Federal Judge Reinstates 48-Hour Waiting Period for Tennessee Abortions While Appeal Underway

pregnancy test

Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law for abortions was restored temporarily as the state makes its appeal. The decision was made on Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman. He vacated his prior opinion while the state makes an appeal.

In response, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued a press release explaining that this decision recognized that Tennessee’s law is “likely constitutional,” and therefore could be enforced.

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Tennessee Senate Passes Election Integrity Act Requiring Watermarks on Ballots

The Senate passed the “Tennessee Election Integrity Act,” which requires each county election commission to put watermarks on their ballots. Electronic absentee ballots would be exempt. The act received unanimous, bipartisan support.

Under the Tennessee Election Integrity Act, each county election commission must have their watermark approved by the state coordinator of elections. None of the publicly-available sample ballots will have the watermark. Additionally, signature verification of the voter on absentee ballots will no longer be considered the final verification necessary before counting the ballots – the approved watermark will be. If an absentee ballot is rejected, the official must write “rejected” across its face and include the reason for rejection.

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Commentary: President Biden’s Tax Hike Hits Keep on Coming

Joe Biden

Just over three months into his presidency, Joe Biden has been nothing if not active. Fresh off proposing two bills that could end up costing taxpayers $5 trillion over the next decade, the President is now proposing yet another $1.5 trillion spending package. This plan, intended to fund expanded childcare and education initiatives, would include huge tax hikes that would act as yet another sucker punch to a still-rebounding economy.

About the only tax increases the President hasn’t supported thus far arewealth taxes and financial transaction taxes. But just because the tax hikes in this package are less exotic doesn’t mean they wouldn’t prove to be harmful.

In keeping with Biden’s ongoing efforts to undo the 2017 tax reform law, the first tax increase proposed is the restoration of the top tax bracket to 39.6 percent, the level it was at before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered the rate to 37 percent. The top individual rate isn’t the most influential piece of the tax code on economic growth — as the Tax Foundation estimated prior to the passage of the TCJA — but it’s also far from the only tax hike that Biden is proposing.

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Law Professor May Be Fired After Personal Blog Post Criticized Chinese Government

Tom Smith

The University of San Diego is formally reviewing a law professor who made a blog post critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

“If you believe that the coronavirus did not escape from the lab in Wuhan, you have to at least consider that you are an idiot who is swallowing whole a lot of Chinese cock swaddle,” wrote Professor Tom Smith on his blog The Right Coast. He later clarified that the reference was to the Chinese government, not the people in the country.

When he first published the March 10 post, the USD Law School placed him under investigation, citing complaints of bias. Now, the law school has sent his case to administration for a formal review.

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Medical Experts Predict an Increase in Cancer Deaths Due to COVID

National Cancer Institute

Delayed diagnoses and missed screenings due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely result in increased cancer deaths, medical experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We have not yet seen the real impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis and deaths,” warned Dr. Julie Gralow, executive vice president and chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Screening for cancer (mainly breast, cervical, and colon) clearly dropped dramatically early in the pandemic, which will likely contribute to a later stage at diagnosis due to the delay/omission of screening that will be seen in the future.”

Lawmakers, health officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called on health care providers to cancel non-essential or routine appointments, surgeries, and procedures to preserve personal protective equipment and prevent the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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Female Athletes Appeal Ruling Dismissing Complaints Against Biological Males In Women’s Sports

Four female athletes are appealing a ruling that dismissed their challenge to a policy that allows biological males to compete in female sports.

Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti will continue to challenge the Connecticut policy, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm announced Monday.

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Police Groups, Unions to Argue Against Minneapolis Police Racism Probe in Meeting with DOJ

Minneapolis Police Department

Top police organizations and unions will reportedly express concern to Attorney General Merrick Garland about his racism probe into the Minneapolis Police Department, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The groups are expected to confront Garland and other Justice Department (DOJ) officials about the investigations during a meeting Friday afternoon, the WSJ reported. While many of the groups’ leaders have endorsed various police reforms since George Floyd’s death last year, they worried a broad probe would be unproductive and hurt rank-and-file officers.

