Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches 2022 Campaign

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has officially launched his 2022 campaign, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Brian Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting for life, standing up for law enforcement, cutting taxes, protecting lives and livelihoods against the COVID-19 pandemic, and defending election integrity,” Kemp’s campaign manager said the statement. 

Read More

Georgia’s Embattled Secretary of State Raffensperger to Seek Another Term

Controversial Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed on Tuesday that he will seek another term. 

Raffensperger has been the focal point of criticism of Georgia’s election from both sides of the political aisle. He routinely ignored the widespread concerns over election security throughout the state.

Read More

Senator Marsha Blackburn: ‘Biden Surcharge’ the Hefty Price Americans Pay for President’s Policies

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) blamed the “Biden Surcharge” for the climbing prices of goods in this country. Blackburn coined the term during a Senate floor session on Thursday. She had a poster propped up next to her that read: “THE BIDEN SURCHARGE: PAYING A PREMIUM JUST TO LIVE FROM THE MOMENT YOU WAKE UP, TO THE MOMENT YOUR HEAD HITS THE PILLOW.” In a statement to The Tennessee Star, Blackburn claimed that Biden’s spending was to blame for the increasing cost of living nationwide.

“President Biden has recklessly spent American tax dollars throughout his first 100 days in office. Now, future generations will bear the burden of Biden as inflation catches up and grips our nation,” said Blackburn. 

Read More

85 Percent of 59,000 Absentee Ballots Placed in Fulton County Drop Boxes in 2020 Election Were Not Transported to Registrar ‘Immediately’ As Georgia State Rule Requires; 5 Percent Were Delivered BEFORE They Were Picked Up

Ballot transfer forms from Fulton County reveal that 86 percent of the more than 59,000 absentee ballots analyzed from drop box locations, required to be “immediately transported” to the county registrar according to Emergency Rule of the State Election Board for Absentee Voting, took more than one hour to be transferred to election officials.

State Election Board Emergency Rule 183-1-14 relative to securing absentee ballot drop boxes, which went around state law, was adopted by the State Election Board at their July 1, 2020, meeting.

Read More

Commentary: You Don’t Need a Permission Slip to Go Back to Normal

Group of people together socializing at dinner table

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.

The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”

Read More

Knoxville to Fund over $50 Million for Affordable Housing over the Next Decade

The city of Knoxville plans to fund over $50 million for affordable housing over the next decade, according to legislation proposed by the mayor. The Affordable Housing Fund, as promulgated by Mayor Indya Kincannon, will commit a minimum of $5 million annually for the next decade to develop affordable housing.

The Knoxville City Council is considering the legislation that would make Kincannon’s goal possible. The legislation would create a trust fund account called the “Knoxville affordable housing fund.” If passed, the new fund will take effect immediately.

Read More

Former Ohio State Professor Sentenced to Prison for Lying About China Ties

Song Guo Zheng, a former professor and researcher at Ohio State University, will spend 37 months in prison after being convicted of lying about his ties to the Chinese government on applications for NIH grant funding and failing to disclose his China ties to his employers. Zheng will also be required to pay roughly $413,000 to Ohio State University and $3.4 million to the National Institutes of Health.

“Zheng pleaded guilty last November and admitted he lied on applications in order to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from NIH to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology,” said the DOJ when it announced the sentencing.

Zheng’s teaching and scholarship were in the medical field, with emphasis on rheumatology and immunology at Ohio State University. Zheng’s researcher biography states that he has also taught at the University of Southern California and Penn State University. 

Read More

Trump Releases Statement on Georgia Lieutenant Governor

President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday celebrating the decision that Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan will not seek a second term. 

“Good news for Georgia and the Republican Party. Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan won’t be running again for office. He was the one who, along with Governor Brian Kemp, stopped the Georgia State Senate from doing the job they wanted to do on the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud,” Trump said. 

