Report: Many Tennessee Economic Indicators Trend up, Others Mixed

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Nashville, Tennessee. One of Nashville's renowned honky-tonk bars, Tootsie's has featured over the years many performing artists who have since become famous, such as Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Kris Kristofferson.

How is Tennessee’s economy doing? A lot of it is doing well when compared to the COVID-19 lows on many economic indicators such as employment, a new Sycamore Institute report shows.

But other items are troubling, such as there being 40% fewer small businesses in Tennessee as of late June data than there were before the pandemic. That’s considering that 99% of private sector workers in the state work for small businesses, defined as companies of 500 employees or less.

“There are a lot of things going on here,” said Brian Straessle, the Sycamore Institute’s Director of External Affairs. “There isn’t like one nice neat narrative of the economy right now.”

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Commentary: The Elites’ Abuse of Average Americans

When I went to pick up my laundry last week, one of the employees, who had just finished folding my clothes, began weeping. “This is the last load I’ll ever do here,” she said in a choked voice. “They’re letting us all go.”

That one little stifled sob described more than just one woman bemoaning the loss of her job. In it was the relentless cry of the average American who is increasingly crushed by the ignorance of our elites.

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Tennessee Stands’ Gary Humble: Our Constitution Gives Us a Duty to Resist Arbitrary Power

LOUDON, Tennessee – Tennessee Stands Executive Director Gary Humble told a group of at least 300 attendees at a Tellico Village Conservative Club meeting Wednesday that the state’s constitution gives Tennesseans the duty to resist arbitrary power.

Humble was referring to the doctrine of nonresistance contained within the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, which reads in Article I, Section 2:

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University Refuses to Rehire Math Professor Who Criticized Slavery Reparations

Saint Joseph’s University will not renew its contract with math Professor Gregory Manco despite the fact that a three-month investigation into his Twitter history found he had not violated any campus policies.

Manco has been a non-tenured assistant professor of math at Saint Joseph’s since 2005 and also a volunteer assistant baseball coach, but tweets in February criticizing slavery reparations and racial bias training had prompted the probe even though he used an anonymous account.

He was put on administrative leave during the probe. Its outcome, announced in May, determined Manco could not be found guilty of violating any policies, citing “insufficient evidence.”

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Corporations Silent on Why They Pulled Funding from Republicans Who Questioned an Election, but Not Democrats Who Did the Same

Corporations were silent on why they chose to suspend political contributions to Republicans, but not Democrats who have objected to election results.

More than 15 major U.S. companies that announced they would suspend giving money to members of Congress following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot didn’t respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation about their political contribution activity following the 2016 presidential election. The corporations were quick to condemn Republicans lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election earlier this year, but apparently didn’t criticize or punish Democrats who have similarly objected to election results in the past.

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Study: Democrats’ Capital Gains Tax Hike Could Cost More Than 745,000 Jobs

Chris Van Hollen

A new Democratic proposal to increase the capital gains tax could cost 745,000 jobs, a study published by the Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) projects.

The Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion (STEP) Act, which would tax unrealized capital gains when heirs inherit assets, among other things, would have a “significantly negative impact” on the economy, including average job losses of 745,000 over 10 years, the report found.

The analysis, conducted for the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, found that sustained annual job losses from eliminating a tax benefit on appreciated assets known as the step-up in basis could eliminate between 537,000 to 949,000 jobs, with models predicting a base of 745,000 lost jobs through 2030.

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Terrible TV Ratings Leave NBC, Advertisers Worried: Report

The Tonight Show - NBC Studios sign

NBC Universal and its advertisers are becoming worried about the success of Olympic broadcasting as TV ratings plunge and star athletes struggle, Variety reported on Tuesday.

Low TV viewing numbers and early exits from star athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have caused anxiety from Olympic advertisers, Variety reported.

Despite beating competitors’ nightly program views, the Olympics are “clearly not what NBC, our agency or our clients were looking for,” an unnamed media buying executive told Variety.

