Author and Investor J.D. Vance Officially Enters Crowded Ohio GOP Senate Primary

J.D. Vance, bestselling author and investor, officially launched his campaign on Thursday for the U.S. Senate, joining an already crowded and growing field.

“You have leaders of this country, in government and in business, who don’t think they owe anything to the country that made them who they are,” Vance said to a crowd of supporters. 

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Tennessee’s Weekly Unemployment Claims Jump, but Continuing Claims Decline

Tennessee’s weekly jobs report shows that while continuing unemployment claims dropped for the third week in a row, new unemployment claims jumped slightly. 

According to the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, during the week of June 26 there were 4,970 unemployment claims, a spike of 254 claims statewide from the previous week. But overall, unemployment claims dropped from 50,671 to 49,909, a drop of 762. 

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Commentary: Military Potentially Losing Middle America

United States military troops

Traditionalist and conservative America once was the U.S. military’s greatest defender.  

Bipartisan conservatives in Congress ensured generous Pentagon budgets. Statistics of those killed in action, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, reveal that white males, especially those of the rural and middle classes, were demographically “overrepresented” in offering the ultimate sacrifice to their country.  

When generals, active and retired, have become controversial, usually conservative America could be counted on to stick with them.  

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All-Star Panelist and Co-Writer of Bustin’ Loose, Roger Simon Reflects on Writing with Comedy Legend Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and co-writer of Bustin’ Loose Roger Simon in studio to talk about the talent and relationship with the late comedian Richard Pryor.

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Biden Admin Looks for Ways to Track Up to 100,000 Migrants Released into the U.S.

The temporary processing facilities in Donna, Texas, February 25, 2021, constructed to safely process family units and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) encountered and in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. The facility will provide processing capacity in the RGV while the permanent Centralized Processing Center in McAllen is renovated. CBP photo by Jerry Glaser

The Biden administration solicited information that could help form a National Case Management Program to track up to 100,000 migrants released into the U.S. annually, documents uploaded Monday show.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would manage the program aimed at migrant adults aged 18 to 21 and other “vulnerable populations” to make sure the migrants are safe and prepared to attend their immigration court hearings, documents show. The request is solely for information gathering and does not mean the federal government will contract with any company that responds.

The program would “ensure that the program participants are safe, stable, and able to prepare for and attend their upcoming court dates and other immigration obligations and have access to legal and other services as needed while in the community,” according to the documents.

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Tennessee Government Gave $3 Million to Businessmen Who Committed Fraud, Audit Reveals

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) awarded a $3 million grant to a company that two men started by lying and committing fraud. This, according to an investigative report that Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.

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Supreme Court Rules Against California Requirement That Exposes Non-Profit Donations

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a California requirement, pushed by Vice President Kamala Harris while she was Attorney General, that would force the disclosure of donations to various non-profits.

In an opinion siding with the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Americans For Prosperity (AFP), who both sued the state, Chief Justice John Roberts stated, “The government may regulate in the First Amendment area only with narrow specificity, and compelled disclosure regimes are no exception.”

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American Scholars Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michael Rectenwald: ‘It’s Time to Claim Your Academic and Educational Independence’

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Dr. Michael Rectenwald to the newsmakers line to discuss the pro-American education website Americanscholars.com.

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Microsoft VP Says It’s ‘Shocking’ How Routinely the Government Secretly Demands Private Customer Data

Microsoft building

Federal law enforcement agencies covertly request thousands of Microsoft users’ information every year, a company executive told a congressional committee Wednesday.

Vice President for Customer Security and Trust Tom Burt told the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on “Secrecy Orders and Prosecuting Leaks: Potential Legislative Responses to
Deter Prosecutorial Abuse of Power” that Microsoft receives between 2,400 and 3,500 secrecy orders a year, or about 7 to 10 a day, from federal law enforcement agencies.

