Knoxville Mayor Removes Police from Schools After Police Shot, Killed Armed High School Student

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Knoxville schools will no longer have a police presence, per a joint letter issued by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and the Knoxville Police Department (KPD). The mayor and KPD pulled the plug on an agreement in which KPD supplied officers as security for Knox County Schools (KCS).

KPD officers will be pulled from schools by June 12 – the latest date of graduations occurring. The letter explained that KCS’s internal security and mental health professionals have grown since the agreement took place, making it unnecessary to have KPD assistance.

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GOP’s Top Dog on Ways and Means: Biden’s ‘Death Tax’ Scheme Kills 800K Jobs

The ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee told The Star News Network in an exclusive interview that President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s proposed hiking of taxes on estates, or the Death Tax, will cost the economy 800,000 jobs from family-owned small businesses, farms and ranches.

“Biden is attacking it different routes,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R.-Texas), who has been the sworn enemy on federal taxes on estates ever since he was elected to the House 1996.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Will Continue Requiring Masks, After Nashville Officials Ended the Mask Mandate Last Week

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced last week that they will continue enforcing their mask mandate indefinitely. The announcement came out Friday – the same day that Metro Nashville health officials ended the mask mandate.

The Tennessee Star reported on a recent court ruling that schools lacked the legal authority to impose a mask mandate contrary to state and their local government policy decisions. The Star inquired with MNPS about the relationship between this ruling and their decision to continue the mask mandate. MNPS spokesperson Sean Braisted told The Star that the case referenced doesn’t prevent a school district from enacting or enforcing mask requirements. The Star asked if this ruling would jeopardize MNPS’s qualified immunity if parents challenged the mask mandate in court. Braisted responded that MNPS wouldn’t comment on hypothetical legal challenges.

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Commentary: Price Stability, not Inflation, Will Get the U.S. Economy Back to Full Employment Sooner Rather than Later

2020 and 2021 are two sides of the same coin: Price instability brought about by the dollar being either relatively too strong or too weak, which can lead to or exacerbate economic slowdowns, creating higher unemployment and worse if the conditions persist for too long.

In 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, the problems included the global economy being shut down plus local lockdowns resulting in a massive recession and a flight to safety into U.S. treasuries as interest rates collapsed, making the dollar too strong. With the onset of deflation, consumer prices plummeted in March and April 2020, with oil even dropping briefly below zero dollars for the first time in history, and a concurrent rise of unemployment as 25 million Americans lost their jobs.

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Space Force Commander’s Book Exposing Marxism in the US Military Shoots to Number One After His Firing

Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier

A new book about the Marxist takeover of the military reached the top spot on Amazon’s bestseller list after the author, a former commander of a U.S. Space Force unit in Colorado, was fired for promoting it.

Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier, commander of 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, was relieved from his post after he appeared on a podcast to promote his book, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military.
“Irresistible Revolution is a timely and bold contribution from an active-duty Space Force lieutenant colonel who sees the impact of a neo-Marxist agenda at the ground level within our armed forces,” a description of the book reads.

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Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council Likely to Oversee Sports Wagering as Questions Arise About Rebecca Paul Hargrove

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) on Monday endorsed Rebecca Paul Hargrove’s tenure as Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL) president. This, on the same day members of the Tennessee General Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Bill Lee’s office that proposes to grant more powers over sports wagering to an entity other than the TEL Board of Directors. Instead, legislators want to give those powers to the Tennessee Lottery Corporation’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council.

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Biden Admin Diverts $2 Billion from Healthcare Programs to Help Illegal Migrant Children

Temporary soft sided facilities are utilized to process noncitizen individuals, noncitizen families and noncitizen unaccompanied children as part of the ongoing response to the current border security and humanitarian effort along the Southwest Border in Donna, Texas, May 4, 2021.

The Biden administration redirected over $2 billion allocated for other health initiatives to care for unaccompanied migrant minors, Politico reported Saturday.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will receive $850 million meant for the federal emergency medical fund depleted by COVID-19 and another $850 million set aside for COVID-19 testing, according to three people familiar with the matter, Politico reported. HHS struggled to open and staff several emergency intake facilities to move over 20,000 migrant children out of border patrol facilities.

