Tennessee General Assembly Demands Answers from State Agency Over its Diversity and Equity Program

Tennessee State Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) has formally asked Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR) Commissioner Juan Williams to explain the diversity and equity council program he wants state agencies to enforce. In his letter, Ragan requested that Williams justify his actions — in a timely manner — and explain how much it will costs taxpayers.

Read More

Metro Nashville Public Schools Considering Paying Up to $500,000 for Additional Diversity Consultant

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may award up to $500,000 in a contract for a new diversity consultant. MNPS Board of Education is considering an addition for the school district’s Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

The MNPS diversity consultant, if approved, would be Gwendolyn Sims. She runs the Sims Strategic Diversity Consultants, which specializes in DBEs as well as diversity programs and management for contractors and companies. She’s identified as “Gwendolyn Davis” on her website.

Read More

Voters Will Decide Fate of Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Members of the Davidson County Election Commission voted 3-2 Monday to allow voters the right to vote yes or no to the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. “The panel’s approval, along party lines, came after commissioners obtained a legal opinion from Vanderbilt University Professor Jim Blumstein, who was recently retained as the commission’s legal counsel. The opinion states it is the commission’s ‘duty’ to place the initiative on the ballot in 75 to 90 days,” according to The Tennessean.

Read More

Commentary: Mask Mandates Promote Servitude, Not Safety

Man on escalator with mask on

The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.

My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.

I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.

Read More

Tennessee Attorney General Urges Facebook to Cease Building an Instagram for Kids Under 13

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III submitted a letter this week urging Facebook to stop developing an Instagram specifically for children under 13. In addition to Tennessee, 44 other attorney generals signed onto the letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg. 

The attorneys general stated that research consistently links social media to physical, emotional, and mental health issues; that children can’t handle the challenges and responsibilities of social media, such as privacy and inappropriate content; and that Facebook fails to protect the safety and privacy of children.

Read More

Commentary: Biden’s Capital Gains Tax Plans Are a Lose-Lose Proposition

There will always be munis. Income from municipal bonds typically enjoys tax-free status at the federal level and in the issuing state. Conversely, when investors put wealth to work in a startup, private corporation, or public company, they face a capital gains tax penalty if their investment bears fruit. If a home run, that penalty becomes enormous.

Imagine that. Investors who subsidize the growth of government largely avoid taxation. But if they back an innovative corporation, or rush a distant future into the present through an intrepid investment with a visionary entrepreneur, a major IRS bill awaits.

Worse, the cost of prescient investing may soon increase. Seemingly in a bid to placate his ravenous left flank, President Biden has announced a proposal to nearly double the federal penalties on savings and investment to 43.8%.

Read More

Rep. Angie Craig Pressured to Reject Money from Firebrand Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota recently accepted money from New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a donation that is controversial even among her fellow Democrats.

AOC, who identifies as a socialist, formed her own PAC called “Courage to Change” last year in a bid to distance herself from the establishment left. Now, she uses this organization to bankroll potential allies like Craig, who was recently given $5,000.

Read More

Christian University Student Leaders Refuse to Approve Conservative Club

Students at Point Loma Nazarene University

Student government leaders at Point Loma Nazarene University denied Turning Point USA’s request to become a chartered club.

The leaders and a university official at the private Christian university in San Diego said there was “misalignment” between TPUSA activities and the Associated Student Body mission statement.

“Misalignment between that mission statement and TPUSA publications and activities was the primary basis for denial,” university spokesperson Jill Monroe told The College Fix in an email.

Read More

As Biden Taps Elizabeth Warren Ally to Oversee Student Loans, Debate over Canceling Debt Looms Large

Elizabeth Warren

The Biden administration has chosen a close ally of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to oversee the nation’s expansive federal student loan program.

On Monday, Rich Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Obama administration, was announced as the new head of the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, which oversees over $1.7 trillion in loans to U.S. students.

In a statement following his appointment, Cordray said he sought to “create more pathways for students to graduate and get ahead, not be burdened by insurmountable debt.”

Read More

Facebook Oversight Board Member Rips Social Media Giant As ‘Inconsistent’ After Trump Ban

Graffiti of Mark Zuckerberg "You've been zucked"

Aformer federal judge who serves on Facebook’s oversight board on Sunday slammed the social media giant for “arbitrary” and “inconsistent” enforcement of its rules in the aftermath of a permanent ban on Donald Trump’s account.

