Governor Bill Lee Extends COVID State of Emergency Order

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Friday extended the Limited State of Emergency, which has been in effect for more than a year, allowing a continuation of his emergency powers.

Further, the order from the governor allows National Guard troops to continue to assist in vaccination efforts and other “certain health care” functions throughout the state. The order also allows the state to maintain federal compliance.

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Tennessee Rep. Fleischmann: Don’t Expand Infrastructure Plan Beyond Infrastructure

As the U.S. Senate prepared to approve a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Friday, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-3) advised against expanding the legislation to include non-infrastructure spending at an added cost of over $2 trillion at least.

The bill passed by a vote of 66 to 28, with 16 Republicans joining all Democrats in favor.

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Commentary: Biden’s Approval Rating Is Dropping Fast

Joe Biden

In recent days, conservative media outfits have gleefully presented one of the least surprising headlines of modern times. Namely, that Joe Biden’s presidential approval rating has sunk below the waves.

In the latest Rasmussen poll, Biden is now at a 47 percent approval rating, with 52 percent disapproval. Worse, his Strong Approval number is only 27 percent, compared to a Strong Disapproval of 42. That gives him a minus-15 in Rasmussen’s approval index numbers.

Thursday’s numbers were one point better than Wednesday’s, which is likely statistical noise. The trend, however, is not Biden’s friend.

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Key Inflation Measure Spikes Again, Hits Highest Level Since 1991

Person in white shirt, walking into Gap store

A consumer price measurement used by the Federal Reserve to track inflation spiked again in June and hit its highest level since 1991, government data showed.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 4% over the 12 months between July 2020 and June, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released Friday. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the index spiked 3.5% in that same 12-month period.

The index increased 0.5% in June, in line with economists’ forecasts, CNBC reported.

“Inflation has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating,” Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said during a press conference this week. “As the economy continues to reopen and spending rebounds, we are seeing upward pressure on prices, particularly because supply bottlenecks in some sectors have limited how quickly production can respond in the near term.”

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Pelosi Dictatorship and the Destruction of American Freedom

As a 20-year member of Congress and four-year Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, let me speak bluntly and directly.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the greatest threat to constitutional liberty in our lifetime. 

With the passive support of an apparently cowardly caucus, she is behaving as a dictator more like Fidel Castro, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, or Nicolás Maduro.

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House of Representatives Passes Bill Introduced by Rep. Mark Green to Improve Military Housing

Rep. Mark Green

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation introduced by Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) aimed to improve the quality of housing for troops located on military bases.

The amendment was added to the large appropriations bill H.R. 4052 and will instruct the Biden administration to prioritize these projects. Further, the amendment will dramatically increase funding for various improvement projects from $155 million last year to $550 million this year.

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Crom Carmichael Details the Impending Implosion of the Biden Administration

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the Biden administration’s inconsistent messaging.

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Drudge Report Protégé Joseph Curl Discusses His New Site Offthepress.com and the Everchanging News Cycle

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Editor Joseph Curl to the newsmakers line to discuss his past work with the Drudge Report and his new site aggregator Offthepress.com.

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Biden Requiring Federal Government Workers to Show Proof of Vaccination

COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine vial and NHS record card

President Joe Biden on Thursday said his administration will require all federal employees and contractors to show proof of vaccination, a move met with swift opposition from Texas elected officials.

Federal workers or contractors who can’t show a proof of vaccination will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and be subject to twice-weekly COVID-19 tests under the new rules.

Biden encouraged the private sector and professional sports leagues to follow suit in an address on Thursday.

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Tennessee Senators Join Sen. Tom Cotton in Legislating Against Anti-Israel Labeling

Tennessee’s U.S. Senators, Marsha Blackburn (R) and Bill Hagerty (R), this week joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) in sponsoring legislation forbidding the executive branch from publishing guidelines on country-of-origin product labels that disfavor Israel.

Per a 1995 Clinton-era policy, U.S. labeling regulations used to require that products manufactured in Judea and Samaria be labeled as “Made in West Bank.”