“They’ve been in a situation of needing to very rapidly expand capacity, and emergency capacity is much more expensive,” Mark Greenberg, Migration Policy Institute senior fellow and former leader of the Obama administration’s HHS administration for children and families, told Politico. “You can’t just say there’s going to be a waiting list or we’re going to shut off intake. There’s literally not a choice.”

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Education Group Files Federal Civil Rights Complaint Against School District That Admitted to ‘Systemic Racism’

A national advocacy organization has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Columbus City Schools after its board said there is “systemic racism” within the system.

Parents’ Defending Education’s complaint to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights came after The College Fix asked it about the statement from the school system.

The Fix asked the legal nonprofit if it planned to file a complaint, similar to the one the group filed against Webster Groves schools in Missouri.

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Commentary: Video Shows U.S. Capitol Police Gave Protesters Okay to Enter

Screen capture of video footage from Jan. 6 Capitol riot

A newly-obtained video shows United States Capitol Police officers speaking with several January 6 protestors—including Jacob Chansley, the so-called “Q shaman”—inside the Capitol that afternoon.

One officer, identified in the video and confirmed by charging documents as Officer Keith Robishaw, appears to tell Chansely’s group they won’t stop them from entering the building. “We’re not against . . . you need to show us . . . no attacking, no assault, remain calm,” Robishaw warns. Chansley and another protestor instruct the crowd to act peacefully. “This has to be peaceful,” Chansley yelled. “We have the right to peacefully assemble.”

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Supreme Court Takes Up Major Abortion Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

Infant with mother

The United States Supreme court has agreed to take up a major Mississippi abortion case that could directly challenge Roe v. Wade.

The court announced Monday that it will hear Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization beginning in October, and a decision on the case will likely come by June 2022, CNBC reported. This will be the first major abortion case in which all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice appointees participate, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who gained a seat on the court after a contentious confirmation process in October.

“This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

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At Least 40 Percent of NIAID and FDA Employees Have Not Been Vaccinated, According to Fauci and Marks

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

At least 40 percent of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine according to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and FDA official Dr. Peter Marks.

During a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Richard Burr (R-Va.) asked Fauci, Marks, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky what percentage of their own employees were vaccinated.

Both Fauci and Marks estimated that a little more than half—perhaps around 60 percent of their employees—have been vaccinated. Walensky waffled, saying only that she was “encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” but couldn’t say how many have actually done so.

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Group Seeks to Share Personal Stories of Critical Race Theory

The Center for Renewing America is seeking to share stories of critical race theory (CRT) in action across the United States.

The group is working with America First Legal, a legal group created by Stephen Miller and other Trump administration officials. The two organizations share the goal of fighting CRT in various formats across the country.

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Trump Antagonist Opposes Arizona Election Audit as Justice Department Official

Polling station sign

A foe of former President Donald Trump is leading the Biden Justice Department’s push to discredit or halt an election audit in Arizona’s largest county—an issue that is heating up this week. 

Pamela S. Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, warned the leader of the Arizona state Senate that the audit of Maricopa County’s election results in November could run afoul of federal law regarding security of voter information and voter intimidation. 

President Joe Biden, who appointed Karlan, narrowly defeated Trump in Arizona, where Maricopa County was a crucial battleground. 

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Critics of Biden’s Proposed Oil-and-Gas Industry Taxes Fueled by Gas Shortages

Gas shortage "out of service" stickers

Gas shortages on the East Coast have helped rally Congressional opposition to the portions of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan that would force oil and gas companies to pay more in taxes.

House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., calling on Democrats to oppose Biden’s plan to “eliminate tax preferences for fossil fuels.”

The letter, signed by 55 Republicans, came after a cyber attack of Colonial Pipeline shut down a major pipeline on the East Coast and led to fear-driven gasoline shortages. The attack also raised questions about the nation’s energy infrastructure and vulnerability to attack.

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FBI Finally Labels Congressional Baseball Shooting as Domestic Terrorism

Scalise supporters at the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game

After initially labeling it “suicide by cop,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially updated the designation of the 2017 congressional baseball practice shooting, which left GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA-01) critically wounded, to “domestic violent terrorism.”