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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protestor Sentenced to 9 Years in First Trial Under the National Security Law

A Hong Kong pro-democracy protestor was sentenced to nine years in prison in the first prosecution under the country’s new national security law, the Associated Press reported.

Tong Ying-ki was convicted Tuesday on charges of inciting secession and terrorism for allegedly driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers with a flag donning the banned slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” at a July rally in 2020, the AP reported. Tong pleaded not guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 6 1/2 years and eight years respectively on Friday, which judges ruled could be served concurrently for 9 years.

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Big Tech Profits Continue to Surge, Latest Earnings Show

Man on phone, looking at desktop computer

Big Tech companies reported massive, record-breaking earnings figures as their sales continued to surge amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Google, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter all beat earnings estimates and showed large revenue growth, executives for the tech companies said during earnings calls Tuesday evening. The four companies’ earnings reports suggested that the growth experienced by Big Tech during the pandemic will continue apace.

“Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement Tuesday, explaining his company’s strong performance.

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Columbia Medical School Will Teach Students How to ‘Disrupt Racism’ and Confront Microaggressions

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health entrance

Columbia University has developed new programming to help black and Hispanic medical students “disrupt racism” and confront microaggressions they could face.

A medical school professor, who is also the diversity director, said that the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota has made the situation worse at the New York institution.

Professor Jean Alves-Bradford said in a news release that “it’s been very difficult for students in general, but especially for students underrepresented in medicine.”

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House Education Committee’s Top Republican Tells Secretary to Purge CRT-Related Material

Faced with nationwide pushback against its plan to prioritize grant funding for American history and civics programs informed by critical race theory (CRT), the Department of Education clarified its thinking. Perhaps.

Secretary Miguel Cardona’s blog post on “invitational” priorities in grant competitions drew polarized interpretations among critics of CRT, who either claimed the agency backed off its plan or simply used deceptive language to create the impression that it backed off.

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Athletes Fighting Biological Males in Women’s Sports Take Their Stories to Washington

“We’re not often heard,” Cynthia Monteleone told a trio of female senators Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill. “Though we are just three of thousands that this is happening to.”

Monteleone is a world champion track athlete who competed against a transgender competitor in the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain. Dressed in a white pantsuit with a fresh tropical flower tucked behind her ear, she spent Wednesday and Thursday urging Republican lawmakers to fight back against biological males competing in women’s sports.

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NPR Will Now Allow Journalists to Take Part in Partisan Activist Demonstrations

National Public Radio this month said its reporters will now be permitted to take part in public partisan demonstrations and activist events of which the news service approves.

In a revision of its internal ethics handbook, the outlet said that its journalists may now participate in “marches, rallies and other public events” from which they were previously barred.

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Commentary: Nope, I Won’t Mask up Again

Last March, I followed the CDC’s advice and got fully vaccinated against COVID-19. I did so more out of a sense of civic duty than any actual fear that I might contract the virus. It was just an easy and scientifically sound way to help slow its spread. Naturally, I was delighted when the CDC finally announced that fully vaccinated people could safely participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing inconvenient and clinically useless face masks. Now, the CDC has reversed itself and issued new guidance telling 163.6 million fully vaccinated Americans to put our masks back on. Sorry, no sale.

First, the CDC published no data supporting its bizarre reversal. The Washington Post reports: “In the text of the updated masking guidance, the agency merely cited ‘CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021.’” Moreover, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is struggling to produce a plausible explanation. She claimed without evidence on ABC News that “new science” has emerged showing that fully vaccinated people should be masking.

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Bipartisan Call for Biden to Appoint New ‘Border Czar’ as Immigration Crisis Grows

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are asking President Joe Biden to appoint former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to a special executive position to manage the border crisis.

In a letter to Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cuellar and Graham wrote, “We write to you with a sense of urgency regarding the escalating situation at our southern border. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that this bicameral concern is neither partisan nor political. To solve the growing problem, we request a special executive appointment for border issues to ensure sufficient federal resources are allocated to overburdened U.S. border communities and to recommend changes to our immigration policies as we work to regain control of the border.”