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Commentary: Ashli Babbitt’s Mom Speaks

Ashli Babbitt

The only video Ashli Babbitt’s mom has seen of her daughter on January 6 is a clip of her walking from Donald Trump’s speech to Capitol Hill. “That brings me peace,” Micki Witthoeft, Ashli’s mom, told me by phone on Wednesday. “She was in her zone, so happy, having a great day.”

“Until that son-of-a-bitch shot her.”

Nearly seven months after a United States Capitol Police officer shot Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol building on January 6, the government and subservient corporate news media still refuse to confirm the name of the federal officer who killed her. (Investigative journalist Paul Sperry recently reported the shooter likely is USCP Lt. Michael Byrd.) The Justice Department closed its investigation into her shooting in April and announced the unnamed officer would not face criminal charges.

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Report: 1.9 Million Households Owe $15 Billion in Back Rent as Eviction Moratorium Expires

Aerial view of a suburb

Up to 1.95 million households across America will owe a collective $15 billion in back rent when the eviction moratorium expires Saturday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia estimates.

That number will reach 2 million by December, according to the report released Friday. In Pennsylvania, about 60,000 renter households will owe $412 million come August. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made one final 30-day extension of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program through July 31. President Joe Biden’s administration said its “hands are tied” by the courts on the matter and any further relief must come from Congress itself. 

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Suni Lee Wins Individual All-Around Gold

Suni Lee kissing her gold medal

American gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee won gold in the women’s individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, ESPN reported.

Lee received a total score of 57.433, beating out Brazilian Rebeca Andrade’s score of 57.298 and becoming the sixth American to win the women’s individual all-around at the Games, ESPN reported.

“The waiting game was something I hated so much, but when I saw my score came out on top, it was so emotional,” Lee said after winning, according to ESPN. “It doesn’t feel like real life.”

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Commentary: Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum

Hand underneath American flag

On July 19, Hillsdale College released the 1776 Curriculum, a package of American history and civics materials for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The curriculum offers students and teachers a more traditional and patriotic approach to American history than the critical alternatives now prevalent in the nation’s primary and secondary schools.

At nearly 2,500 pages, the 1776 Curriculum is a mammoth collection of teaching materials, offering grade-specific guidance for teachers, assignments and exams for students, and a trove of primary sources from the American founding and beyond. In a press release, Hillsdale’s assistant provost for K-12 education Dr. Katherine O’Toole contrasted what she described as Hillsdale’s “truly American” curriculum with its “partisan” competitors.

“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors – not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” O’Toole said. “It comes from years of studying America, its history, and its founding principles, not some slap-dash journalistic scheme to achieve a partisan political end through students. It is a truly American education.”

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Weighs in on COVID Mandates and Power of Local County Health Boards

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to discuss his position on mask mandates and the power of county health boards.

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PragerU’s Jill Simonian Announces New Platform for Kids at Prageru.com/Kids

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Prager U’s Jill Simonian to the newsmakers line to talk about their new platform PragerU Kids, bestselling children’s books, and educational videos.

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Health Officials Less Confident in COVID Vaccine Efficacy with Rise of Delta Variant

Woman in blue hair net and mask

Public health confidence in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be waning as officials warn of enhanced danger — even for vaccinated individuals — from the “Delta variant” of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

For most of the past year officials have claimed that vaccinations are the only viable path back to normalcy and away from lockdowns and other aggressive mitigation measures. “Look at the folks in your community who have gotten vaccinated and are getting back to living their lives — their full lives,” President Joe Biden said at a May press conference, arguing that the vaccine was “going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again, and get us back to normal.”

The rollout of the vaccines starting last year and continuing throughout the spring and summer of this year has been hailed as the driving force behind the reopening of the economy and the ending of masking mandates and similar restrictions.

