Arizona Senate Holds Election Hearing, Explains Basis for Audit

The Arizona Senate held a public briefing on Thursday to update and brief residents of the state on the ongoing forensic audit of roughly 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County.

Leaders of the legislative chamber heard testimony from the vendors hired to conduct the audit, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and CyFIR founder Ben Cotton.

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Vast Differences in Funding for Opposing Sides in Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Battle

Members of an organized campaign who oppose the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act are reportedly well-stocked with cash and have more that 400 times as much money as the people who favor it. The people on the opposing side — residents who have pushed for the referendum — have a sum of cash that, by comparison, is paltry.

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Commentary: Unions’ Focus on Woke over Work Rankles Rank and File

Los Angeles school teacher Glenn Laird has been a union stalwart for almost four decades. He served as a co-chair of his school’s delegation to United Teachers Los Angeles and proudly wore union purple on the picket line.

But Laird is now suing to leave UTLA and demanding a refund of the dues the union has collected since his resignation request. His turning point came in July 2020 when the union, the second largest teachers union in the country, joined liberal activists to demand that Los Angeles defund the police in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

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Shelby County Schools’ New Policy Limits Employees’ Speech on Social Media

Shelby County Schools (SCS) adopted a new policy during its board meeting two weeks ago to limit employee speech on social media. The policy’s goal is to “eliminate disruption” to school or district operations by regulating their employees’ social media. The policy defines social media as all internet-based communication and online content; it lists blogs, podcasts, comments, messages, audio recordings, video recordings, and posts. SCS employees are expressly prohibited from posting anything that creates or may create a disruption.

“All social media use by SCS employees that causes, or has a potential to cause, a disruption to school [sic] school/district operations are prohibited[,]” read the policy. “SCS recognizes that social media is used by many District employees as a means of communication for both District and personal purposes. SCS has an interest in promoting workplace efficiency and avoiding actual and potential workplace and school/district disruption.”

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Democrats Announce Sweeping $3.5 Trillion Infrastructure Reconciliation Plan

Site Construction

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, announced a $3.5 trillion deal on their infrastructure reconciliation package late Tuesday.

The deal is the first step to beginning the reconciliation process, which Democrats hope will allow them to bypass a certain GOP filibuster and pass the plan on a party-line vote. The package includes an array of Democratic priorities that face near unanimous Republican opposition, including billions for child care, climate change and other forms of so-called human infrastructure, Schumer and Sanders said in a joint press conference Tuesday.

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Former President Trump Slams Fulton County Recount After New Claims of Irregularities

Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Wednesday slamming the recount of the 2020 election in Fulton County, Georgia — after a lawsuit alleged there was a 60% error rate in the hand count audit.

“The news coming out of Georgia is beyond incredible. The hand recount in Fulton County was a total fraud! They stuffed the ballot box—and got caught. We will lose our Country if this is allowed to stand,” Trump said.

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Andrew Cuomo’s Administration Continues to Undercount New York COVID Deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration continues to undercount COVID-19 deaths in its own public reporting, months after it admitted to undercounting nursing home deaths from the virus by thousands.

New York’s state-managed tracker reported over 43,000 deaths from COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, a figure more than 20% smaller than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tally of nearly 55,000 in the state, which is based on death certificates that list COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor to an individual’s death.

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Dr. Manny Sethi and Healthy Tennessee Holding Free Health Fair on Saturday

Dr. Manny Sethi, the Vanderbilt orthopedic trauma surgeon who ran to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, is hosting a free health fair and food distribution on Saturday in Murfreesboro through his non-profit, Healthy Tennessee.

“This is our first health fair after the COVID epidemic, and we could not be more excited to get back to Tennessee communities and share better health practices with everyone. We have held dozens of health fairs, summits, statewide seminars and symposiums from one end of the state to the other for a decade. We are focused on meeting people where they are to provide health care solutions and options,” Sethi, who serves as the organization’s president, said in an emailed statement.

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State Rep. Chris Todd Talks Southern Legislative Conference and His Term Limit Resolution

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Rep. Chris Todd of Jackson to the newsmakers line to discuss the recent Southern Legislative Conference and the probability of his term limits resolution passing.

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Akiva Cohen Weighs in on the Probable Outcome of Donald Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Big Tech and First Amendment New York Attorney Akiva Cohen to the newsmakers line to explain the mechanics of Former President Trump’s lawsuit.

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Republican Mayor Wants to Force Some City Employees to Get Vaccinated or Face Suspension

Mayor R. Rex Parris

A Republican mayor in Lancaster, California wants to suspend city employees if they refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Fox 11 reported Tuesday.

Republican Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said that employees who interact with the public must be vaccinated, according to Fox 11. Employees would be suspended without pay if they don’t take the shot.

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Senator Bill Hagerty Slams Biden for Waiving Iranian Sanctions

Senator Bill Hagerty

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) slammed President Joe Biden on Tuesday for waiving sanctions on the Iranian oil trade — allowing the country to access frozen funds from South Korea and Japan.

Further, the administration chose to roll back the restrictions on the same day that the Department of Justice announced charges on a spy network linked to the Iranian leadership that sought to kidnap an American.

