Cleveland Indians Change Name to Cleveland Guardians After Years-Long Leftist Pressure Campaign

After years of haranguing by left-wing protestors, the Cleveland Indians have finally caved, and will change their team’s nickname. 

The name change was announced in a two minute video narrated by Tom Hanks. The team will be called the Cleveland Guardians. 

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Tennessee State Building Commission Votes to Remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Bust

Tennessee’s State Building Commission voted Thursday to remove Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the State Capitol building. 

The statue will be relocated to the Tennessee State Museum, along with the busts of Admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves.

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Senate Republicans Propose Making Big Tech Pay for Internet Infrastructure

Big Tech Internet Infrastructure

Three Senate Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider collecting revenue from major tech companies to fund broadband internet.

The Funding Affordable Internet with Reliable Contributions Act, introduced by Sens. Roger Wicker, Todd Young, and Shelley Moore Capito, directs the FCC to consider collecting Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from Big Tech companies “such as YouTube, Netflix, and Google,” the lawmakers announced in a statement Wednesday. USF is a subsidy fund of the FCC that dispenses around $10 billion a year for broadband internet infrastructure in rural areas, according to the FCC website.

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Knox County Schools Approved East Tennessee State University Dual Enrollment Course That Taught Critical Race Theory

ETSU Library

Knox County Schools (KCS) approved a dual enrollment course from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that has historically taught critical race theory. The KCS board of education approved the course offering, “SOWK 1030: Cultural Diversity,” as part of a larger list of ETSU dual enrollment courses during their meeting last week.

The course is characterized as pre-professional social work curriculum focused on social justice topics such as “diversity within diversity,” referring to intersectionality – a concept coined by preeminent critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw.

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Alleged Extremists in Michigan Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Claim FBI Set Them Up

Whitmer Kidnapping Suspects

Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.

Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.

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Thales Academy Franklin’s Principal Rachael Bradley Talks the School’s Successes and the Next Open House August 5

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Thales Academy-Franklin Principal Rachael Bradley to the newsmakers line to discuss their continued success and upcoming open house Thursday, August fifth at 6 pm.

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Tennessee’s U.S. Congress Members Harshbarger, Burchett, Rose, Green, and Kustoff Urge Democracies to Support Free Cuba

TN Cuba Freedom Support

Five members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation co-signed a letter from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) this week urging the world’s democracies to support freedom in Cuba.

Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-1), Tim Burchett (R-TN-2), John Rose (R-TN-6), Mark Green (R-TN-7) and David Kustoff (R-TN-8) joined the Republican leader and other colleagues in exhorting democratic nations to back a number of steps toward effectuating Cuban democracy.

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Treasury Department Has Distributed Fraction of Emergency Rent Assistance with Just Days Until Evictions Begin

US Treasury Dept

The Department of the Treasury has awarded a small fraction of the tens of billions of dollars Congress appropriated for pandemic rental assistance since January.

The federal government has expended less than $3 billion of the $46.6 billion in funds given to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday. The U.S. doled out $1.49 billion from January through May and $1.5 billion in June to low-income renters nationwide, according to a spreadsheet published by the Treasury.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Paints Grim Future for New York City and Its Mayoral Race

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss New York City’s dangerous present, disappointing future, and the upcoming mayoral race.

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Commentary: Attend a School Board Meeting

If you want to know, up close and personal, the banality of evil, attend a school board meeting. With critical race theory and forced vaccination and masking all the rage, I did just that last night.

This board meeting wasn’t my first. When I was a kid, my dad ran for school board and won after a terrible teacher (a feel-good hippie) allowed one of my classmates to steal my work all year and put his name on it. Said teacher taught us second-graders macramé and little else. My family had moved from a high-performing school district to this less-than-stellar place. For about three years, I learned nothing new. My parents were incensed. So my dad ran for board treasurer, got elected, and promptly pissed everyone off.