The change comes after Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) questioned FBI Director Chris Wray about the designation during a late April House Intelligence Committee hearing. 

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Introduces Bill to Protect Against Violent Crime

Marsha Blackburn and Tom Cotton

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08) in re-introducing the Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act of 2021. 

“The practice of releasing violent serial criminals has to end. Repeat offenders should not be rewarded with the freedom to needlessly victimize more law-abiding Americans,” Blackburn said in a statement released by her office. 

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Crom Carmichael Outlines Taxes and Their Counterproductive Policies

Crom Carmichael

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio who explained the tax rate structures and the imposition of a wealth tax on billionaires and millionaires as proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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Commentary: Beware of Academics Offering ‘Expertise’ on Systemic Racism, Equity

Person walking through library aisle

If it’s been said once, it’s been said many times: The academic language surrounding “equity,” “systemic racism” and the like is always ambiguous, vacuous and flowery.

This is on purpose, mind you. Because when challenged, so-called experts can define the terms as they wish. The words are ever-malleable.

In a recent Education Week piece, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Jennifer Cheatham and John Diamond of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education offer tips to help determine whether a school district’s “way of decisionmaking” serves to maintain systemic racism.

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Congressman Tim Burchett on Pelosi’s Power, Mask Mandates, and John Kerry’s Elusive Role

Tim Burchett

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Congressman Tim Burchett to the newsmaker line to weigh on what it’s like working in Nancy Pelosi’s House of Represenatives, changing maks mandates and John Kerry’s role.

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Questions About Nikki Fried Begin to Surface

Nikki Fried

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has long been rumored to be challenging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2022 gubernatorial race but has yet to make a campaign launch official.

However, last week, on Twitter, she made an announcement indicating “something new” is coming on June 1 through a video.
Since she posted the video, news and political commentary about Fried and her personal relationships, business interests, potential ethical questions, and how they all fit together have entered the conversation in light of an impending campaign launch.

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Jeb Bush Comes Out Against Florida Gambling Pact

Jeb Bush

As the Florida Legislature reconvened in Tallahassee Monday for a special session to iron out the details of the state’s new gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, one former Republican Governor spoke out against the deal.

“South Florida is on a roll!” failed 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in a statement. “Our great quality of life and an incredible surge of job creators to our region have put us on a path for rising income and prosperity for many more of our neighbors. At the time when our economy is poised for an unprecedented takeoff after taking a hit from the pandemic, now is not the time to expand casino gambling which will benefit a handful at the expense of many.”

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Virginia GOP Senators Urge Northam to Lift Remaining COVID Restrictions

Gov. Ralph Northam

The Virginia State Republican Senate delegation released a statement on Monday telling Governor Ralph Northam to lift the remaining COVID-19 regulations throughout the state. 

The statement from the Virginia Republicans follow their calls issued on Friday for Northam to remove the state-wide mask mandate. Northam lifted the mask mandate shortly after the statement on Friday to fall in accordance with new CDC guidelines. 

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Georgia House Committee Schedules Thursday Hearing on Internet Platforms and Constitutionally-Protected Speech

State Rep. Ed Setzler

Members of the Georgia General Assembly’s House Science and Technology Committee are scheduled to meet this week to hold a hearing on internet platforms and Constitutionally-protected speech. This, according to an emailed press release that Georgia House Media Services emailed Monday.

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Georgia Universities Drop Mask Mandates for Vaccinated Students

Woman sitting alone with a mask on.

The University System of Georgia announced that it plans to drop mask mandates for fully vaccinated students and employees in the Fall 2021 semester, marking a return to relative normalcy. 

“Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without wearing a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a face covering while inside campus facilities,” a press release said. 

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Senate DFL Members Throw Masks in the Air Just Two Days After Criticizing No-Mask Rule

Minnesota Democratic senators throw masks in air

DFL senators claimed on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s decision to end all coronavirus restrictions on the Senate floor was “unnecessary, premature, and unwise.”

Just two days later, several Senate DFL members threw their masks in the air in what they called “Mary Tyler Moore style” after hearing about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new mask guidance.

