Cookeville Fire Chiefs Double-Dipped, Stole $30,000 from Taxpayers, Audit Reveals

Authorities have indicted a Cookeville fire captain as well as a current one for allegedly taking money to which they weren’t entitled. Tennessee Comptrollers released an investigative report this week identifying those two men as former Fire Captain Marvin Montgomery and current Cookeville Fire Captain Shawn Roberson. Both men worked at the Cookeville Fire Department and also instructed part-time at the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle, according to the Comptroller’s report.

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Commentary: Joe Biden, Economy Killer

President Joe Biden

Along with a working vaccine, Joe Biden inherited a V-shaped economic recovery, but he is now planting the seeds of its destruction. Inflation, federal deficits, high taxes, incentives for workers to stay home, and incentives to avoid investment – they’re all coming back. Together, these elements create the perfect brew for a Lyndon Johnson-style stagflation. If Biden and the Democrats so quickly wreck the good economic path they were given, it will be one of the worst examples of government malpractice in U.S. economic history. 

In the first, dark days of the COVID-19 national economic shutdown last spring, there was a clear need for major stimulus. Both parties united to pass an effective and much-needed response. 

The U.S. gross domestic product saw a 33.4% surge in the July-September third quarter of 2020, after plunging 31.4% in the April-June second quarter. The economy continued to grow at a 4% rate in the fourth quarter, and the stock market (despite COVID) ended 2020 with the S&P 500 index up 16% for the year as a whole. 

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BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors Has Funneled Business to Company Run by Father of Her Only Child, Records Show

BLM Co founder Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder and executive director of Black Lives Matter’s national arm, has funneled business to a company led by a man she identified as the father of her only child, a Daily Caller News Foundation review of business records, interviews and social media posts found.

The company, Trap Heals, was formed just days before partnering with Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and later became the charity’s “lead developer of the art & cultural efforts,” according to business records, interviews and an archived version of Trap Heals’ website. Two other activist groups Cullors led paid Trap Heals a collective $238,000 to produce an election night livestream and for consulting services, campaign finance records show.

In numerous public mentions of their work, Cullors and Turner did not disclose that they had a child together. But in at least one instance, Turner said Cullors was directly involved in Trap Heals’ partnership with BLM Global Network.

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Teachers Union Gave Nearly $20 Million to Dems Before Influencing CDC School Reopening Guidance

American Federation of Teachers

The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.

Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.

Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.

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U.S. Added Just 266,000 Jobs in April, Far Below Expectations

Worker in restaurant kitchen

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 266,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons ticked up to 9.8 million. Economists projected a million Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The pieces are really coming together for a burst in activity,” Sarah House, senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank, told the WSJ. “We’re expecting to see the labor market recovery shift into an even faster gear with the April jobs report.”

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Steve Bannon Presents ‘War Room: Pandemic’

An all new LIVE STREAM of War Room: Pandemic starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon began the daily War Room: Pandemic radio show and podcast on January 25, when news of the virus was just beginning to leak out of China around the Lunar New Year. Bannon and co-hosts bring listeners exclusive analysis and breaking updates from top medical, public health, economic, national security, supply chain and geopolitical experts weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ET.

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Vaccines Protect Against Multiple Variants, Additional Studies Suggest

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

The Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are highly effective against and prevent illness from common variants of the virus, according to recently released studies.

The vaccine made by Pfizer is effective against the coronavirus variants that originated from the U.K. and South Africa, according to multiple studies released Wednesday that examined real-world vaccinations, The New York Times reported. Moderna reported that an early-stage trial suggested its vaccine is effective against the South African variant and a third variant originating from Brazil when given as a single-dose booster shot.

“At this point in time, we can confidently say that we can use this vaccine, even in the presence of circulating variants of concern,” London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine infectious disease researcher Annelies Wilder-Smith told the NYT.

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Attorney Jim Roberts Talks Davidson County Election Commission Upcoming Vote and Metro Legal Impending Infinite Litigation

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to give updates to the status of Davidson County Election Commission’s vote and Metro legal’s imminent litigation.