“We recognize that there needs to be more oversight, there needs to be some reform in place, but we need DOJ to work with us because there has to be buy-in from the line men and women who do this job,” David Mahoney, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association and sheriff of Dane County, Wisconsin, told the WSJ.

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Commentary: Elections Have Consequences; Cheating Doesn’t

Barack Obama liked to remind us that “elections have consequences.”

Boy, do they! For conservatives like me, the months since Democrats took over the White House and the Senate have been a tsunami of consequences. How do you think I like it when Joe Biden’s handlers aim 60 executive orders at the tip of his pen to effectuate a fundamental transformation of this country? Or when the Democrat-controlled Congress tries to push through statehood for the District of Columbia in order to guarantee their continued control of the Senate? Or when the southern border is turned into a 2,000-mile illegal-immigrant processing center?

Unfortunately, the dictum that “elections have consequences” is not recognized as a legitimate principle when Republicans defeat Democrats. That was obvious when Donald Trump won the 2016 election and spent the next four years being vilified as a Russian puppet, a racist and a danger to the republic. You see, Democrats consider elections to be their most legitimate means of seizing power, but not necessarily the most effective. For them, politics is the continuation of war by other means, and they have been waging war against not just Republicans, but against the Constitution for at least the last 50 years.

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Black Lives Matter Doesn’t Mention Attempted Stabbing on Official Page About Police Shooting of Ohio Girl

Black Lives Matter’s official page on the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, who was fatally shot by a Columbus Police officer last week, is noticeably devoid of details regarding the incident. 

“At the exact same time the verdict of Derek Chauvin was being read for murdering George Floyd, police wasted no time in senselessly taking another Black child,” the page says. 

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Federal Government Will No Longer Fine Illegal Aliens for Failure to Leave the U.S.

Border Patrol Encounters Another Commercial Vehicle Involved in Human Smuggling Attempt

The federal government will no longer fine illegal aliens who fail to depart from the U.S. and it plans to pursue the cancellation of any currently outstanding debts for people who previously incurred such financial penalties.

“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”

While U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had already stopped issuing such fines as of Jan. 20, 2021 — the day that President Biden was sworn into office — two delegation orders pertaining to the collection of the fines were rescinded on Friday, according to a Department of Homeland Security press release.

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Hawley Plan Gives ‘Marriage Bonus’ to Married Parents with Young Children

Josh Hawley

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Monday aimed at providing support for families with young children.

Hawley’s plan would give single parents with children under 13 $6,000 in parent tax credits and married parents with children under 13 $12,000 in parent tax credits, according to a press release.

“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said in a statement. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences.”

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‘Anti-Racist’ Professor with BLM Syllabus Offers ‘Diversity Bingo’ Extra Credit

Black Lives Matter sign

A University of Florida professor gave students a “Diversity Bingo” extra credit assignment, which called for students to find people of various ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations.

The course, titled Problem Solving with Computer Software, is a general requirement course for all business majors at the University of Florida. “Diversity Bingo” was offered to students in the class as an extra credit assignment.

The assignment appears within a chapter dedicated to problem-solving specify, using groups and critical thinking strategies. Within this chapter students learned about Problem Definition, Idea Generation, and Decision making. The professor also included this assignment as being relevant to the material.

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Census Bureau Announces States in the South, Northwest Pick up Congressional Seats

Texas and Florida are slated to gain congressional seats during the decennial redistricting process, while California and New York are set to each lose one, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the decennial state population and congressional apportionment totals Monday, outlining how many districts each state will have for the next decade. The data also determines how many Electoral College votes each state will have through 2032, and allocates how federal money is distributed to each state for schools, roads and other public projects.

The release was originally scheduled for December, but faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s unsuccessful effort to exclude non-citizens from the count.