Read More

Founder and CEO of Glockstore.com Lenny Magill on New Location in Nashville Offers More Than Shooting Down a Lane

Lenny Magill

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed CEO and Founder of the Glockstore.com Lenny Magill in studio to reflect on last Saturday’s successful event and how their new Nashville location differs from the rest.

Read More

Governor Lee Details Plan to Repair I-40 Bridge

Governor Bill Lee, alongside Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, traveled to Memphis on Tuesday to detail the ongoing process and plan to repair the I-40 bridge.

“We are making swift progress on repairs to the Hernando de Soto bridge to ensure safety and a return to uninterrupted commerce,” Governor Lee said. 

Read More

PJTN Founder and President Laurie Cardoza-Moore Updates on Critical Race Theory Curriculum

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Founder and President of PJTN Laurie Cardoza-Moore to the newsmakers line to update listeners on the fight against critical race theory being taught to next generations of K through 12 students.

Read More

Commentary: Facebook ‘Fact-Checkers’ Disagree About University COVID Vaccine Mandates

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s “fact-checkers” cannot agree on the legality of university COVID vaccine mandates.

Disagreement about the legality of the COVID vaccines is understandable — The College Fix explored this topic several weeks ago in our own article, but the problem is that a Facebook fact-check on an article can lead to reduced distribution.

And enough strikes against a page can lead to a permanent ban. The College Fix has seen this firsthand, after Facebook overlords punished us for sharing the comments of an epidemiologist who made a prediction about what would happen if lockdowns were lifted.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Halle Kearns

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Halle Kearns is an artist who always knew what she wanted to do. Her family usually had country music playing in her house and she remembers singing along to 90s country in her car seat.

She stated, “I grew up on Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Faith Hill (Ladies of the 90s). The very first song I ever got caught singing on video was the Dixie Chicks song, “If I Fall.”

Read More

The Morning Show with Preston Scott Talks About Launch of The Florida Capital Star with Managing Editor Steve Stewart

Steve Stewart, The Florida Capital Star

Tuesday morning on the Morning Show, host Preston Scott welcomed the managing editor of the new Floridacapitalstar.com to the show to discuss the online news outlet’s format and presentation of facts for its readers.

Read More

House Approves Bill Aiming to Address Anti-Asian Hate Crimes; Biden Has Previously Pledged to Sign

Person with "stop Asian Hate" sign on Capitol steps

The House of Representatives on Tuesday decisively passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bill that seeks to address hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

The House approved the measure in a 364-62 vote. The legislation, which had been passed last month in the Senate by 94-1, will head to President Biden who has previously pledged to sign it.

“For more than a year, far too many Asian Americans have woken up each morning increasingly fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones,” Biden said in an April statement. “They have been scapegoated, harassed, and assaulted; some have even been killed. It has been over a year of living in fear for their lives, as acts of anti-Asian bias and violence have accelerated from coast to coast — an unconscionable burden our fellow Americans have been forced to bear, even as so many Asian Americans serve their communities and our nation tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic.”

Read More

Tennessee Government Operations Committee to Examine Diversity and Equity Program Wednesday, Sources Say

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly are scheduled to hold a Joint Government Operations Committee meeting Wednesday, and sources say they will discuss the controversial Diversity and Equity program for state employees. State legislators have scheduled the meeting for 1 p.m. Central Wednesday at House Hearing Room I in the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville, according to the Tennessee General Assembly’s website. An agenda for the meeting was unavailable Tuesday night.

Read More

19 States Urge Biden to Reinstate Keystone After Colonial Pipeline Hack Caused Mass Gas Shortages

Out of service gas station

A 19-state coalition urged President Joe Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL Pipeline and reverse his energy policies because of the recent gas shortages.

Gas shortages along the east coast caused by a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline prove the need for reliable gas pipelines in the U.S., the 19-state coalition led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday. The U.S. needs better energy infrastructure if the shutdown of one pipeline leads to such extreme spikes in prices and lines at gas stations, the state attorneys general said.

