homes with close to 100 students.

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Nikki Fried’s Ties to the Cannabis Industry

Commissioner Nikki Fried

  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is a former marijuana lobbyist, has failed to address her financial ties to the marijuana industry as she advocates for legalization and uses her position to influence medical marijuana legislation. While legacy media looks the other way, other reporting has revealed connections that…

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Transgender Bill Likely Dead in Florida Legislature

A bill creating limited access for transgender women competing in women’s sports is likely dead according to its sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-22).
Stargel released the statement yesterday after she postponed her bill in its final committee stop saying she is having to direct her attention to Florida’s constitutional amendment to balance the budget.

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Ohio Democrats Propose New Gun Control Legislation

Mike DeWine

Ohio Democrats continue to criticize the state’s new stand your ground law and unveiled a package of gun control legislation Monday that goes further than a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that has seen no movement in nearly two years.

Monday’s call comes 20 months since a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, and less than a week after another one in Indianapolis. It also comes nearly two weeks after a law that removes the duty to retreat from Ohioans to defend themselves with deadly force went into effect.

“Ohioans have spoken loudly and clearly that we need to do something to end gun violence. Democrats are listening to you, the people of Ohio who overwhelmingly support commonsense solutions to keep our kids and communities safe,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said Monday at a news conference. “In the 20 months since Dayton, shootings have gone up, not down. We need reform now to ensure the promise of safety and security for all Ohioans.”

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Florida Legislature Hearing Elections Reform Bills

Dennis Baxley

The Florida House is hearing an elections reform package and the Florida Senate is hearing a bill amending Florida’s election law related to ballot drop-boxes and absentee ballot signature verification.

Sen. Dennis Baxley’s (R-12) SB 90 passed the Senate Rules Committee by a 10-7 vote, and Baxley said the bill is well-intentioned designed to protect Florida’s voters and the integrity of Florida’s elections.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Not Asked Ballot Transfer Form Questions During Tuesday Q&A

On Tuesday the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI) failed to pose two important questions to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about the November 2020 presidential election and missing ballot transfer forms. AEI officials Tuesday afternoon livestreamed a question-and-answer session with Raffensperger about how to restore public trust in voting.

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DeSantis Signs Anti-Riot Legislation

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1, known as the “anti-riot” bill into law during a press conference in Winter Haven.

Surrounding DeSantis was Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and other deputies where DeSantis said, “If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There’s just nothing even close.”

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DeSantis Signs E-Fairness Bill

Just before midnight Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 50 instituting sales tax requirements for online retailers, into law. 

The bill requires out-of-state online retailers to collect and report sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians. The tax will bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue, as well as limit taxes paid by Floridians and Florida businesses.

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Roanoke Postpones Decision on Plastic Bag Tax to Gather More Information, Public Comment

The Roanoke City Council is seeking more information and public input before making a decision on a 5-cent single-use plastic bag tax. In a public hearing at Monday evening’s city council meeting, only three speakers spoke, all in favor of the tax. Council members also expressed support for the idea, but worried that the tax would harm businesses and low-income consumers, and might not address the problem of plastic bag pollution.

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Tennessee Tech Professors Defend Their Flyers Threatening Turning Point USA Advisor, Students as Free Speech in Exclusive Radio Interview

Rude Pundit

The two Tennessee Tech (TTU) professors who posted flyers threatening a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) advisor and students defended their actions in a radio interview on Monday. They claimed it constituted free speech.

The professors in question are TTU Department of Foreign Languages Associate Professor Dr. Julia Gruber and English instructor in English and religious studies Andrew Smith. The Rude Pundit host Lee Papa conducted an hour-long interview with Smith and Gruber. Papa facilitated discuss over the possibility that Tennessee Tech would punish the professors for posting the flyers. 

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