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Crom Carmichael Talks Joe Biden and the Regulation of Everything

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss Joe Biden’s endeavor to regulate businesses from Washington, D.C.

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Court Rules That Law Banning Handgun Sales to Americans Under 21 Is Unconstitutional

Guy shooting hand gun at gun range

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court overturned a decades-long law that prohibited the sale of handguns to Americans under the age of 21, on the basis that it violated the Second Amendment, according to USA Today.

The law was first signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and although it banned handguns for those under 21, it still allowed Americans as young as 18 to purchase rifles and shotguns. In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Virginia, it was determined that the restriction for one type of gun based on a three-year age difference was arbitrary and had no merit.

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Facebook Files Petition Demanding FTC Chair Lina Khan Recuse Herself From Antitrust Case

Lina Khan Facebook Headquarters

Facebook filed a petition Wednesday asking for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the FTC’s antitrust case against the company.

The tech giant argued in the petition that Khan’s public statements, in which she suggested Facebook’s conduct constituted an antitrust offense, violated the company’s due process rights.

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Analysis: What It Would Look Like If China Had to Pay Reparations for COVID-19

The U.S. and other nations can hold the Chinese government accountable for the 2020 outbreak of coronavirus and ensuing global pandemic through a variety of legal, financial and diplomatic means.

Republican senators and Asian policy experts have proposed a range of options for punishing the Chinese government for its alleged negligence responding to the outbreak and overseeing the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where coronavirus potentially leaked from in late 2019. Since the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic in March 2o20, the virus has killed more than 4 million people worldwide, nations have experienced economic devastation and the prevalence of other health issues such as depression has increased.

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North Carolina GOP Adds A Ban on Teaching the U.S. ‘Should Be Violently Overthrown’ to Anti-CRT Bill

Phil Berger in front of North Carolina State Capitol

North Carolina Republicans amended a bill Wednesday that would prevent educators from teaching critical race theory in the state’s public schools, adding five provisions, according to an updated copy of the legislation obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger added five provisions to House Bill 324 following worries that North Carolina students would be taught CRT in schools, the AP reported.

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Commentary: Conservatives Shouldn’t Accept the Idea of ‘Systemic Racism’

Black Lives Matter protest

The official “Conservative Case Against Banning Critical Race Theory” appeared in the New York Times last week. Penned by a progressive Yale professor, two non-progressives, and the allegedly conservative David French, the article claims state efforts to ban CRT undermine a good, free-thinking education. Others have dissected this silly claim in detail, so it’s not worth rehashing all of that here. What readers should take away from the Times op-ed is an increasing willingness among respectable conservatives to grant the idea of “systemic racism.” They believe there is nothing wrong with accepting this core tenet of modern liberalism and that it’s absolutely true. 

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Federal Judge Rules Second Amendment Applies to 18-Year-Olds, Ruling May Impact Tennessee Constitutional Carry Law

Glock 19

A federal judge in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a Virginia federal judge’s ruling upholding the federal Gun Control Act of 1968.

The decision by the judge strikes down the law that prevents federally licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns or handgun ammunition to adults under the age of 21 — allowing 18-year-olds to purchase handguns.

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President and CEO of the Job Creators Network Alfredo Ortiz Slams Biden ‘Voting Rights’ Speech

Biden ‘Voting Rights’ Speech

Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network (JCN), released a statement on Tuesday criticizing President Joe Biden for his recent speech on “voting rights” in Philadelphia. 

“Biden’s fear-mongering that Republicans are trying to take over state elections in defiance of the will of the voters is ridiculous slander. What he calls voter ‘suppression’ and ‘subversion’ is really just commonsense voting integrity measures,” Ortiz said of the speech.

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Crom Carmichael: ‘If It Walks Like a Marxist, If It Governs Like a Marxist, If It Talks Like a Marxist, It’s a Marxist’

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to decern Joe Biden’s Marxist ideals, his right to implement them and hopes that Republicans do the same when they retake Congress and the Presidency.

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State of Florida Appeals Social Media Law Injunction

The law banning social media and big tech companies from “deplatforming” or “cancelling” political candidates on the internet was blocked by a federal judge a day before the law was to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a 31-page order on June 30th outlining his decision to approve an injunction filed by tech companies, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

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Norwegian Cruises Challenges Florida’s Vaccine Passport Ban

People boarding a cruise ship

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s new law banning vaccine passports and they will abandon the state entirely if the law is not reversed.

“The result would be a devastating, unrecoverable loss for everyone—not only for NCLH’s business but also for tens of thousands of passengers, employees, and stakeholders who all benefit from NCLH resuming safe operations as planned,” the lawsuit says. “The only way NCLH could maintain its protocols and operations as currently planned is by abandoning Florida altogether.”

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Biden Awards Never Trumper, Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake with Ambassador Position

Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and former Arizona Senator, was awarded with a position in the Biden administration as the ambassador to Turkey.

Biden’s move to nominate the Republican lawmaker with a position in his administration comes after Flake endorsed and campaigned for Biden during the November 2020 election.