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Lincoln Project Donors Silent on Underage Grooming Scandal of Founder John Weaver

The Lincoln Project is primarily known for 2 things: their young male grooming scandal, and neocons raising money from liberal elites.

Now, the Lincoln Project is running ads going after Trump and Republican donors as well as advertisers on conservative media, attempting to link them to causing COVID or the January 6th Capitol riot.

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Los Angeles Students Will be Forced to Undergo Weekly Testing Even If They’re Vaccinated

The Los Angeles Unified School District this week announced that students and employees returning to in-person instruction in the fall would be forced to undergo weekly testing even if they’ve been vaccinated against SARS-Cov-2.

“All students and employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, returning for in-person instruction must participate in baseline and ongoing weekly COVID testing,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly told media this week. “This is in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Los Angeles County.”

Though the district policy is making no distinction between unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, Reilly herself stressed the importance of getting vaccinated anyway.

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Woodson Center Celebrates 40 Years of Transforming Poor Neighborhoods as Founder Announces Retirement

The life-changing impact that Robert Woodson has had on the lives of countless individuals and communities was highlighted Thursday evening during a 40th-anniversary celebration of the center named for him in Washington, D.C.

One after another, the grassroots leaders and individuals who have been touched by Woodson’s work at the Woodson Center thanked the civil rights leader for the ways in which he has empowered blacks and others living in America’s inner cities and low-income neighborhoods.

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DOJ Drops Investigation into Gov. Cuomo’s COVID Nursing Home Policy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday celebrated the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to drop its investigation into his policy that sent COVID-19 patients into nursing homes, but with several other probes ongoing, his fate is still unclear.

The DOJ announced last week it would not investigate Cuomo’s March 2020 order forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients, prompting the governor to hold a press conference Monday in which he described allegations his nursing home order caused deaths as “outrageous.” At least 4,000 nursing home residents died when the order was active, according to a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, with the New York State Department of Health knowingly undercounting nursing home deaths, as first reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Trump Has Amassed over $100 Million to Fund 2022 Campaigns

Former President Donald J. Trump has amassed a political war chest of more than $100 million, an extraordinary haul for an ex-president that will allow him to play a major role in the 2022 elections when Republicans want to re-capture control of Congress.

According to campaign finance reports made public Saturday, Trump’s political committees took in $82 million in the first half of 2021 and have $102 million on hand.

Trump’s fundraising prowess came even as social media companies kicked him off their platforms, clearly illustrating the 45th president’s continued popularity among his base and among small conservative donors.

The funds were raised by his leadership Political action committee called Save America, another PAC called Make America Great Again and a joint fundraising committee that raised money for both.

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Commentary: The Numbers Don’t Support Scapegoating the Unvaccinated

If you’re tired of the pandemic and just want to go back to normal, David Frum at The Atlantic has news for you: It’s all the stupid people who refuse to take the vaccine that are prolonging our COVID misery.

Oh, wait, that’s not it exactly. In actuality, it’s all Trump’s fault. Frum, once a leading voice of the conservative establishment, declares: “Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.”

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800 Virginia Businesses Back Tourism, Hospitality Relief in Budget

More than 800 businesses and business associations are jointly urging the Virginia General Assembly to approve a budget item for $291 million in relief to the travel and hospitality industries, which was proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Northam’s proposal would appropriate funds from the federally passed American Rescue Plan to help these industries bounce back from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet on Aug. 2 to consider the budget proposal.

The businesses and business associations signed a joint letter showing their support. It includes the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association.

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Georgia to Start Accepting Applications for American Rescue Plan Funds Sunday

COVID Testing station

Georgia is still deciding how to divide more than $8.1 billion from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Applications for more than $4.8 billion in funding opens up Sunday. State government entities, local governments, businesses and nonprofits have 30 days to apply for the aid.

