Tennessee’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities Ranked in New National Report

Tennessee ranks as one of the top states in the nation in terms of how it funds its pension systems, according to a report that the Arlington, Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released this week. ALEC officials titled their report Unaccountable and Unaffordable, 2020. This annual report collects and analyzes each state’s unfunded public pension liabilities. The report finds state governments’ unfunded liabilities total $5.82 trillion nationwide – an average of $17,748 per person.

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On the Ground in Ohio: 24 Hours Ahead of President Trump’s First Rally Since Leaving the White House

Donald Trump

WELLINGTON, Ohio – Former President Donald Trump will be delivering remarks at his first post-presidential rally Saturday, June 26 at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland.

About 24 hours prior to the 7 p.m. start of the rally on Saturday, Wellington with its many Victorian-style homes and historic structures on the square was relatively bustling for a village of about 5,000 people.

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Biological Male Runner Barred from Women’s Olympics Due to High Testosterone

CeCé Telfer

A biologically male runner has been banned from the women’s 400-meter Olympic hurdle event because the runner did not meet the World Athletics conditions on testosterone levels.

“CeCe [Telfer] has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train,” the transgender athlete’s manager said, the Associated Press reported, adding that Telfer will respect the decision. “She will compete on the national — and world — stage again soon.”

Transgender runner Telfer won the NCAA title competing for a women’s team in 2019, according to the AP.

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Mrs. Florida 2016 and Host of Behind the Headlines Karyn Turk Talks Road to Pageant and Top Priorities

Karyn Turk

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Behind the Headlines host Karyn Turk to the newsmaker line to discuss her background and involvement in Clay Clark’s ReAwaken America Tour.

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Crom Carmichael Examines the Battered Republican Syndrome Phenomena

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss the concept of the battered republican syndrome and the falsities of the current and past Democrat administrations.

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Majority of Americans Want the Government to Fight Income Inequality, Poll Finds

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

A majority of respondents believe that the federal government should push policies that reduce income inequality in the United States, according to a poll released Friday by Axios.

The Axios poll shows 66% of respondents say the government should work to lower the level of income distributed unevenly, up 4% compared to 2019.

Republicans surveyed who agreed the government should tackle income inequality increased by 5%, and Independents who responded similarly increased by 2%, according to the poll. Democrats saw an increase of 7% in favor of such policies compared to 2019.

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Inflation Takes Biggest 12-Month Leap Since 1990s, Key Report Shows

Woman shopping, going up escalator

A key index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation showed that consumer prices leapt quicker over the last 12 months than they have in three decades.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index surged 3.9% in the 12-month period between June 2020 and May, according to the Department of Commerce report released Friday. The PCE index excluding volatile food and energy prices increased 3.4%, the biggest leap since the 1990s, CNBC reported.

Energy prices increased 27.4% while food prices increased 0.4% over the last 12 months, the report showed.

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Just 14 States Had Positive Job Growth in May

Just 14 states saw positive employment growth between April and May while the majority of the growth was concentrated in a handful of states, according to the Department of Labor.

Fourteen states led by California, Florida and Texas experienced significant job growth, 35 states experienced stagnant job growth and Wyoming saw a decline in employment last month, according to a Department of Labor report released Wednesday. Overall, the unemployment rates in 21 states decreased between April and May while every state’s employment improved compared to May 2020.

While the U.S. continues to report increased job growth, the report showed that the vast majority of the growth has come from about a dozen states.

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Dr. Manny Sethi’s Non-Profit Healthy Tennessee to Hold Free Health Fair in Murfreesboro

Healthy Tennessee, a non-profit organization founded by Vanderbilt orthopedic trauma surgeon and former candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. Manny Sethi, will hold a free health fair and food distribution on July 17. 

The Murfreesboro event will take place at Patterson Park Community Center and will provide free health screenings, educational information, and healthy living products for all attendees. 

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Rashida Tlaib Says Opposition to Critical Race Theory Is ‘Rooted in Racism’

General Mark Milley

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said Thursday that opposition to Critical Race Theory is “rooted in racism.”

“Opposition to critical race theory is obviously rooted in racism and has just become the newest dog whistle for racists,” the Michigan Democrat tweeted Thursday, referring to a video in which Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley defended Critical Race Theory to the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based polici

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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Paper Sells out Final Edition

Apple Daily (Hong Kong) Headquarters

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, sold out all 1 million copies of its final edition by 8:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The newspaper has been a frequent critic of Chinese and Hong Kong authorities trying to suppress democratic sentiment and the freedoms of the semi-autonomous city, the AP reported. The newspaper was forced to close its doors after it said police froze $2.3 million of its assets, searched its office and arrested five executives and editors last week for alleged foreign collusion, in violation of Beijing’s national security law.