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In Suppression of First Amendment, Biden Forbids Immigration Judges from Using the Term ‘Alien’

The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an order last week demanding that immigration judges no longer use the term “alien” when referring to illegal aliens in court or in their written opinions, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The order, first issued on July 23rd, came from a DOJ official named Jean King. King’s order applies to all 539 immigration judges in the country, and orders them to instead use more politically correct terms, such as “respondent, applicant, petitioner, beneficiary, migrant, noncitizen, or non-U.S. citizen.” “Alien” has been the correct terminology for anyone who enters the United States illegally ever since the Immigration and Nationality Act, which defines an alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.”

In the order, King admitted that the DOJ decision was influenced in part by the mainstream media, citing the fact that the Associated Press first decided back in 2013 to drop the use of the term “illegal immigrant,” which led to a left-wing trend to replace the word “illegal” with “undocumented.” Since taking office in January, Biden has taken steps to remove the use of the phrases “alien” and “illegal immigrant” through several executive orders. Some radical Democrats, including Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), have advocated for passing a law to ban the use of such phrases. And in New York City, a recent law was passed to make it a crime to use the phrases “illegal” and “illegal alien.”

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Tennessee Department of Health Refuses to Discuss Commissioner Lisa Piercey’s Trip to Greece

Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) Commissioner Lisa Piercey took a vacation to Greece this month, but department officials on Friday refused to answer questions about the precautions she took to protect herself against COVID-19. The Tennessee Star specifically asked the department the following questions Friday:

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Ohio Republican Party Treasurer Johnson Defends GOP Chair in Accounting Tiff, Bashes ‘Malcontents’ Calling for Expansion of Audit Back to 2017

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – The treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) has defended top management’s handling of the political organization’s financial statements against concerns the policies and procedures have created risk for improper accounting. David W. Johnson, the 32-year incumbent Columbiana County GOP chairman now in his second term…

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Minnesota Town Hosts Pride Event with Drag Performances for All Ages

Pride flag (rainbow) waving in the air

The city of Bloomington is hosting a pride event with drag performances, saying that the event is for all ages. A local group has called out the city for spending taxpayer money on drag performances, saying that is not an appropriate use of money. The Bloomington Patriots Facebook page has questioned the city for participating in “sexually grooming little children.” Human Rights Commissioner Anita Smithson called its concerns about the event “homophobic.”

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Virginia Gov. Northam Won’t Mandate Masks, Signaling Bipartisan Response to New COVID Cases

Democrat and Republican governors alike are promising not to implement new mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise again. 

“All Virginians should consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings where there is increased risk of [COVID-19] transmission, as the new [CDC] guidance recommends. This is not a requirement, but a recommendation,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Thursday on Twitter. 

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Warren Petersen, Shawnna Bolick Top Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona’s 2021 Scorecard

Warren Petersen and Shawnna Bolick

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona released its 2021 scorecard rating Arizona legislators this session, with just two legislators receiving perfect scores — and one of them actually scored 102 due to bonus points. Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) received an extra two points for his efforts on SCR 1001, a Senate Concurrent Resolution to terminate Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of emergency on COVID-19. The resolution was highly critical of Ducey, observing that “Governor Ducey has subjected individual citizens to criminal sanctions for noncompliance with the stay-at-home orders.” It did not make it through the legislature.

Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, was the only representative to receive a perfect 100. Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) received the Rookie of the Year award as the highest scoring freshman legislator, with 94. Petersen, Bolick and Parker were among seven legislators to receive perfect scores earlier this month from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for their voting. 

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Phoenix Union High School District Issues Mask Mandate, Breaking State Law

Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) issued a mask mandate on Friday, in violation of state law. The mandate was issued three days before the district began its fall semester.

“We teach and trust science, follow guidelines and recommendations from health experts, and use health data to drive our decisions. The science is clear that the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and known variants is to get vaccinated,” announced PXU. “In an effort to protect our staff, students, and community, PXU has a good faith belief that the following guidance from the CDC and other health agencies regarding mitigation strategies is imperative. Therefore, Phoenix Union will begin the school year on August 2 enforcing our existing Board-adopted mask requirement of universal indoor masking only, regardless of vaccination status.”