“Most shocking is just how routine secrecy orders have become when law enforcement targets an American’s email, text messages or other sensitive data stored in the cloud,” Burt told the committee.

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Satellite Images: China Constructing over 100 Nuclear Missile Silos

Air-to-air missiles, Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution

Recent satellite images appear to show the Chinese government constructing over 100 new silos designated for nuclear missiles, Fox News reports.

The images, captured by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) in Monterey, California and first reported by the Washington Post, depicted approximately 119 missile silos under construction, bearing resemblances to the current missile-launching apparatuses that China already operates.

And the images don’t even show the full extent of China’s latest ambitions, according to a CNS spokesperson. Jeffrey Lewis, director of CNS’s East Asia Nonproliferation Program, said that “if the silos under construction at other sites across China are added to the count, the total comes to about 145 silos under construction. We believe China is expanding its nuclear forces, in part, to maintain a deterrent that can survive a U.S. first strike in sufficient numbers to defeat U.S. missile defenses.”

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Southeastern Legal Foundation’s Braden Boucek on Anti-Racist Training: ‘Pits Us All Against Each Other’

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Southeastern Legal Foundations director of litigation Braden Boucek to the newsmakers line to discuss a current lawsuit in Evanston, Illinois which misinterprets equality as equity.

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Trump Says Southern Border Is ‘More Dangerous Than It’s Ever Been’ Under Biden

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday the southern border is “more dangerous than it’s ever been” after the Biden administration reversed most of Trump’s immigration policies, Fox News reported.

The Biden administration ended Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program on June 1 and is eyeing an end to public health order Title 42 that allows border officials to rapidly expel most migrants to Mexico at the end of July, Axios reported June 20. Biden also said he would stop construction on the border wall, prompting Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to announce plans for the state to begin construction on its own wall, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

“There has never been a border so secure as the southern border that we had, and now it’s opened up,” Trump said, according to Fox News. “Now we have an open, really dangerous, border. More dangerous than it’s ever been in the history of our country, and we better go back fast.”

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House Passes Resolution Creating Select Committee into Capitol Riot

The House approved a resolution Wednesday to create a select committee into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol weeks after Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan commission into it.

The bill authorizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to select eight members and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to select five in consultation with her. It passed 222 to 190, with two Republicans joining all Democrats in voting in favor.

Though the bill passed with bipartisan support, it was significantly less than the 35 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan commission in May. House Republican leadership came out against the bill Tuesday, urging its caucus to vote no on the grounds that it would “pursue a partisan agenda and politicize the Jan. 6 attack.”

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Discourse Is Political Gaslighting

Back of the Statue of Liberty

Happily, the spirit of American liberty seems to be awaking from its decades-long slumber.

Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker for the past two years (I wouldn’t blame you too much if you had), you know there’s quite a lot of controversy over critical race theory (CRT). You also know that just as those who oppose it have started to gain some momentum in pushing back against it (like parents in Loudoun County, Virginia), legacy media shills all leaped into action, concern trolling about ordinary Americans’ alarm over this racist theory’s presence in their children’s schools. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for 11 articles in two weeks on the RealClearPolitics homepage doing exactly that.)

This is a crystal clear example of what Michael Anton calls the “celebration parallax”: “a fact pattern is either true and glorious or false and scurrilous depending on who states it.” Thus, when CRT fanatics indoctrinate your children to hate America and to hate one another on the basis of their skin color, it’s a much-needed dose of hard medicine for a racist people whose country’s “very DNA” is racist (according to the “1619 Project”). But when you—a patriotic, decent American mom or dad—point out how evil a thing that is to say unironically, let alone teach to children and force on Americans across the country via human resources departments, it’s either not happening, or we’re overreacting, or opposing it will hurt the Right “in the long run,” or it’s innocuous and really just about “teach[ing] children that slavery is bad and racism still exists.”