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U.S. Fertility Rate Declines for Sixth Straight Year

Infant feet

During 2020 the US birth rate fell 4% lower than the year before – the largest drop in nearly 50 years, according to government data released Wednesday.

The report showed the number of births fell across all ethnicities and origins.

“This is the sixth consecutive year that the number of births has declined after an increase in 2014, down an average of 2% per year, and the lowest number of births since 1979,” the National Center for Health Statistics said.

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Civil Rights Icon and Head of 1776 Unites, Bob Woodson Sees Evidence of Hope for Race Relations in America

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Civil Rights Icon and Head of the Woodson Center Bob Woodson to the newsmakers line to discuss the prospering reception of his 1776 Unites curriculum from parents around the country.

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Commentary: A Tribute to Mothers with Inspiration from Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou speaking

You wouldn’t think any possible controversy could append itself to that day, except that we are living in preternaturally contentious times. Two days ago, Rep. Cori Bush, a freshman Democrat from St. Louis, was testifying about racial disparities in health care, focusing specifically on childbirth. While describing her own medical experiences, Bush used the unwieldy phrase “birthing people” instead of “mothers.” Apparently, this was an awkward attempt to use inclusive language.

Predictably, this rhetorical gambit earned her a fair amount of ridicule on social media. I’m sure Rep. Bush has many virtues, but neither self-awareness nor self-deprecating humor are at the top of that list. Just as predictably, Bush lashed out at those who mocked her wording for their “racism and transphobia.” She also accused her critics of trivializing an important subject, which was a more substantive rejoinder. Bush was discussing racial disparities in America’s medical system, which is no laughing matter, and invoking her own harrowing experiences in hospital delivery rooms to do it.

Yet breezily trying to replace the word “mothers” as a sign of wokeness a few days before Mother’s Day wasn’t likely to go down well. It was Cori Bush’s own peculiar choice of words that distracted listeners from her story.

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Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney Faces Another Republican Who Wants to Challenge Her in the State’s GOP Primary

  Another Wyoming Republican is throwing his hat into the GOP primary race in an effort to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY-At Large District). Darin Smith, a Cheyenne-based businessman, announced his candidacy Friday, according to a press release. The Wyoming native describes himself as “pro-God, pro-family, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-veteran, pro-oil…

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Commentary: Asking the Wrong Question About Liz Cheney

To the delight of actual conservatives everywhere, it appears that U.S. Representaative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will soon finally be out of the GOP leadership, rectifying a huge mistake made less than three months ago by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House GOP leadership when they steadfastly supported her against a groundswell of calls from voters for her removal.

At that time, McCarthy passionately defended her presence in leadership ahead of a secret ballot vote, with many describing his contribution as decisive in turning the tide toward keeping Cheney as House GOP conference chairman. That McCarthy would be forced to reverse himself just a few months later shows that his judgment as a leader is fatally flawed.

The question conservatives should be asking now is not why we need to oust Liz Cheney but how she ever got into leadership in the first place?

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Recent Florida Legislation Prohibiting Private Funding of Elections

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed alls tar panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to weigh in on Florida’s recent election reform legislation banning private funding.

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Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Outlines His Bill for Removing Critical Race Training from U.S. Military Academy

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee’s Seventh District to the newsmakers line to discuss his bill which would outlaw the training of critical race theory in U.S. Military Academy and others.

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Four Former Minneapolis Officers Indicted on Federal Civil Rights Charges in Floyd’s Death

George Floyd protest in Minneapolis with "I can't breathe" cardboard sign

 A federal grand jury has indicted four ex-Minneapolis police officers on federal civil rights charges related to the death of George Floyd.

The first indictment charges Derek Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38. The three-count indictment alleges that all four defendants willfully deprived Floyd of his constitutional rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242.

Count one of the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin pressed his left knee on Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm, as Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, and kept his knees on Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.

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Virginia Beach Announces Police Body Camera Policy Reforms

The City of Virginia Beach is requiring police officers to turn on body cameras as soon as they are on their way to a call, according to an April 29 video released by the city. Additionally, the Virginia Beach Police Department is in the process of adding switches to officers’ gun holsters to automatically turn their cameras on when the gun is drawn, with an implementation goal of July. Their tasers have a device that activates recording on all nearby officers’ cameras as soon as the taser and camera are turned on.