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DeSantis to Issue Executive Order over Masks in Florida Schools

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) held a conference Friday where he said he will be issuing an executive order “protecting the rights of parents” permitting them to make decisions about masking their children in this upcoming school year and banning school mask mandates.

“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis feels Florida’s parents should be allowed to decide about masking issues for their own child’s safety.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Joins Chorus to Overturn Roe v. Wade

U.S. Supreme Court

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) called on the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to overturn the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion in a brief signed on by 10 other Republican governors, in hopes to make abortion a state issue.

The brief provides arguments for why abortion should be left to the states by citing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and how the brief says abortion is not protected by the amendment.

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Upper Midwest Law Center Files Lawsuits Against a Minnesota School and Health Care System for Critical Race Theory ‘Bullying’

The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) has filed lawsuits against several Minnesota institutions, including a school and the Hennepin Health Care System for “critical race theory bullying and retaliation.” A press release from UMLC says, “Our clients seek an end to the ‘official’ propagandizing of CRT and the bullying and retaliation which accompany it, and appropriate remedies for the harm caused to them and others. UMLC will pursue these charges and lawsuits until we can achieve justice for them and a vindication of the American principle reaffirmed by Martin Luther King, Jr., of judging people by the ‘content of their character,’ not the color of their skin, or their willingness to submit to CRT ideology.”

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Ex-GOP Chair, U.S. Senate Candidate Jane Timken Dodges Questions in Ohio GOP Accounting Mess

Jane Timken For U.S. Senate

  U.S. Senate Candidate Jane Timken has refused to answer questions about the health of Ohio Republican Party’s financial records during her tenure as the chairwoman of the State Central Committee. Revelations of pressure within the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) to clean up the organization’s accounting practices and its leadership’s…

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300,000 Gallons of Raw Sewage Flowed into the James River Upstream of Richmond, Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is warning people to avoid contact with water in a 12-mile stretch of the James River in Richmond. On Tuesday evening, a Goochland County sewer main ruptured, and remained open for several hours. 300,000 gallons of raw undiluted sewage flowed into Tuckahoe Creek, which flows into the James.

“For the safety of people and pets, VDH is advising that recreational water activities, such as swimming, wading, tubing, and whitewater kayaking (where submersion in the water is likely), should be avoided,” the VDH said in a Thursday press release. “Activities on the waterbodies, which are not likely to result in water submersion (boating, fishing, canoeing), may continue with proper caution to avoid contact with the water.”

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Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Backs Masks in Schools

Two women at table together, wearing masks

A group known as the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) representing over 2,500 pediatricians across the state released a statement Thursday backing the use of masks in schools. 

With the delta variant causing a influx of COVID-19 cases across the state, Thursday’s announcement resembles the FCAAP’s recommendations from this time last year before the 2020-2021 school year but with the inclusion of vaccination protocols.

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Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar Introduces ‘Guaranteed Income’ Bill

Amid the ongoing feud between progressive Democrats and their more moderate counterparts over a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill and legislation to abolish the filibuster, one progressive House Democrat is forging ahead. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) Friday introduced a bill that would pilot universal basic income programs in certain geographic areas, before taking the program national within the next seven years. 

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Raffensperger’s Office Seeks Over $100,000 to Complete Open Records Request Submitted by Georgia Secretary of State Candidate David Belle Isle

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office will charge David Belle Isle, who is challenging Raffensperger in the GOP primary for the top elections post, more than $100,000 to complete an open records request. 

Further, Raffensperger’s office claimed producing the documents would take approximately 230 business days to complete — a timeline that conveniently places the results after the GOP primary election for secretary of state.

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Ohio AG Announces ‘Drug Dropoff Day’ to Combat Opioid Use

In response to a “surge” in opioid overdoses in Ohio in 2020, Attorney General Dave Yost Friday announced the state’s first “Drug Dropoff Day.”

“You know, a lot of opioid addictions actually start out of the family medicine cabinet,” Yost said in a video posted to his Twitter account. 