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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Voting Restrictions, ‘Not Racially Discriminatory’

Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld Arizona law prohibiting ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. The three dissents in the case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (DNC), came from Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. The DNC had argued that the state’s bans on ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting discriminated against minorities, thereby violating the Voting Rights Act. SCOTUS rejected that assessment.

Arizona law prohibits individuals from casting provisional ballots in person on Election Day outside of their designated precinct. It also prohibits ballot harvesting, meaning that only family and household members, caregivers, mail carriers, and election officials can handle individual’s ballots.

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The Isaacs Release New Single ‘The American Face’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Multi-Grammy nominated family group The Isaacs (mother Lily, daughters Becky and Sonja and son, Ben) who have been enlisted by Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Paul Simon, Vince Gill, and many more for their remarkable harmonies, are gearing up to release their new album, American Face on August 13.

I interviewed Lilly Isaacs concerning the upcoming record and new single.

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Minneapolis City Council Withdraws Request to Remove Police Department

Minneapolis Police Department

Council members Steve Fletcher, Phillipe Cunningham and Jeremy Schroeder withdrew the proposal they had written to replace the police force with a new agency, a Department of Public Safety. The City Council members withdrew their proposal after a community group also came forward with a similar proposal that made it onto the November ballot which would replace police with a community-led group.

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Minnesota Senate Democrats Asked Republicans to Remove Police Lapel Pins

Minnesota Senate

According to Minnesota State Senator Gene Dornik, the Senate Democrats asked Republicans to remove their Thin Blue Line lapel pins that symbolized their support for police officers. The Democrats made the request under the Senate rule that prohibits advocacy. The Thin Blue Line symbol has been criticized in other public venues as well. In Maryland, a judge banned court employees from wearing Thin Blue Line face masks, citing “bias.” 

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Florida Colleges Shielded from COVID Related Lawsuits

Florida State University

Earlier this week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill exempting Florida’s colleges and universities from COVID-related lawsuits. The schools would be shielded from those seeking to sue the school based on decisions made to close campuses forcing students online.

“The Legislature finds that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, educational institutions had little choice but to close or restrict access to their campuses in an effort to protect the health of their students, educators, staff and communities,” the bill read.

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Loudoun County Teacher Takes Gender Pronoun Fight to Virginia Supreme Court

After an elementary school teacher in Loudoun County was suspended for voicing his opposition to using students’ preferred gender pronouns at a school board meeting, his case might be headed to the Virginia Supreme Court. 

Tyson Langhofer, an attorney for Byron Tanner Cross who is an elementary physical education teacher in the district, has filed a brief with the state’s highest Court asking it not to hear Loudoun County’s appeal on the issue. 

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Governor Mike DeWine Signs Ohio Budget into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the state’s budget into law in the early hours of Thursday morning — but not without vetoing several components of the bill.

The budget, which will find the state’s operations for two years, including key provisions such as tax cuts and the funding of public K—12 schools.

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Court Issues Mixed Opinion on Former State Rep Shooter’s Defamation Suit: Mesnard Immunity Does Not Cover the Press Release

Don Shooter

The Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion Wednesday dismissing part of a defamation lawsuit by expelled Arizona legislator Don Shooter against Sen. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) on Wednesday, while allowing the remaining part of the case to proceed.

Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) complained in 2017 when she was in the state House that Shooter, a Republican from Litchfield Park, sexually harassed her, resulting in the legislature removing him in 2018. He sued then-House speaker Mesnard, who introduced a bill to remove Shooter, over a press release and 82-page investigative report Mesnard issued about the expulsion. Shooter accused him of defamation and materially altering the investigative report.

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Federal Judge Blocks Florida Social Media Law

Smart phone opened on home screen

Judge Robert Hinkle sided with two groups that represented tech giants and blocked a Florida law that would have imposed penalties for social media companies that attempt to de-platform or “censor” individuals.

The ruling, a preliminary injunction, will prevent the enactment of the law, which could fine companies as much as $250,000 a day and was scheduled to take effect on July 1.