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Knoxville City Council Considering Zero-Tolerance Policy on Racism and Sexism by Any City Employee

Knoxville City Council will be considering a zero-tolerance policy on racism and sexism displayed by any city employee.

Council member Amelia Parker announced that she is drafting the policy. This latest initiative follows a similar policy proposed in the wake of George Floyd’s death last year by community activists, and agreed upon by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon. That initiative never came to fruition. Concerning last year’s similar proposal, Parker said in an email that the lack of follow-through from Kincannon was disappointing.

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Fails to Advance in the Senate

US Capitol Infrastructure

Senate Republicans rejected an effort Wednesday to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure deal endorsed by President Joe Biden, saying that the vote came too early and that the bill was not yet finalized.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled the procedural vote in an attempt to begin debate on the package, but after filing cloture on Monday Republicans came out against it on the grounds that the deal had yet to be put into text and that senators were still finalizing how the plan would be financed. The bill failed 49-51, with Schumer voting no so that he can bring it up again in the coming days.

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Jobless Claims Surge Past 400,000, Far Higher Than Economists’ Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Tennessee Attorney General Joins Amicus Brief in 2nd Amendment Supreme Court Case

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery joined a coalition of 26 other states to file an amicus brief in the first 2nd Amendment Supreme Court case in over a decade, according to his office.

The group, led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, is supporting the challenge to the state of New York’s concealed carry laws in the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Weighs in on Liz Cheney and the Defense of Her Father’s Legacy

Dick Cheney

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio who discussed Liz Cheney’s siding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the protection of her father’s legacy.

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Rep. Tim Burchett Introduces Bill to Eliminate Backlog of Passport Applications

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers to introduce legislation to help eliminate the current processing backlog of U.S. passport applications.

As economies around the world slowly begin to reopen, the State Department has witnessed a dramatic surge in passport applications and renewals, which has led to a jam of close to 2.2 million applications and has greatly extended the time to receive the document required for international travel.

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Apologizes for Rollout of ‘Tennessee on Me’

While speaking to state lawmakers at a committee hearing on Wednesday, commissioner for the Department of Tourist Development Mark Ezell apologized for the sudden rollout of the ‘Tennessee on Me’ tourism initiative. 

The program, introduced by Governor Bill Lee, awards $250 of taxpayer funds to out-of-state visitors who book a two-night stay in one of Tennessee’s five largest cities.

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Catholic School in Michigan Argues Mask Mandates Hide ‘God’s Image,’ Violate Religious Liberty

Resurrection School Mask Lawsuit

A court of appeals in Michigan will hear a case from a Catholic school arguing mask mandates violate religious liberty because they cover “God’s image and likeness.”

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity and because God created us in His image, we are masking that image,” the institution – the Resurrection School, in Lansing – told The Washington Post.

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Report: Biden Admin Will Keep Restrictions Allowing Border Officials to Expel Migrants for Another Month

Crowd of immigrants

The Biden administration will reportedly keep restrictions allowing border officials to expel most migrants for another month, The Monitor reported Wednesday.

The Trump administration implemented public health order Title 42 prohibiting some individuals from entering the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June and over 100,000 of those were rapidly expelled under Title 42, according to CBP.

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Governor DeSantis Celebrates $270 Million for Literacy Initiatives in Florida

Almost a month after it was signed, HB 3, which dedicates $271 million in literacy initiatives throughout Florida, was celebrated on Thursday by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The bill created the state’s first statewide book distribution program known as “New Worlds Reading Initiative” (NWRI), which will provide and deliver free “high-quality” books to the home of elementary school students who are reading below grade level.

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Albemarle County, Virginia Considers Gun Ban on County Property

After lengthy discussion, public hearing, and a pro-gun protest outside the Albemarle County Office Building, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors (BOS) decided to postpone a decision on a gun ban on county property. In the board’s virtual meeting Wednesday, many public speakers spoke against the proposed ordinance, while others argued for a gun ban. But the supervisors seemed to take a more nuanced approach, discussion exemptions for concealed handgun permit holders and trying to make sure people wouldn’t accidentally violate the law.