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Rep. Sexton Talks Cutting Strings Attached to Federal Money and Maintaining Tennessee Values in Public Schools

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Jerry Sexton in studio to discuss critical race theory in Tennessee’s public schools and cutting the strings that are attached to federal education money coming from Washington into the state.

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Rep. Jerry Sexton Responds to Biden Administration Immigration Law Fails and the State Legislature Role K12 Curriculum

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed State Rep. Jerry Sexton to the studio to discuss the failure of the Biden administration to enforce legal immigration laws and the Tennessee General Assembly’s role in K12 public school curriculum.

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Crom Carmichael on HR1 and New Hampshire State Voting Laws That Work

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the voting laws of New Hampshire in response to HR1.

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Commentary: Coddling Criminals Is a New Front in the War on the Middle Class

"We who believe in freedom cannot rest," sign

The middle class is the traditional bedrock of American society. They are the rule followers, the volunteers, the middle managers, and small business owners. Being rule-oriented, they support the police and stability, as they have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Their values are defined by their economic and social position: self-sufficient, conscientious, and, lately, anxious.

The middle class is under pressure from numerous directions. Wages have been flat for 50 years, while prices have gone up, particularly for the traditional perquisites of middle-class existence: homes, healthcare, and education. Globalization and mass immigration increase the labor pool against which Americans must compete. Inflation and debt eat away at the ability of families to accrue wealth. And diversity and crime have made it so many families need to spend a small fortune (and a lot of time commuting) to recreate the lifestyle they enjoyed growing up.

Lately, riots and racial tension create additional anxieties for the middle class. The nihilism of these displays is alien to the middle class’s quest for security.   

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Republican Party of Virginia Sets Rules, Adds Polling Locations, and Makes Religious Freedom Exception

After a lengthy debate that consisted of a media firestorm, shouting, and the Republican Party of Virginia getting called to the proverbial principal’s office by the Republican National Committee; the Republican Party of Virginia decided on the rules of the 2021 Republican Party of Virginia Unassembled Convention. 

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Growing Number of Black Leaders Embrace Voter ID, Reject Biden’s Jim Crow Claims

Mail in ballot with U.S. flag

Mark Robinson knows a thing or two about the political appeal of voter ID. After all, he became North Carolina’s first ever African-American lieutenant governor last November running as a Republican who vowed to restore voter identification for the state’s elections.

And he won, even as the GOP’s top of the ticket fell to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

So Robinson chafes when he hears national Democrats like Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams claim that asking for an ID to vote is as disenfranchising as the voter suppression tactics of the Jim Crow era.

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Law Firm Nixon Peabody Appointed Investigator of Investigation into Virginia Parole Board

Travis Hil

Attorney General Mark Herring’s office announced that major international law firm Nixon Peabody LLP will investigate the Office of the State Inspector General’s investigation of the Virginia Parole Board. The firm is required to send a report on the investigation to leading Virginia elected officials from both parties by June 15, 2021.

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Florida Lawmakers Negotiate Budget Deal

Jay Trumbull

After a week of negotiation, Florida’s lawmakers reached a deal determining spending difference for Florida’s $92.2 billion budget.

One of the largest contingents of the budget has been allocated for education. Twenty-two billion dollars of the budget is dedicated to school spending, which includes one-time $1,000 bonuses for all K-12 teachers and principals. The proposal is backed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

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Gov. Kemp Signs Georgia Lodging Tax, Income Tax Credit for Teachers Bills

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Hotels, motels, short-term rentals and most lodging facilities in Georgia will be required to pay a $5-a-night excise tax as of July 1.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 317 into law. It imposes the fee on all lodging facilities and rooms except those that do not provide shelter and extended-stay rentals. Extended-stay rentals allow guests to occupy a room or facility for at least 30 consecutive days.

HB 317, which Kemp signed Wednesday, also requires online short-term rental companies such as Airbnb to collect hotel and motel excise taxes and pay them to local governments.