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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Files Amicus Brief to Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Doug Ducey

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Thursday joined 11 other Republican governors and filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to ask the court to overturn Roe v. Wade — which created a federal ban on preventing abortions.

“Every single life has immeasurable value. That includes children who are preborn — and I believe it’s each state’s responsibility to protect them. It is time for the U.S. Supreme Court to fix their mistake and return this authority to the individual states as the democratic process intends,” Governor Ducey said in a statement.

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Detroit, Michigan Voters to Decide on Left-Wing ‘Proposal P’ on Tuesday

When Detroit, Michigan voters head to the polls for next Tuesday’s primary, they will decide on a referendum concerning a major proposed revision of the city charter which would institute numerous left-wing programs and reforms.

The ballot item, known as “Proposal P,” provides for the creation of a new “Task Force on Reparations and African American Justice,” an “Office of Economic Justice and Consumer Empowerment,” a “Department of Environmental Justice and Sustainability” and an “Office of Immigrant Affairs,” among other new government offices. 

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Arizona’s Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich Join SCOTUS Suit to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Both Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined separate amicus curiae briefs with other governors and attorneys general in an abortion case out of Missouri that would gut Roe v. Wade by banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Ducey joined 11 other governors led by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to demand that the Supreme Court uphold the state law and undo Roe v. Wade. Brnovich signed on with 23 other attorneys general led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to ask that the court overrule Roe v. Wade because it is “erroneous, inconsistent, uneven, and unreliable.”

Ducey said in a statement, “The Constitution preserves the rights of the states by specifically enumerating the authority granted to the federal government. Unfortunately, almost 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to ignore the Constitution and created policy which has led to the over-politicization of this issue for decades.” 

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Georgia to Now Require Proof of Employment for Pandemic Assistance Claims

Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) officials have announced they will require people who receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits on or after December 27 of last year to provide proof of employment or self-employment. Those people must also show a valid officer to begin employment and proof of wages by August 14.

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Ohio Democratic Senate Candidate Tim Ryan Votes to Use Taxpayer Funds for Abortions

Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan

Democratic Ohio Senate candidate Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) joined all other House Democrats and voted to kill to Hyde Amendment — a rule that bars federal funding of abortions within the United States.

In addition to striking down the Hyde Amendment, Ryan voted to also undo the Helms Amendment, which will allow the U.S. to sent taxpayer funds to contribute to elective abortions in foreign countries.

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Former Michigan Senator Carl Levin Dead at 87

Sen. Carl Levin

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat who served 36 years and rose to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, died Thursday at the age of 87.

The Levin Center at Wayne State University in Detroit announced his death Thursday night, describing him as “a dearly beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, and life-long public servant.”

His six Senate terms are the most that any Michigan senator has served.

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E.W. Jackson, Dick Black, Paul Lott, and Other Conservatives Rally Against Critical Race Theory in Virginia Beach

18 organizations and about 250 people attended an anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) rally at the Virginia Beach town center on Thursday afternoon. Key speakers included former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor Bishop E.W. Jackson, former State Senator Dick Black, and Paul Lott, who is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 10th congressional district.

“My name is E.W. Jackson. I am not an African American, I am an American,” Jackson said.

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Tennessee’s Fired Immunization Chief Claims ‘White, Male, Rural Conservatives’ Refuse Vaccine, Willing to Risk Others’ Lives Out of Spite for Left

Tennessee’s former leading vaccine official, Michelle Fiscus, said that white, male, rural conservatives refuse the COVID-19 vaccine and are willing to risk the lives of others and themselves out of spite for the left. The former Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) Vaccine and Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program (VPDIP) Director made these statements during an interview with PBS.

“But I think the other thing in Tennessee, and I think in a lot of our Southern states that’s happening, is this ideology that if you get this vaccine, you’re somehow placating to the left part of the political spectrum,” said Fiscus. “And so what we’re actually seeing is our most hesitant population in Tennessee is the white, male, rural conservatives, and that they are stating that they’re not going to get the vaccine really out of spite and are willing to put their own lives and the lives of the people that they love at risk because they feel that if they get the vaccine, then they have placated the left or done what the Biden Administration wants them to do.”