Vice Chair Donna Price said, “One of the interesting things when you talk about weapons/guns: on either extreme there are people who believe there should be no regulations or total regulation, and both parties argue that if you don’t follow their belief, that there will either be anarchy or tyranny. And I tend not to believe either of those to be likely.”

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Proposes Alternate Way to Lower State’s Crime Rate

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) on Thursday proposed a $250 million state tax credit that he said will lower crime statewide. Duncan, in a press release, said he plans to work with members of the Georgia General Assembly on this Law Enforcement Strategic Support (LESS) Crime Act during next year’s legislative session.

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State Senator Paul Boyer Withholds Vote to Enforce Subpoena Against Maricopa County, Arizona Election Officials, Says Auditors Are ‘Inexperienced, Partisan’

State Senator Paul Boyer (R-Glendale) won’t hold Maricopa County election officials in contempt for noncompliance with the Senate’s subpoena for election equipment and materials needed to complete the audit. This was revealed by Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) after Senate Liaison Ken Bennett shared that one of sixteen Republican senators wouldn’t hold the county accountable. 

The auditing company, Cyber Ninjas, explained in a hearing last week that they still lack the splunk logs, chain of custody documents, portable media and external drives, router configuration files or data, network diagram, backups of election management data, digital copies of all election policies and procedures utilized, files transmitted for duplicating or spoiling ballots, records of all paper distributed to vote centers, information and guidelines on adjudication of ballots, total count of all ballots sent to eligible voters on the state’s voter information portal (UOCAVA), and a full backup copy of database of voter rolls. 

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Florida Governor DeSantis Praises $21 Billion Settlement to Combat Opioid Crisis

Governor Ron DeSantis praised a multi-state agreement between three of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, worth $21 billion.

DeSantis also praised a separate agreement by Johnson and Johnson who will pay $5 billion over the next nine years. The agreements will aim to settle litigation regarding the opioid crisis in not only Florida, but the nation as a whole. 

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Minnesota’s St. Paul School District May Close Schools Due to Low Enrollment

St. Paul School District

The St. Paul School District is considering closing some schools as enrollment is low. “School board members are listening to the most recent update on how to make schools more equitable in resources and programs,” FOX 9 reported.

The district says that there will not be enough students to fill classrooms, so in the interest of best utilizing resources, they are considering closing some elementary schools. This is not an issue isolated in St. Paul. In fact, schools statewide are experiencing losses of students. Federal data suggests that public school enrollment in Minnesota has gone down by over 17,000 students. Homeschooling rates have increased dramatically, along with a slight increase in private school enrollment.

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Minneapolis City Council Moving Forward with Replacing Police

minneapolis police department

The Minneapolis City Council made steps to move forward with an amendment which could potentially replace the Minneapolis Police Department. According to FOX 9, “under the plan, the police department would be replaced in the charter with a public safety department but doesn’t outline how the department will work or be structured.” The amendment that passed the policy and government oversight committee was put together by a local community advocacy group called Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee.

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DOJ Charges FirstEnergy with ‘Conspiring to Commit Honest Services Wire Fraud’ in Ohio, Company Agrees to Pay $230 Million Penalty

Patel First Energy

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio announced on Thursday that FirstEnergy, the energy company at the center of a public corruption investigation, was charged federally with conspiring to commit honest services wire fraud and has agreed to pay a $230 million monetary penalty.

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DeSantis Says No Lockdowns or School Mask Mandates in Florida

In a press conference yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took time to comment on the upcoming school year saying school mask mandates and lockdowns will not be happening in Florida.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called DeSantis’ comments “greatly concerning” and said her kids were used to wearing masks.