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Florida Senate Passes Elections Bill, Restrictions on Social Media Platforms

On Monday, April 26th, 2021, the Florida Senate voted 23 to 17 in favor of of a controversial bill (SB 90) regarding election administration and its tightening grip on mail-in voting. SB 90 includes changes to the current Election Code like, supervising and reducing the number of mail-in ballot drop boxes used by a supervisor of elections, and requiring voters to submit an application for a mail-in ballot every two years rather than every four years. 

 Democrats in the Florida Senate who voted against the bill say that SB 90 retains voting restrictions that that are unnecessary and will have disproportionate negative effect on Hispanic, Black, and older voters. They also commented on how the proposed measures of the bill is in reaction to the voting fraud allegations made by former President Trump in the 2020 elections. 

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Debates, Tours, Endorsements, and a Florida Stop: Virginia Candidates Battle for Nomination

The race for the GOP nomination for the top Virginia positions is coming to an end, leading to a debate, tours, and a trip to Florida. In the Democratic primary, early voting has already begun, but big nominations are still rolling in.

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Ohio Democrats Attack GOP Plans to Rewrite State Election Laws

Elizabeth Walters

Ohio Democrats blasted a Republican proposal to rewrite the state’s election law to stop off-site ballot boxes, eliminate early-voting options and strengthen Ohio’s voter ID regulations.

The proposal, however, also includes creating an automated voter registration plan and easier access to absentee voter requests.

Reps. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and Sharon Ray, R-Wadsworth, plan to introduce what they call a comprehensive modernization and reform bill, while Democrats believe it’s more extreme restrictions on the right to vote that continue across the country.

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Florida Congresswoman Demings Defends Ohio Officer in Fatal Shooting

Val Demings

U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10) defended the police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

Demings appeared on the CBS Sunday program Face the Nation and said the officer had to make a split-second call, and the officer ended up saving a life in the process.

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Minnesota Firms Would Pay a Combined Corporate Tax Rate of 35.1 Percent Under Biden Plan

Joe Biden

The combined state and federal corporate tax rate in Minnesota would reach 35.1 percent under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, representing a tie for the third highest levy among the 50 states, according to a new study from the Tax Foundation.

U.S. corporations currently pay a 21 percent corporate income tax rate to the federal government, the Tax Foundation reported, but they also pay additional corporate taxes in 44 states and Washington, D.C. State corporate income tax rates range from zero to 11.5 percent, so the current combined average paid by corporations is 25.8 percent, the study said.

Corporations based in six states – Ohio, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming – are charged no state income tax, though they have to pay their share to the federal government, the Tax Foundation said.

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Dash Cam Shows Drunk Michigan Dem Resisting Arrest, Invoking Whitmer’s Name

Police arrest screen cap

Police dash camera video of the recent arrest of state Rep. Jewell Jones (D-MI-11) shows the drunken 25-year-old resisting arrest, and invoking the name of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) as a threat to the arresting officers.

In the video, police attempt to obtain Jones’ driver’s license, which he refuses to give them. Eventually, he begins struggling with the two arresting officers, ending up detained in the grass on the side of I-96.

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Rep. Tim Ryan Announces Run for US Senate

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) announced on Monday that he is running for the U.S. Senate.

Ryan currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Ohio’s 13th District. He is on the House Appropriations Committee and is the co-Chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus. Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002 and previously served in the Ohio state Senate.

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Republican Jeanne Seaver Announces Bid for Georgia Lieutenant Governor

Jeanne Seaver

Georgia resident Jeanne Seaver, a Republican who was one of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s grassroots coordinators, has declared her candidacy for lieutenant governor. “I have heard from voices all over the state who said they are sick and tired of candidates and elected officials coming to them every two to four years to go out and work for them and help get them elected and then you never hear from them again,” Seaver told The Georgia Star News Monday.

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Williamson County School System Officials Deny They Are Pushing Critical Race Theory, Critics Call it Marxist

Staff at the Williamson County School System say on their official website that they are not implementing Critical Race Theory (CRT) into their curriculum, although other people insist that, yes, it has infested the schools.

And those same people who want the alleged Critical Race Theory removed said WCS officials must withdraw from it immediately.

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