“We gave them a certain amount of time to get their house in order,” Michael McConnell told Fox News Sunday. “They needed some time because their rules are a shambles. They are not transparent. They are unclear. They are internally inconsistent.”

McConnell said the board made a series of recommendations “about how to make their rules clearer and more consistent.”

Read More

McConnell Says He Supports $800 Billion Package Focusing on ‘Traditional’ Infrastructure

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that Republicans could back an infrastructure package costing up to $800 billion, a higher total than a plan Senate Republicans put forward in April.

Speaking with Kentucky Educational Television Sunday, McConnell reaffirmed Republicans’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which covers both traditional infrastructure and Democratic priorities like child care, affordable housing and climate change. McConnell said that any package must be limited to “traditional” infrastructure items like roads, bridges and ports to gain GOP support.

“The proper price tag for what most of us think of as infrastructure is about $600-800 billion,” McConnell said.

Read More

Gas Shortage and Price Hike Expected This Summer

A gas shortage is expected this summer not because there won’t be enough fuel but because there aren’t enough highly trained and licensed tanker drivers to transport it.

Many tanker drivers retired last year after demand for oil and gas plummeted because fewer people were traveling during the height of the pandemic. And most driving schools where new drivers could have received their training were closed due to state-mandated shutdowns. The two factors combined is resulting in a shortage of roughly 25% of tanker truck drivers needed to transport fuel, says the National Tank Truck Carriers, the trade association representing the tanker truck industry.

Read More

FCC Commissioner Slams Top Baltimore Prosecutor’s ‘Chilling’ Request for Investigation Into Fox-Affiliate Over Bias, Tucker Carlson Show

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr

The senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission criticized the Democratic Baltimore City State Attorney’s recent request for an investigation into a local Fox affiliate as an attack on free speech.

Brendan Carr, the top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), condemned Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s request, saying it was part of a broader effort by Democrats to censor news coverage and political speech they don’t like. Carr demanded that the commission dismiss Mosby’s complaint by the end of the day “with prejudice.”

“The State’s Attorney’s Office, led by Democrat Marilyn Mosby, has launched a chilling and direct attack on free speech and journalistic freedom,” Carr said in a statement on Monday. “The complaint her office filed with the FCC asks the Commission to censor a newsroom simply because journalists are doing their constitutionally protected jobs and shining a light on the work of the State’s Attorney.”

Read More

Commentary: Tuning Out Wokeism

Group protesting; "no justice no peace" sign

If wokeness should continue and “win,” by now we all know where it will end up. After all, this is not a prairie-fire, peasants-with-pitchforks, spontaneous bottom-up revolution.

The woke Left seeks a top-down erasure of America, engineered by the likes of LeBron James from his $40 million estate talking revolution to Oprah at her $90 million castle, as Mark Zuckerberg throws in $500 million here, and his colleagues $400 million there, and as the top executives of Coke, Target, and Delta Airlines believe their $17 million-a-year salaries make them experts on the crimes of non-diversity, exclusion, and inequity. Anytime revolutionaries at the outset of their enterprises seek exemption from the consequences of their own ideology, we know their plans will end badly for everyone else.

Read More

D.C. Jail Treatment of Capitol Riot Defendants Draws Bipartisan Outrage

Ashort drive from the U.S. Capitol, 1,500 inmates are stuck in their jail cells 22 hours a day. Until last month it was 23, and they were also barred from going outside.

A smaller group of inmates may have it even worse: those awaiting trial for alleged crimes in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. They’ve been placed in “restrictive housing,” a maximum-security designation.

The plight of nearby inmates has received surprisingly little attention on Capitol Hill for the better part of a year, since the District of Columbia Department of Corrections issued its “medical stay-in-place” policies for COVID-19 mitigation.

Read More

Carmichael Suggests a Plan for Republicans to Inflict Pressure on the Billionaire and CEO Class of Democrats

Elise Stefanick

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the replacement of Liz Cheney with Trump supporter Elise Stefanik and the need for Republicans to put more pressure on Democrats to further their agenda.

Read More

The Federalist’s Ben Weingarten on the Progressive Racial Agenda and Social Justice Shakedown

Ben Weingarten

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Federalist writer and author Ben Weingarten to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the racially divisive and anti-capitalist narratives pushing for a cooperative woke society through corporate social engineering.