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Parents Concerned About Critical Race Theory in Schools, Poll Says

Parents Mad About CRT

The Biden administration has sparked controversy for endorsing elements of critical race theory in education programs, and the latest polling reveals a source of that concern.

A poll released by Convention of States Action found that many Americans are opposed to critical race theory in curriculum, and are open to removing their kids from public schools to avoid it.

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Leader of Honor the Earth Environmental Group Arrested in Minnesota While Protesting Line 3

Winona LaDuke - Ojibwe Business Owner

Winona LaDuke, the leader of the Honor the Earth environmental group was arrested along with six other women while protesting the Line 3 pipeline. As was reported on WCCO, three of the arrested water protectors “locked down one of Enbridge’s drills on Tuesday morning, halting drilling under the Shell River.” The women are facing trespassing charges. These arrests bring the total number of protesters arrested to over 600.

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GOP Gubernatorial Challengers Blast President’s Cincinnati Visit- Renacci Says Biden ‘Has a Close Friend in Mike DeWine,’ Blystone Says ‘Infrastructure Bill Is a Joke’

  The two challengers to incumbent Governor Mike DeWine’s bid for the GOP nomination in 2022 had harsh words in the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s ‘town hall’ political event in Cincinnati Wednesday night. But it wasn’t just complaints about Biden and his left-of-center agenda. Biden covered familiar territory during…

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Urges Continuation of Title 42 Border Restrictions

Gov. Ducey Title 42

Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.

“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.

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Former President Trump Slams ‘RINO’ Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer (R-Glendale) for his lack of support for the ongoing forensic audit of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County.

In the statement, Trump labeled Boyer as a RINO, Republican in Name Only, after Boyer blocked the process of holding the Maricopa Board of Supervisors in contempt.

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Criminal Justice Reform Champion Rep. Walt Blackman Jumps into Arizona Congressional Race

Rep. Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) is running for Congress in Arizona’s first Congressional district. The seat, which encompasses much of the northeast part of the state, is currently held by Tom O’Halleran, a former Republican turned moderate Democrat.

“We need to get back to the rule of law of Arizona to protect its people,” the Arizona legislator said in a video discussing his run on July 18.

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Arizona State University Hires ‘Critical Race Theory Scholar’ as Music Professor

Arizona State University (ASU) announced Wednesday that its latest hire is a Critical Race Theory scholar. ASU said that the new assistant professor of music learning and teaching, Dr. Joyce McCall, focuses her research on Critical Race Theory and other related disciplines.

“McCall is one of the few scholars whose music education research focuses on race and racism through critical race theory and double consciousness theory, as well as culturally relevant pedagogy,” reported ASU.

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Osseo School Board in Minnesota Votes to Adopt Gender Inclusion Policy

The Osseo School Board voted on Tuesday night to accept the adoption of the new gender inclusion policy, despite major critique from district residents and parents. In footage of the school board meeting, two board members, Heather Douglass and Tanya Simons moved to strike the vote on the policy, citing concerns that citizens have not been able to give enough input into the decision. Their motion to strike that from the agenda did not pass, and the gender inclusion policy was passed on a 4-2 vote.

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Loudoun County, Virginia Moves Forward with Collective Bargaining

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to direct staff to draft a collective bargaining ordinance that will be presented to the board in a closed meeting, with a public hearing on October 13. On Tuesday, the board’s three Republican supervisors voted against moving forward with drafting the ordinance, but the motion passed six to three.

At the beginning of discussion, Chair Phyllis Randall (D) addressed common concerns she had heard about collective bargaining. She said participation in unions under the ordinance wouldn’t be mandatory, and employees wouldn’t be required to pay dues if they weren’t members.

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State Sen. Kerry Roberts Clears Up Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children in Tennessee

Tennessee State Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), who co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee, this week said he had to clear up misinformation about administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children throughout the state. Roberts said in an emailed statement that he and certain other committee members worried Tennessee had marketed the vaccine to minors and administered it without parental consent.

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