“A temporary shutdown of one pipeline’s full-capacity operations shouldn’t bring half the country to the brink,” the coalition of states wrote to Biden. “We need more safe and clean energy sources. And that includes the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

Read More

Under Pressure from Activists, Biden Admin Agrees to Bring in Thousands of Refugees a Month

The Biden administration will admit more than 7,000 migrant refugees into the U.S. monthly as part of negotiations in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over a Trump-era rule prohibiting migrants from obtaining asylum during the pandemic, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Former President Donald Trump implemented public health order Title 42 which allowed border officials to rapidly expel migrants from the U.S. and prevented them from applying for asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reported. The Biden administration’s concessions would change how border officials rely on Title 42 and potentially allow more migrants to seek asylum in the U.S.

The Biden administration and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to “a streamlined process for assessing and addressing exemption requests brought by particular vulnerable families and other individuals,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said, according to the AP.

Read More

Officers Will Not Be Charged in Fatal Shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., DA Announces

Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble

The police officers who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. in April outside of his North Carolina home will not be charged,  Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced Tuesday.

“After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified,” Womble said during a press conference Tuesday. “[His] actions caused three deputies within the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”

Brown was shot on the morning of April 21 in Elizabeth City, a small town in the eastern part of the state, after officers approached him with a search warrant and pair of arrest warrants on felony drug charges. Womble testified a week later that Brown made contact with officers while in his car, and that they opened fire afterwards.

Read More

Inflation Increasing Quicker Than Expected, Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers Says

Larry Summers

Top American economist Larry Summers is sounding the alarm on rising U.S. inflation, saying that it is ticking up quicker than he originally expected.

Inflation is increasingly a more concerning and larger threat as consumer prices continue to rise, former National Economic Council Director and Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told Axios on Monday. He also criticized the Federal Reserve’s policies, suggesting that its decision to keep interest rates low could harm the economy.

“Data are pointing more towards higher inflation than I expected, and sooner,” Summers told Axios. “With more inflation signs sooner than I would have expected.”

Read More

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Warrantless Gun Seizures

Disassembled Glock G43X (barrel, guide rod, and slide removed), loaded magazine, and 9mm round.

On Monday, in a rare unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the Biden Administration in a case regarding the legality of warrantless searches and seizures of firearms, The Epoch Times reports.

The case, Caniglia v. Strom, began oral arguments roughly two months ago. The case stems from an incident in Cranston, Rhode Island, back in August of 2015, where a man named Edward Caniglia had an argument with his wife of 22 years. Eventually, Caniglia withdrew an unloaded gun and suggested that his wife shoot him and “get me out of my misery.” His wife then called the police asking them to carry out a welfare check, where Caniglia was taken to the hospital.

Despite the police’s assurance that his guns would not be confiscated, they ultimately did seize his firearms without a warrant after he had been hospitalized, and refused to return them to him after he was discharged. Caniglia subsequently sued, claiming that the exception for community caretaking, which is what the police claimed to have used in this case, should not apply inside his home.

Read More

Left-Wing Business and Religious Interests Form Group to Fight July 27 Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Referendum

A group of people involved with various civic and faith organizations oppose Nashville’s Taxpayer Protection Act and have formed their own group to fight the people who introduced the referendum — people whom they call “radical extremists.” Members of this group, Save Nashville Now, have a website where they urge Davidson County residents to vote no on July 27.

Read More

Most Americans with Children to Receive Monthly Federal Payments Starting in July

Man with two children

Millions of American families will receive hundreds of dollars in regular federal payments beginning next month, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.

The IRS announced July 15 as the start date for monthly child tax credit payments that would affect the vast majority of Americans with children.

“Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 and above,” the IRS said in a statement.