The arrests were the first time the law has been used against journalists for their work, the AP reported. Apple Daily was the last pro-democracy print newspaper in Hong Kong. Its owner, Jimmy Lai has been arrested multiple times and sentenced to 14 months in prison for involvement with the pro-democracy demonstrations.

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Crom Carmichael on Bipartisanship and Human Nature

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss recent negotiations that praised bipartisanship and defined the parameters of humanity.

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Commentary: Biden’s Reversal of Border COVID Rules Is an Act of Sabotage

Joe Biden

Since the Biden Administration assumed power in January, many Americans could be forgiven for feeling like they’re being held hostage, tied up in the trunk of a car, and driven to a place they do not want to go. Nowhere is this more evident than on the immigration problem, where Biden has reversed numerous policies that kept American safe, and it seems he has done so for no other reason than because Donald Trump is the one who put them in place.

Because he is beholden to the radical Left for his ascension to the White House, Biden predictably has adopted the usual anti-borders agenda including catch-and-release, demoralizing ICE, and defunding border wall construction. His expected next move, the reversal of Trump-era rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, is nothing short of political sabotage.

While COVID-19 may be on the decline in the United States, thanks in large part to the Trump Administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed, the same cannot be said for many of the poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries from which those who most often show up at our doorstep originate. Just as our nation is turning the corner on a deadly global pandemic, it makes absolutely no sense at this moment to ease up on health restrictions on foreign nationals seeking entry. Only someone with Machiavellian political motives would propose such lunacy.

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Minnesota Judge Sentences Chauvin to 22.5 Years in Prison for George Floyd Murder

Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill on Friday sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.

A jury in April found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, at the conclusion of a three-week trial that gained national attention.

Cahill in announcing the sentence urged people to read the legal analysis on how he reached his decision and said the amount of time was not based on “emotion or sympathy.”

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RomaDrama Live! Is Coming to Nashville July 30th – August 1, 2021

RomaDrama Live!, the celebrity event happening this summer in Franklin, right outside of Nashville, Tennessee, featuring actors best known for their roles in romantic dramas and seasonal programming on The Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Netflix, and more, has announced newly added celebrities to the lineup.

Set to appear are Jesse Metcalfe (seen on Dancing with the Stars, Martha’s Vineyard Mystery, Chesapeake Shores, and Desperate Housewives), Wes Brown (The Call of the Wild, Christmas At Graceland, Love Begins) Teddy Sears (Christmas In Evergreen, The Flash), Rob Mayes (John Dies At The End, Burning Blue, The Road Home for Christmas), and Shawlini Manjunath-Holbrook (Love, Fall & Order and host and producer of the Hallmark Channel’s The Bubbly Sesh Podcast), who will serve as a celebrity host for the event.

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Georgia SOS Brad Raffensperger Issues Challenge to Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden After DOJ Lawsuit Announced

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reacted harshly Friday to news that U.S. Justice Department officials, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, will sue the Peach State over its new voting law Senate Bill 202. “The Biden Administration continues to do the bidding of Stacey Abrams and spreads more lies about Georgia’s election law,” Raffensperger said on Facebook Friday.

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Ohio Legislators Propose Redo for High School Seniors Affected by COVID

Bipartisan bills in the Ohio state House and Senate would allow last school year’s high-school seniors to voluntarily re-enroll in the fall, allowing them a second chance after a school year decimated by COVID-19 lockdown measures. 

“Under a measure introduced this week by GOP Sen. Andrew Brenner, of Delaware, and Democratic Sen. Teresa Fedor, of Toledo, students who just finished their senior year could re-enroll in 12th grade this fall to take the same classes and get another round of eligibility for sports,” Associated Press reported. 

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Northam Seeks Artifacts for New Time Capsule at the Lee Monument, Asks City of Richmond to Not Remove Monument Avenue Pedestals

It’s thought that there is a time capsule in the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond. The Virginia Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether or not the state can remove the monument, and in an announcement earlier this week Governor Ralph Northam said they will open the capsule when the monument is removed. He also invited Virginians to suggest new artifacts for a replacement time capsule to be placed at the site.

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Arizona Border Patrol Arrests DACA Recipient in Human Smuggling Attempt

A recipient of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program benefits was arrested by Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents Wednesday.

The suspect, a female citizen of El Salvador, along with a male counterpart who is a U.S. Citizen, were caught attempting to smuggle four Mexican nationals across the border illegally, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release said.