A photo from Senate Media Services shows eight maskless Democratic senators tossing their masks in the air.

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Steinem Endorses Foy, NARAL Virginia Endorses McClellan: A Gubernatorial Update

The Republicans have picked their nominees for Virginia’s statewide elections, with signs of a pivot towards more moderate voters. The Democratic primary has about three weeks left of early voting, with 35,072 early votes already cast, surpassing total turnout in the primary in 2017, according to The Virginia Public Access Project. Democratic candidates are battling for a few key remaining nominations to sway voters.

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Controversy Surrounds Whitmer’s Secret Florida Flight

Gov. Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is once again under fire for a Florida trip she took months ago.

The trip was partially paid for by a 501(c)4 group, which critics say presents legal questions.

Whitmer used funds from an inauguration-related nonprofit to pay for a $27,521 trip to Florida to visit her ailing father in March, MIRS News reported. “She continued to carry out her duties as governor while she assisted her father [in Florida] with household duties like cooking and cleaning,” JoAnne Huls, the governor’s chief of staff, wrote in a memo. “The governor’s flight was not a gift, not paid for at taxpayer expense, and was done in compliance with the law.”

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Pipeline Hack Revives Call for Florida to Create Its Own Stash of Gas

Gary Farmer

The ransomware attack that paralyzed the Colonial Pipeline for nearly a week, causing gas shortages throughout the Southeast, including Florida’s Panhandle, may revive one senator’s multi-year effort to convince the Sunshine State to establish its own petroleum stockpile.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, has filed bills since 2018 seeking to create a Florida Strategic Fuel Reserve Task Force to study creating a fuel stash similar in concept, if not in size, to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Farmer Thursday called on Republican statehouse leaders to add his 2021 proposal, Senate Bill 1454, to the agenda when the Legislature convenes Monday for a special session to vet a proposed 30-year gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

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Georgia Still Has Not Produced Chain of Custody Records for 333,000 Absentee Vote by Mail Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes in 2020 Election

  Six months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, officials at the state and county level in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody records for more than 333,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes located around the state for that election. Joe Biden was certified…

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Six Months After the 2020 Election, Fulton County Has Failed to Produce Chain of Custody Documents for 18,901 Absentee Ballots Placed in Drop Boxes

Six months after the November 3, 2020 election, Fulton County has failed to produce complete chain of custody documents for 18,901 vote-by-mail absentee ballots deposited by voters into drop boxes.

The Fulton County missing documentation is a little more than five percent of the estimated 333,000 vote-by-mail absentee ballots cast in the November 3, 2020 general election for which chain of custody documentation is still missing.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has refused to collect, count, and verify the chain of custody documentation associated with an estimated 600,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes in the 2020 general election. Instead, Raffensperger has said it is a county responsibility. The Georgia Star News has filed Open Records Requests with all 159 counties in the state to obtain this documentation and report on it to the public.

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Trump Critic, Georgia Lieutenant Governor to Not Seek Second Term

Geoff Duncan

Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, a constant critic of President Trump, announced via a statement on Twitter on Monday that he will not seek a second term. 

“Today, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection for a second term as Lieutenant Governor. It is truly an honor to serve as Lt. Governor and I have no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics platform,” the statement read. 

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Republicans Look for House Gains in Florida as Charlie Crist Declares Gubernatorial Bid

Charlie Crist

With Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) giving up his congressional seat to run for governor, and with the Republican-controlled state legislature set to draw boundaries on a new congressional district after the 2020 census, the GOP is looking to Florida to make gains in the U.S. House in 2022. 

Crist, the former Republican governor of the state, currently represents a district encompassing St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Pinellas County. 

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Nashville Mayor Announces Free Beers, Coffee for COVID Vaccine Recipients Only

Beer in glass on table

A total of 37 Nashville businesses are offering free beers or coffee drinks now through the end of May – but only for those who’ve been vaccinated. Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the campaign, “Shot for a Beer, Shot for a Cup,” in a press release on Friday.

Partners on the campaign are the mayor’s Hospitality Advisory Committee, the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corp, and HospitalityTN. Certain businesses require a purchase to acquire the free drink. The campaign announcement didn’t specify whether an individual could get more than one free drink.

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