Read More

Commentary: Montana Governor Strips Mask Fanatics of Their Power

Monanta Gov. Greg Gianforte

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana delivered mask fanatics a hefty, but essential, blow last week when he signed House Bill 257 into law, stripping the few remaining left-leaning health departments in the state of their ability to use their clout and control to dominate the population through unquestioned mask enforcement. The bill declares that counties can no longer require businesses to enforce health mandates, such as mask-wearing or capacity limits and restrictions, or pursue other whimsical edicts or decrees, such as cancel farmer’s markets, prohibit school parades, ban families of spectators at high-school athletic events.

While most Montana counties and towns (including Billings, the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 110,000) removed their mask mandates several weeks, if not months, ago, the university-dominated cities of Missoula and Bozeman, as well as the small, politically mixed capital city of Helena, seemed to be only tightening the screws on chronic mask-wearing. They repeatedly hid, changed, or lied about the markers and metrics for mask mandates’ removal, inexplicably shifting from one theoretical possibility or scenario to another. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have increased to the point where testing sites and vaccination camps are virtually empty, hospitalizations have plummeted to nonexistent, and deaths from the virus have fallen to the level somewhere between venomous snake bites and automotive fatalities. Yet paradoxically, the healthier and the more strengthened the state, and the more that it has recovered from the numbing side effects of the shameful lockdowns, the further away the remaining mask-obsessed health departments have pushed the date of mask abolition.

Without House Bill 257, the remaining communities would have stayed perennially under the twisted, tight-fisted influence of a handful of marginally knowledgeable, power-intoxicated, unelected bureaucrats who were playing the “follow the Fauci” model of single-minded governance. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In fact, it would not be hard to imagine a scenario in which one government employee with a mask fetish would continue to bully the populace, terrorizing the summer camps into outside mask-wearing through the hottest days of August or perpetuating mask requirements for children straight into the fall of 2021 or beyond.

Read More

Roanoke City Council Approves Five-Cent Grocery Bag Tax, Effective January 2022

The Roanoke City Council unanimously passed a five-cent single-use plastic bag tax that will go into effect January 1, 2022. The tax applies to grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores, and includes exemptions for reusable “durable bags.” It also exempts bags sold to package perishables, dry cleaning, and prescription drugs.

Read More

Image of Minneapolis Police Station Burning Wins College Magazine’s Art Award

The 3rd Police Precinct building on Thursday morning after a night of protests in the area in Minneapolis, Minnesota

A painting of a Minneapolis police station going up in flames won a recent award from a student-run art magazine at Valparaiso University.

“Order is Not Justice,” a work by Sam “Doc” Janowiak, received a first-place award in the annual “Artivism” contest run by The Lighter, a campus magazine featuring promoting poetry, short stories, and visual arts.

Janowiak told The College Fix the title of the painting was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., who wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail:

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

Read More

Students at Christian University Call on School to Turn Away from ‘Falsehood’ That Is Critical Race Theory

University of Northwestern - St. Paul

Two students for the University of Northwestern – St. Paul have launched a petition calling on the school to turn away from Critical Race Theory and other progressive ideologies, arguing that such theories run counter to the school’s Christian foundation.

Students at Northwestern St. Paul University Hayley Tschetter and Joshua Feland created a change.org petition warning the community about “destructive” concepts that are becoming commonplace in higher-education.

“Intentional or not, exchanging the biblical worldview and faithful Christian teaching for those worldviews rooted in anti-biblical ideologies such as Marxism, Postmodernism, Social Justice Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality leads down a destructive one-way road from which you cannot return.”

Read More

Val Demings Planning Senate Run Against Rubio

Val Demings

U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10) officially announced her candidacy for Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) seat in the 2022 election cycle. Demings had long been rumored to be seeking statewide office, but many were uncertain if she was challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis or Rubio. She said she mulled a gubernatorial run, but felt her chances were better running for Senate.

Demings rose in popularity after then-candidate Joe Biden announced she was on a short list as a potential running mate last year. Even before then, she rose in fame for being the first black female police chief for the City of Orlando. She was elected to Congress for the first time in 2016.