Read More

Commentary: The U.S. Economy and Its Lack of Sustainability

American flag with $100 bills and stethescope

Is the economy booming or is it riding a wave of paper money with no real underlying sustainability? That is the question which policy makers in Washington, DC should be considering.

The truth is no one actually knows, but that is exactly why this discussion must be had.

Since the China virus was inflicted upon the world, it is indisputable that the federal government has authorized $5 Trillion between the Trump spending of $3.1 Trillion to meet the crisis and Biden’s recently passed additional $1.9 trillion so he could sign checks to people too. This is on top of the $1 Trillion in planned deficits during the 2020 fiscal year.

Read More

Special Legislative Session Slated to Iron Out Florida Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe

The Florida Legislature will be holding a special session to discuss the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida on May 17. However, the tribe is not the only one with interests on the line. Multiple national and international casino gambling corporations, smaller casinos, internet gambling, thoroughbred racing, fantasy sports betting, and greyhound dog race betting are among those with interest in the outcomes of the compact.

As Florida becomes a more popular spot for gambling and betting, the state, the tribes, and invested industries are hoping previous years of tension will end in a new 30-year compact benefitting each party.

Read More

Detroit Police Chief Expected to Mount Gubernatorial Bid Against Whitmer

Detroit Police Chief James Craig

A high-profile Republican is expected to leave his post as Detroit’s Chief of Police, and run against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2022’s gubernatorial race.

“Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a Republican and a veteran of police departments around the country, is preparing to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, potentially giving the GOP a formidable candidate in one of the midterm election’s highest profile gubernatorial contests,” POLITICO reported.

Read More

New Interim Teacher Certification Program Aims to Provide More Teachers of Color in Schools

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has approved the New Paradigm for Education program to promote alternative teacher certification in the state.

New Paradigm will offer a residency-based alternative route to teacher certification to recruit, train, and retain high-quality educators, particularly teachers of color and male teachers of color.

“We continue to work beyond conventional methods to help address the gaps in the teacher workforce,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said in a statement. “There is a substantial teacher shortage in Michigan, which is even more acute for teachers of color.”

Read More

Barry Loudermilk Says Major League Baseball’s Sudden Decision to Move All-Star Game Has Left Atlanta Business Owners Bewildered

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) said this month that many Atlanta business owners realized controversy surrounded Georgia’s voter integrity law Senate Bill 202, but Major League Baseball’s ultimate reaction to it still astonished them. MLB officials pulled their scheduled All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Breaks Mask Rules for Photo Op at Ohio Business

Mike DeWine and Fran DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is being called out on the internet for apparently breaking his own mask mandate orders. 

DeWine and his wife Fran unmasked for a photo opportunity inside a Findlay ice cream shop at the end of last week. 

Read More

Charlie Crist Criticizes Florida Gov. DeSantis in Recent Interview

Charlie Crist on CBS interview

In an interview by Jim DeFede for CBS News Miami, former Florida Governor and current U.S. Representative Charlie Crist criticized Ron DeSantis while discussing his run for Governor in 2022. Crist criticized DeSantis’ actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transgender sports bill and Medicaid expansion. He also indicated DeSantis was an “uncaring person.”

Crist was asked if DeSantis deserves credit for shutting down nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ATFs) that resulted in a low death toll for senior citizens. Crist deflected the question by bashing DeSantis for not advocating social distancing and wearing a mask while also putting an emphasis on the 36,000 Floridians who died from COVID-19.

After being asked again if DeSantis deserves credit for his decision, Crist stated, “Maybe so, it’s good to get a couple of things right, but it’s better to do more right.”

Read More

Firefighters Association Asks Charlottesville for Collective Bargaining Ordinance

Charlottesville firefighters are seeking formal recognition as a union from the City of Charlottesville under new authority granted by a 2020 law that allows localities to form collective bargaining agreements.

According to The Daily Progress, Charlottesville Professional Firefighters Association President Greg Wright wrote in an email to the City Council, “I humbly ask that you, and all the members of Council support this Amendment. Empowering ALL City employees to participate in traditional collective bargaining is something that I hope you consider as important as we do.”