The aid will be issued in two installments and cover expenses from March to the end of 2026, but the state has until December 31, 2024, to allocate all of the funds.

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Governor DeSantis Calls for Reduction in Toll Rates for Garcon Point Bridge

Garcon Point Bridge

Toll rates for the Garcon Point Bridge in Milton, Florida, will be practically cut in half after Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to reduce the rates to match FDOT facilities across the state. 

For drivers with SunPass, the rate will be reduced from $4.50 to $2.30, and for drivers paying cash, the rate will reduce from $5 to $2.75.

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U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter Files Bill to Back up Federal Immigration Officers

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) has introduced the Empowering Law Enforcement Act to provide backup to federal immigration enforcement officials. “I’ve visited the border four times as a member of Congress, including twice this year, to fully understand the struggles we face there. Immigration is getting out of control and every state is becoming a border state. As of last month more than 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border,” Carter said in an emailed newsletter to his constituents Sunday.

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Michigan’s New Diversity and Inclusion Director Receives $130,800 Salary

Rané Garcia

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is paying Rané Garcia $130,801 per year for a new position to lead the agency’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative.

MDE reported Garcia’s salary in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Center Square.

in her new position, Garcia “will be responsible for developing and supporting internal and external efforts and strategies that foster greater fairness and inclusion in the state’s public schools.”

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Republican Businessman Elijah Norton Launches GOP Primary Challenge Against Rep. David Schweikert

David Schweikert and Elijah Norton

Republican business executive Elijah Norton on Friday launched a GOP primary challenge against incumbent Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-06).

In launching his campaign, Norton pledged to “fight to keep the bright light of America shining throughout the world and will fight to bring much needed change to Washington, D.C.”

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Warner: Roads, Bridges, Ports, and Broadband Among Benefits for Virginia in Infrastructure Bill

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) expects the $1.2 trillion “hard” infrastructure bill to pass the Senate with bipartisan support, according to a press call Warner had after 17 Senate Republicans joined Democrats in a procedural vote moving the bill towards a final Senate vote.

“I think it will get passed, and again, these dollars will get spent over the next five years plus,” Warner said. “I think it’s been a long time coming, 30 years plus since we’ve had this kinds of investment, and I was very proud to be part of the group that put it together.”

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Ohio Teachers Union Says it Wants Mask Guidelines ‘Based on Science,’ But Columbus Public Schools Are Requiring Masks for All K-12 Public School Kids

The Ohio Education Association released a statement on Wednesday calling for mask guidelines in school that “follow the science.” 

However, in a seemingly contradictory move, recent mandates put in place by Columbus Public Schools will require all students to wear a mask this fall.

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Minnesota Governments and Associations Spent $10 Million Lobbying in 2020

Local governments are spending more taxpayer money on lobbying year-over-year, according to a report released Thursday by State Auditor Julie Blaha.

“Over the past five years, local government expenditures have increased by 11 percent on staff and contract lobbyists,” Blaha said in a statement. “When adjusted for inflation, the increase is approximately 4 percent.”

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Federal Moratorium on Evictions Ends, Impact in Florida Unknown

A federal moratorium on evictions ended on Saturday night, giving landlords the ability to remove tenants who have not paid their rent.

In Florida, a Zillow forecast estimates that there are currently 144,220 households that rent their homes or apartments and may be at risk of getting evicted. This is 9,879 more than last month.   The analysis indicates 357,194 renter households in Florida are currently behind on rent, 48,969 less than in June.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles: Conservative Tennessee is a ‘State of Half Measures’

LOUDON, Tennessee – Andy Ogles, the outspoken Mayor of Maury County, told a group of at least 300 attendees at a Tellico Village Conservative Club meeting Wednesday that while Tennessee is one of the most conservative states in the country it is also “a state of half measures.” 

Ogles said that if asked what the greatest threat to the country is, the response would have been China, the border or the Department of Education.  That is, until after the election, when he realized that we are in a cultural and spiritual war.

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