Read More

Georgia GOP Activist Says Grassroots Won the Battle Against Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan declaring this week that he won’t seek a second term prompted conservative activist Debbie Dooley and her friends to celebrate and, she said, to convey a message of “good riddance.” Republican Jeanne Seaver, who hopes to replace Duncan next year, said the outgoing politician couldn’t even declare his future plans without taking a cheap shot at supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Read More

Michigan Business Leaders Expect Robust Economic Recovery, Return to Partial In-Person Work

Man in business suit walking on crosswalk in city

Michigan’s business leaders anticipate robust growth in the state’s economy within the next year.

They also plan a return to in-person office work in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2021, according to a quarterly economic survey completed by Business Leaders for Michigan.

Approximately 92% of survey respondents say the state’s economy will likely remain strong and growing during the next six to 12 months.

Read More

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr Tells Joe Biden to Support Energy Infrastructure

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and 18 other state attorneys general on Tuesday called on U.S. President Joe Biden to support additional energy infrastructure – including the Keystone XL pipeline. This, following the Colonial pipeline shutdown that caused price spikes and fuel shortages at gas stations across the southern and eastern parts of the nation.

Read More

Virginia Launches Pandemic-Style Equity Dashboards

Virginia’s Health Equity Leadership created two new dashboards displaying equity data in a style similar to pandemic metric dashboards. The dashboards display data on current conditions in Virginia and on mitigation efforts.

Read More

Minnesota to End Statewide Mask Mandate Friday

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement starting Friday, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings.

“So, those peacetime emergencies are done and the business mitigations are coming to an end. I want to be clear it’s not the end of the pandemic, but it is the end of the pandemic for a  lot of vaccinated folks,” he told reporters.

Minnesotans who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.

Read More

Bill Would Make Ohio State School Board Completely Elected

Rep. Miller speaks with Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) before House session

Two members of the Ohio House want the state’s board of education to be more connected to the public by reducing the number of members and eliminating nonelected members.

Eight of the current 19 members receive appointments from the governor, but House Bill 298 eliminates each of those positions when current terms expire, reducing the board to its 1995 level of 11 members.

“The State Board of Education is an important body and the members of its Board should be accountable to the voters,” Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond, said. “Right now, 42% of the members of the State Board of Education are not elected and, therefore, not accountable to anyone. To have almost half the board unelected and unaccountable does not reflect the transparency and responsiveness that Ohioans need and deserve.”

Read More

Florida’s Tourism Industry Crippled During Pandemic, Shows Improvement

People on the beach during daytime

The state of Florida’s tourism industry took a huge hit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that limited travel and encouraged people around the world to stay at home.

Before 2020 was struck by the pandemic, Florida had increased its number of visitors every year since 2010 with 2019 recording the most at 131.4 million. According to Visit Florida, 2020 saw a 39.3% decrease from 2019 totaling only 79.75 million visitors.

Read More

Two Tennessee Colleges Mandating COVID-19 Vaccines: Vanderbilt University and Maryville College

In this 2020 photograph, captured inside a clinical setting, a health care provider places a bandage on the injection site of a patient, who just received an influenza vaccine. The best way to prevent seasonal flu, is to get vaccinated every year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6-months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season.

Come fall, Vanderbilt University and Maryville College are requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 – even if the vaccine isn’t fully approved by the FDA. Maryville College was the first to announce a mandate of that nature in this state, issuing their press release late last month. Vanderbilt University issued their announcement on Monday.

Maryville College is the more lenient of the two Tennessee colleges in their mandate: they will allow exceptions for personal preference in addition to medical or religious reasons. The news release didn’t mention an accommodations request deadline. Vanderbilt University made no mention of personal preference-based exceptions – only medical and religious exemptions will be accepted. Their deadline for an accommodations request is June 15.

Read More