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Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Laws

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger released a statement on Thursday praising the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold two key voting laws in the state of Arizona.

The two provisions would prevent the use of third-party ballot harvesting and require election officials to throw out any ballots that were cast in the wrong precinct.

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Arizona Election Audit Wraps Up Operations, Moves Out of Coliseum

The Arizona audit is wrapping up its operations and has moved out of its three-month home: the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For about another week, audit workers will finish up in another building on the fairgrounds, the Wesley Bolin Building. Auditors will be able to use the building until July 14.

Although officials told The Arizona Sun Times that they would be finished by last Saturday, more work popped up after the county submitted additional resources that required review. Randy Pullen, a volunteer consultant to the Arizona Senate for the audit, estimated that they would be done sometime next week. He explained to The Sun Times that the slight delay occurred because the county submitted log reports on duplicate ballots last minute. Those logs showed how many from every batch were taken out by the county for duplication.

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St. Paul Firefighters to Begin Wearing Bulletproof Vests, Helmets on Emergency Calls

After getting a large donation of bulletproof vests and helmets, St. Paul firefighters will start to wear them on some of their emergency calls. St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief of EMS Kenneth Adams said, “Twenty years ago we worried about having the best turnout gear and the best air packs, and nowadays we’re having to worry about, ‘Are we going to get shot?’”

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Police Reform Bill Signed into Law by Governor DeSantis

After a unanimous vote from the Florida Senate and House of Representatives in April, HB 7051 (otherwise known as the Police Reform Bill), was signed into law Tuesday by Governor DeSantis.

As the bill title states, the law will create better protocols regarding law enforcement applicants, as well as amend others such as the use-of-force protocol.

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Michigan Senate Passes $17 Billion Budget Plan

The Michigan Senate passed a plan totaling $17 billion for K-12 schools, hours before the budget deadline that levies no penalties for late action.

The real deadline for the state budget is Sept. 30, ahead of the Oct. 1 start of the state’s fiscal year.

House Bill 4410 passed on a 34-0 vote, which Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas, R-Midland, called an “immediate priority.” The bill includes $10 million to repair natural disaster relief in cities flooded in June 2021.

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In Georgia, RNC Officials Will Use All Tools Available to Fight Joe Biden’s Suit Against SB 202

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the organization will “use every tool at its disposal” to fight Joe Biden’s suit against Georgia over its new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. McDaniel announced this in an emailed press release this week.

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The Arizona Republic Sues State Senate, Cyber Ninjas for Election Audit Records

One of Arizona’s largest newspapers is suing the state Senate and the contracted company running the audit, Cyber Ninjas, for access to their election audit records and financial records. The Arizona Republic, part of the Gannett mass media company, filed a special action on Wednesday in the Maricopa County Superior Court – case number LC2021-000180. Reportedly, the Senate denied the paper’s request for access to the audit and financial records, saying they weren’t public record. The specific information they hope to obtain includes the process for the audit, businesses involved, funding sources, and all communications of those involved.

The plaintiffs in the case are Phoenix Newspapers and Kathy Tulumello, news director for The Arizona Republic. Including the state Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the other defendants named are Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott), Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), and the secretary for the Senate, Susan Aceves. 

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Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Suspends License of Chattanooga’s Migrant Children Facility After More Incidents Reported – All Minors Moved Out of Facility June 22

Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (TDS) suspended the license of Chattanooga’s unaccompanied migrant minor housing facility, La Casa de Sydney. The agency running the facility was the Baptiste Group – according to the suspension order, all minors were moved from the facility on June 22. Since their suspension is not time limited, the Baptiste Group may request an informal hearing before an administrative judge by next Tuesday.

The Tennessee Star received a tip on Thursday afternoon of this information. That evening, several hours after placing inquiries with TDS, we received a formal press release and the order of suspension from TDS. The press release explained that their findings from a June 3 visit to the facility prompted the suspension. 

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