Read More

Gov. Whitmer Signs $37 Million Bill Funding 76 Projects Statewide

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed House Bill 4469 which appropriates $37.8 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants for 76 recreation projects and land purchases throughout Michigan.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund supports quality outdoor recreation, giving Michiganders the ability to safely enjoy the outdoors and boosting local economies,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding is crucial to helping communities utilize their natural resources and make Michigan’s public spaces more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors. I am proud to sign this piece of bipartisan legislation into law and support Michigan’s recreational resources and economy.” 

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource conservation and outdoor recreation.

Read More

Florida Takes Feds to Court Over Cruise Ship Restrictions

Cruise ship next to dock

The state of Florida will argue before a federal judge Wednesday that the federal government should not be allowed to interfere with the cruise ship industry, which seeks to get back on its feet after the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns. 

“Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, filed the lawsuit last month challenging restrictions imposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pointing to the economic impact on the state,” according to a CBS Miami report. “Moody’s office is seeking a preliminary injunction based, in part, on arguments that the CDC overstepped its legal authority in imposing the restrictions.”

Read More

Discharging Fireworks in Ohio Moves Closer to Reality

Brian Baldridge

 The Fourth of July for Ohioans could come with a little more bang in 2022 if the General Assembly comes together on a pair of bills that would move the state closer to legalizing the discharge of fireworks.

While coming up short of allowing fireworks throughout the state, House Bill 253 would allow cities to legalize fireworks over July 3, 4 and 5, and it requires the state fire marshal to develop rules on how and when fireworks can be used. House Bill 172, which passed the House on Thursday, removes the statewide ban on the discharge of fireworks.

“Every year, the 4th of July is marked with family picnics and parades as a way to celebrate our nation’s birthday and the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” Rep. Brian Baldridge, R-Winchester, said. “Even with all this, each and every year brings disappointment when Ohio’s citizens cannot legally and honestly discharge fireworks as a means of celebrating with family, friends and neighbors.”

Read More

Virginia Republicans Nominate Glenn Youngkin for Governor

Former Carlyle CEO Glenn Youngkin is the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominee for governor. The win is a surprise since many pundits said that lower-than-expected turnout in Saturday’s convention meant that Youngkin’s base had collapsed. Instead, Youngkin took an early lead in the first round of counting of ranked-choice votes. Although it took six rounds of counting and all of Monday to confirm his win, Youngkin consistently stayed in the lead. In the last round Youngkin carried 54.71 percent of weighted votes to Pete Snyder’s 45.29 percent.

Read More

Former Oconee County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

Herman Jones Memorial Forensic Science Complex at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Headquarters in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States

An Oconee County resident and former eighth-grade teacher has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. This, according to a press release that staff for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia published on their website this month.

Read More

Major School District in Virginia Eyes ‘Anti-Racism’ Instead of Questioning Assumptions

Students dancing in classroom

Parents in one of the nation’s largest school districts are being asked about how schools should teach their children about systemic racism, “multiple identities,” and ways to “challenge power and privilege.”

Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools sent a survey Thursday to parents and teachers seeking input about the school system’s future “anti-racism” and “anti-bias” policy. 

“One key strategy to achieve educational equity is to analyze and address the beliefs and policies that inform teaching practices along with what is taught in schools,” Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand said in an email message introducing the survey to parents and teachers. 

Read More

Georgia Politician and Activist Abrams Says She ‘Absolutely’ Hopes to Become U.S. President

Georgia Democratic politician and voting-rights activist Stacey Abrams said during a weekend interview that she “absolutely” hopes to eventually become a U.S. president.

“Do I hold it as an ambition? Absolutely,” Abrams said Sunday in an interview with CBS News on the question of becoming president.

Read More

AP Government Test Asked How a Taylor Swift Instagram Post Illustrated Structural Barriers to Voting

Last week’s AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam asked how a Taylor Swift Instagram post illustrated structural barriers to voting. It appeared on the May 3 version as a free response question.

The College Board explained to The Tennessee Star that Swift’s post was an example of a key concept for AP students: how knowledge of voter registration laws and procedures influence the nature and degree of voter turnout. Swift announced in a 2018 post that she would vote for both Democratic candidates in Tennessee’s midterm elections. Prior to that, Swift didn’t speak publicly about politics. The pop singer alluded to the Trump Administration as her main reason for deciding to share her political views.

Read More