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Mesa Public Schools Updates Dress Code Policy to be ‘More Equitable,’ Will Define ‘Hate Speech’ Based on Dictionary

Mesa Public Schools (MPS) updated their dress code policy to make it more equitable and prohibit “hate speech.” Nowhere in their current policies does MPS define “hate speech.”

As reported by The Arizona Sun Times last month, MPS General Counsel Kacey Gregson said that students would have a right to express their political beliefs unless it could be perceived as “hate speech,” promoting violence, or immediately or potentially causing substantial interference with the learning environment.

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Karen Fann: Audit Numbers Don’t Match Maricopa County’s Numbers

Karen Fann Election Portrait

The audit of Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 election ordered by the Arizona Legislature finished last month, and State Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) said Tuesday the ballot totals don’t match the county’s official results. She told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show, “They haven’t released a number yet, if you will, however we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point.”

When asked about the degree of the discrepancy in the audit versus the official county tallies, Fann said, “I do not know. They have not told me the number;” adding that the auditors are “finishing up.”

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House Oversight Committee Launches Investigation into Arizona Election Audit

Arizona Democrat Audit

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee announced on Wednesday that they are launching an investigation into the forensic audit of ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The group penned a letter to Douglas Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas Inc — the company hired by the Arizona State Senate to conduct the review of almost 2.1 million ballots.

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New Vaccine Incentive Program Coming for Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine and vaccines

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to double down on an incentive program to encourage more Ohioans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as cases are on the rise in the Buckeye State.

Speaking to reporters at a ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of a highway project in Columbus, DeWine said he expects to announce a new program soon in an effort boost the state’s vaccination percentage, which ranks as one of the lowest in the nation.

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25-Year-Old East Lansing Mayor Resigns to Go Back to School

Aaron Stephens - Mayor of East Lansing

The 25-year-old mayor of East Lansing, appointed to the position in 2020 during a year of turmoil for the city, is resigning in August in order to further his education.

“My program begins in late August, so I will be stepping down from my position as mayor, and as a member of the city council, because I will be unable to attend four regular and two discussion-only meetings before my term is over,” Mayor Aaron Stephens said in a Facebook post. 

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Some School Boards Oppose Virginia Transgender Policy Mandate; Enforcement, Consequences Unclear

As culture war issues spread through public hearings at Virginia’s school board meetings, school boards are starting to oppose adopting new transgender policies mandated by state law. Amid complaints and demands from public speakers, the Pittsylvania County Schools (PCS) Board voted four to three on Tuesday to reject adopting the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools.

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Ohio Communities Gain Control of Wind, Solar Projects

Three wind turbines

Local communities in Ohio got a little more power regarding renewable energy projects after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that addresses wind and solar projects.

DeWine made Senate Bill 52 law and gave power to county boards on whether to allow or prevent certification of wind and solar projects. The legislation also establishes decommissioning requirements for certain wind and solar facilities.

“One of the most important things we can do as state legislators is to listen to the input of our fellow constituents,” Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, said Monday after DeWine signed the bill. “I can confidently tell you that Ohioans within Seneca County vehemently spoke out against a wind project being built within their communities – Senate Bill 52 being signed into law solidifies their right to local control over these types of projects.”

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RNC Reminds MLB All-Star Game Viewers That Democrats Got Game Pulled Out of Georgia

The Republican National Committee (RNC) released a television ad during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game and told Atlanta residents that Democrats stole the game from their city, all to push a divisive political agenda. The ad features former Georgia State Rep. Melvin Everson. Everson, according to Ballotpedia, is a Republican who served in the legislature from 2005 to 2011.

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Southwest Georgia Resident Criminally Charged with CARES Act Fraud

A federal grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment charging a Sycamore, Georgia, resident with bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Officials indicted Anthony C. Boncimino, 46, this month with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of money laundering and four counts of making false statements.

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Candidates Line Up to Challenge Spanberger in Virginia Midterms

Taylor Keeney for Congress

Former Governor Bob McDonnell communications staffer Taylor Keeney is running for the GOP nomination in Virginia’s seventh congressional district. Keeney is the second GOP candidate to announce a campaign for the seat in July; Tina Ramirez announced her candidacy earlier in July.

“I’m tired of the same career politicians failing to flip the seat from blue back to red. That’s why I’m running for Congress,” Keeney said in an announcement video Wednesday.

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75 Florida Teachers Sign Petition Vowing to Defy Critical Race Theory Ban

As The Tennessee Star reported, the Zinn Education Project,  a nonprofit that pushes social justice curriculum in schools, released a petition signed by more than 5000 teachers nationwide who vow to continue to teach Critical Race Theory, even if it’s banned in their schools. 

“Lawmakers in at least 21 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history,” the petition says.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Drops Mask Requirement for Fall Semester

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced Tuesday that they won’t require students or faculty to wear masks for the upcoming school year.

MNPS said that these updated COVID protocols were “commonsense.” In the announcement, MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle asserted that masks for the unvaccinated were strongly encouraged – especially for those with underlying health conditions or students under 12 years old. Otherwise, Battle said that MNPS will monitor case data in the event they need to adjust masking requirements.

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