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Judge Grants Virginia Employment Commission Brief Extension to Respond to Class-Action Lawsuit over Slow Unemployment Claims Processing

Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.

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Florida Man Guilty in Inauguration Day Plot

Florida Senate Capitol

A Florida man, Daniel Baker of Tallahassee, was found guilty of making threats and inciting violence at the Florida Capitol. Baker was arrested in January after posting a “call to arms” on social media, encouraging followers to violently confront protestors outside of the Florida Capitol on Inauguration Day.

Baker argued his threats were not real and were “jokes,” but the 12-member jury found him guilty in just over one day of deliberation.

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Conviction of Disgraced Florida Democrat Overturned on Appeal

Corrine Brown

A former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida Thursday won an appeal of her 2017 conviction for corruption, according to several reports. 

Former Democrat Rep. Corrine Brown, who represented Florida’s Fifth and Third Congressional Districts over a period of nearly 25 years, had her conviction overturned after the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the District Court wrongly dismissed a juror after learning that the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty of the crimes. 

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Ilhan Omar Leans on Dems to ‘Grow a Backbone,’ Abolish Filibuster

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) wants Senate Democrats to step to the plate and abolish the filibuster, which would pave the way for near-total Democrat control of Congress.

“Please stop asking us about bipartisanship when this is what the leader of the other party is focused on,” she said on Twitter. “Democrats can’t repeat the mistake of 2009, we must abolish the filibuster & move legislation that helps us deliver progress for the American people. Let’s grow a backbone.”

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Georgia Department of Education Officials Want Public Input on American Rescue Plan Spending

Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) officials want public feedback as they plan how to spend taxpayer money they received through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which is the federal government’s third COVID-19 relief bill. This, according to a press release that GaDOE officials emailed this week.

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Atlanta Mayor Won’t Run for Reelection

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Atlanta’s Mayor announced Thursday night that she will not run for a second term.

“As [husband] Derek and I have given thoughtful prayer and consideration to the season now before us, it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said in a letter published Thursday. 

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Northam Expects to End Virginia’s Social Distancing Requirements in June

Governor Ralph Northam anticipates ending COVID-19 social distancing and capacity restrictions on June 15. In a Thursday briefing, Northam credited vaccinations with driving COVID-19 case numbers down.

“The data gives us a very clear message. The vaccines are working,” Northam said.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms Won’t Seek Reelection as City Uncertain About Public Safety

This week Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms announced she will not seek reelection. This, while Atlanta’s crime rate remains high and a new report explored why members of the Atlanta Police Department (APD) have difficulties hiring and retaining employees.

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‘Operation Dirty Water’ Leads to Major Drug Bust in Florida’s Polk County

The Polk County sheriff’s office along with the U.S. Border Control and other federal agencies have seized 120 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and other narcotics as a result of a transnational investigation named “Operation Dirty Water.” Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County says that the operation was ran by “mastermind” Brian Stanton out of the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta with connection to the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico.

Operation Dirty Water began in January after a shipment from Ontario, Canada containing 2,500 Xanax pills was intercepted by law enforcement on its way to Winter Haven, Florida where detectives then determined and arrested Amber Cayson as the individual who was suppose to receive the shipment. In her home, law enforcement officials found 24 pounds worth of marijuana edibles, 2.4 pounds of marijuana flower, and a pound of methamphetamine.

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Gun Rights Group Sues Tennessee over Permitless Carry Law – Says Age Limit Violates Second Amendment Rights

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is suing the state of Tennessee to challenge the constitutionality of its new permitless carry law. The coalition filed on behalf of three Tennessean men ages 18, 19, and 20 – they argue that the law excludes an entire class of law-abiding adults because it doesn’t apply to adults under 21 years old.

“[T]he State completely denies the right to bear arms to all law-abiding adults under age 21, prohibiting the plaintiffs, and those similarly situated to them, from carrying loaded, operable handguns outside their home for self-defense, in violation of their Second Amendment rights,” asserted FPC’s press release.

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