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Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Audit Liaison Ken Bennett Confirm Bennett Will Remain as Senate Liaison, Pledge Bennett Will Have ‘Full Access’

Ken Bennett

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann released a statement on Friday that confirmed former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett will continue to serve as the Senate’s Liason to the ongoing audit.

Further, Fann promised that Bennett will be granted “full access” to all aspects of the forensic audit, after Bennett threatened to leave the post earlier this week.

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Tennessee Representative Rose Calls Out Biden Claim That ‘Crime Is Down’

In House floor remarks on Thursday, Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) called out President Joe Biden for insisting in a CNN Town Hall with host Don Lemon a week ago that “crime is down” even as murder rates rise.

The current rise in violent crime has been broadly acknowledged by an array of journalistic and academic observers, and even by liberal outlets like the Atlantic Monthly.

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Commentary: Republicans Will Defend Their Corporate Friends but Not Their Voters

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has so many problems to solve right now. A crime wave leaves hundreds of Americans dead and has turned our cities into war zones. A border crisis allows hundreds of thousands of illegals to enter our country. A domestic war on terror threatens basic civil liberties. 

But none of these crises have persuaded Graham to go to war. No, the civilizational question that demands his full zeal has to do with . . .  a fast-food chain. 

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Biden Admin Will Keep a Trump-Era Public Health Order Expelling Most Migrants in Place, Citing COVID-19 Variants

The Biden administration will keep a Trump-era public health order used to expel most migrants from the U.S. in place, citing COVID-19 variants, Reuters reported Thursday.

President Joe Biden reportedly planned to lift public health order Title 42 restrictions for migrant families at the end of July, according to Reuters. The administration decided not to lift the order in light of rising COVID-19 infections in Mexico and the spread of the delta variant, according to three people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported.

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Pfizer Launches Trials to Test Booster COVID Shots in Knoxville, Nashville

Pfizer has launched trials in Knoxville and Nashville to test a third booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, marketed as an “updated version.” Alliance for Multispecialty Research (AMR) Knoxville’s Volunteer Research Group is conducting the Knoxville study, and Clinical Research Associates is conducting the Nashville study. Pfizer claimed in a press release earlier this month that a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine would more effectively provide immunization, especially against the Delta variant.

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GDP Surges 6.5 Percent as Economy Reaches Pre-Pandemic Size

The U.S. economy surged 6.5% in the second quarter of 2021 as states continued to end coronavirus-related restrictions that triggered an economic recession last year.

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of net services and goods produced, jumped at a 6.5% annual rate between April and May, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) report released Thursday. GDP plummeted 31.4% in the second quarter of 2020 amid the massive nationwide economic shutdowns that occurred during the first coronavirus outbreak.

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Commentary: Homeschooling Is an Option for Parents Who Don’t Like Back-to-School Mask Mandates

School districts across the country are beginning to impose mask mandates for all students and staff this fall. Officials in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, DC declared last week that everyone in school buildings will be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

These school districts are going beyond current CDC guidelines, which recommend masking for unvaccinated students and staff only. Instead, they seem to be embracing the masking stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics which announced last week that all students over age two, as well as staff, should wear masks at school even if they are vaccinated.

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Senator Hagerty Introduces Bill to End Government-Directed Big Tech Censorship

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced a bill on Wednesday aimed to limit “government collusion” with Big Tech to censor Americans’ free speech.

“The purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent government from suppressing speech with which it disagrees. If the federal government is attempting to end-run the Constitution by secretly working with tech platforms to censor Americans’ speech, then the American people deserve to know. Requiring transparency will ensure that the government cannot work secretly to censor Americans,” Hagerty detailed of his proposed legislation.

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Craig Huey Outlines Merrick Garland’s War on States, Individuals, and Election Integrity

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Craig Huey in studio to discuss the undeclared war on states and individuals by Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice.

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