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162 Minnesota School Principals Pledged to ‘Decenter Whiteness’

162 Minnesota school principals have joined in an effort to decenter Whiteness, called Good (Trouble) Principals. Their website reads that the principals who commit to causing Good (Trouble) will work towards decentering witness by, “Understanding that traditional organized Whiteness ensures domination through forms like PTAs and Unions. We purposefully call out and lift up historically non-represented voices of color in our spaces to hold weight and power.”

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Brad Raffensperger Says Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Untrue Statements’ About Georgia Got Former Mayor Punished

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger this week said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told “untrue statements about Georgia’s election” and suggested New York state officials were correct to suspend Giuliani’s ability to practice law. Raffensperger said this in an emailed press release.

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Another Night of Violence Rocks Minneapolis

Minneapolis

The second autonomous zone in Uptown Minneapolis was the epicenter of another night of violence, despite law enforcement trying to keep the streets clear. The Uptown autonomous zone, or Boogie World, was established in early June after U.S. Marshals fatally shot a wanted man, Winston Smith.

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Federal Government Approves Emergency Declaration for Collapsed Building in Florida

President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Florida on Friday in response to a multi-story building collapsing in Miami-Dade County.

The declaration will allow FEMA to “coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.”

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DeSantis Signs Bill to End Toll Road Expansion

Sunrise Toll Plaza

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill on Thursday that will reverse the toll road expansion proposed earlier in the year.

The bill, SB 100, sent by the state legislature to DeSantis’s desk earlier this month will end the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program and the specific provisions associated with it. 

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Virginia Gubernatorial Roundup: Policy Plans and Public Appearances

GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin rolled out a plan to combat human trafficking in Virginia. Youngkin’s plan calls for ramped up enforcement, survivor resources, and expanded education about human trafficking.

“When I am governor, we will not only bring the full weight of the law down on traffickers and buyers, we will also equip survivors to heal and flourish,” Youngkin said in a Thursday night stop in Falls Church.

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Arizona Legislature Overrides Ducey’s Veto

Doug Ducey

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-5 Thursday to override Governor Doug Ducey’s veto of a bill that made technical corrections to previously enacted laws. Ducey vetoed SB1635 along with 21 other bills a month ago, following through on a threat he’d made in May over the legislature’s failing to send him a budget. It was the first time in 40 years, the Arizona Senate has overruled the governor.

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Ohio Lawmakers Pick Replacement for Expelled State Legislator

Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives selected a new state legislator to replace former Speaker of the House Larry Householder — who was expelled from his position earlier this month.

The lawmakers selected Ohio State Highway Patrol staff Lt. Kevin Miller, one of 19 applicants — of which included Householder’s son — for the position and a resident of Franklin Township. 

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DOJ Suing Georgia over Election Integrity Law

The Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to sue the state of Georgia over its recently-enacted election integrity law, according to Friday reports. 

SB 202, according to Washington Post, “discriminate[s] against Black Americans,” and is “is the first major voting rights case the Justice Department has filed under the Biden administration and comes as Republican-led state governments across the country have been seeking to impose broad new voting restrictions in the wake of President Biden’s victory over Donald Trump last November.”

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Governor DeSantis Will Appoint Two More Florida Public Service Commissioners

Florida State Capitol

Tuesday was the deadline for candidates seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to submit applications to the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council.

The Council will interview all the candidates and determine a select few for Governor Ron DeSantis to choose from in his decision to fill positions of two current members of the PSC, whose terms expire in January 2022.

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Vernon Jones Commentary: Governor Kemp, Georgia Needs an Audit Now

For several months, I have demanded that Governor Brian Kemp carry out a full forensic audit of Georgia’s ballots from the election last year. Growing evidence indicates that either fraud or gross negligence occurred that potentially swayed the result of the presidential election. But for one reason or another, Governor Kemp refuses to act. It’s long overdue for him to perform the job that he was elected to do. We simply can’t wait any longer.

On June 17, I held a press conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta exposing irregularities that occurred when ballots were tabulated in the presidential election. As the investigative news outlet Just The News reported, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger received a report in November that his office commissioned with a private contractor. The report exposed the disaster of the election in Fulton County.

Just The News reported that the contractor “recorded troubling behavior like the mysterious removal of a suitcase of sensitive election data known as polls pads, used to authenticate voters.” This contractor “also observed that sensitive election materials were left on a dock at a warehouse without supervision.” The full report documents troubling and revealing events that occurred throughout the entire process of Fulton County officials tabulating votes. It’s a disaster that should never happen again and should have never happened in the first place.

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ACLU Sues Tennessee over Transgender Bathroom Law

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed a lawsuit to prevent the enactment of a new transgender bathroom sign law from taking effect on July 1.

The enacted law would require organizations to post a sign outside their bathrooms, if they allow individuals to use any bathroom — not one based on their biological sex.

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