Tennessee Sen. Hagerty Prevents Hastened Passage of Infrastructure Bill

Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty (R) on Thursday night halted a move by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to expedite advancement of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. 

The spending package is not dead yet, but it will not have the accelerated path to passage it would have enjoyed had all 100 senators consented to quickly moving through over a dozen amendment votes Thursday evening and sending the bill to the House of Representatives. 

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Commentary: Mandatory Vaccinations Undermine Roe v. Wade and Choice

COVID Vaccine

Well, isn’t this interesting.

Recall Roe v. Wade? The famous abortion decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that was issued in January of 1973? It said this:

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment‘s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or … in the Ninth Amendment‘s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” — Roe, 410 U.S. at 153

In the vernacular, this quickly was reduced to a pro-Roe movement that self-identified as “pro-choice.” Or, as the saying goes, “abortion rights”  boosters supported the idea of “my body, my choice.”

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Over 800 Illegal Minors Stopped at the Border in One Day

U.S. Border Patrol agents perform a water rescue and assist a migrant family in distress near Eagle Pass, Texas, August 20, 2019, CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it had intercepted 834 unaccompanied illegal alien minors at the southern border, the single largest such number of children apprehended under the Biden Administration thus far, the New York Post reports.

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had previously estimated that over 19,000 illegal minors were caught at the border over the month of July, surpassing the previous record of 18,877 in the month of March. The months seen then have seen numbers ranging from 14,000 to 17,000, marking a total of over 84,000 from March to July.

In addition, the number of illegal minors being held in CBP custody has more than quadrupled since May, when only around 635 children were being held; by Wednesday, that number has risen to over 2,784. The 30-day average of child apprehensions has increased to 512 per day.

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Commentary: School Board Elections and the Impact on Critical Race Theory in America

Protestor with megaphone, talking

Over the last few months, the U.S. has engaged in intense discussion over “critical race theory.” As Americans have debated the impact of CRT, several states have banned CRT from the public school curriculum, while other states are using it as part of that curriculum. The debate over CRT’s merits or dangers has prompted ideological battles in school board elections. This article looks at the increased activism around school board elections and its broader ramifications.

Past politicization of school board elections

Though school board elections may not seem as exciting as a presidential or even congressional race, they have taken on greater importance in recent years. In 2005, the city of Dover, Pennsylvania faced a contentious court case known as Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which ruled that the school district’s teaching of intelligent design violated the separation of church and state. Shortly after the trial concluded, the district held its school board elections, and all the school board members who favored the teaching of intelligent design lost their reelection bids, at least in part due to their position on the issue. The election generated much discussion.

In the early 2010s, school board races saw partisan involvement through the Tea Party movement. Generally, candidates affiliated with the Tea Party ran on platforms of greater political accountability and lower property taxes. Carl Paladino, a former Republican nominee for governor in New York, won a race for the Buffalo school board on a Tea Party-type platform. The school board later ousted Paladino for making offensive comments about former First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Reinstate Mask Mandate, Board Member Speaks Out in Opposition

Metro Nashville Public Schools announced on Thursday that the school district will require all students and staff to wear a mask during the upcoming school year.

After Director Dr. Adrienne Battle recommended the move, members of the Metro Nashville Public School Board voted 8 to 1 in favor of implementing the new requirement.

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Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton Drafting Letter Requesting Special Session on COVID-19 School Mask Mandates

The Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) Board’s decision to impose a COVID-19 mask mandate upon their students has prompted Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) to, as promised, call for a special legislative session. “We are starting discussions with House members,” Sexton told The Tennessee Star by text Friday.

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U.S. Economy Added Whopping 943,000 Jobs in July as Recovery Accelerates

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 8.7 million. Economists projected 845,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The jobs recovery is continuing, but it’s different in character to any we’ve seen before,” payroll software firm ADP economist Nela Richardson told the WSJ. “I had been looking at September as a point when we could gain momentum—with schools back in session and vaccines widely available. But with the delta variant, we need to rethink that.”

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Rep. Mark Green Blasts Decision to Require Troops to Get Vaccinated

U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) led other members of Congress and sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin to oppose a reported COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members.

The group of lawmakers argued the move by the Biden administration is illegal, largely due to the fact that the coronavirus vaccine has not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Steven Wiggins Found Guilty on All 10 Counts in Killing of Dickson County, Tennessee Sgt. Daniel Baker

A Dickson County, Tennessee jury Thursday found Steven Wiggins guilty of premeditated first-degree murder and nine other charges related to the 2018 shooting death of Sergeant Daniel Baker. 

“Some people obviously had some tears, but I had some sort of sense of relief,” Baker’s widow Lisa told reporters after the verdict was announced.

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Senate Fails to Wrap Up Infrastructure Bill After Talks to Expedite Process Collapse

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a critical vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Saturday after talks to expedite the process fell apart late Thursday.

Both Republicans and Democrats engaged in marathon talks Thursday in a bid to vote on a package of amendments and to advance the sweeping public works package. Doing so, however, required approval from all 100 senators, and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Haggerty refused to go along even as his Republican colleagues urged him to do so.

In a statement, Hagerty attributed his objection to  the Congressional Budget Office’s estimation that the bill would add $256 billion to the national debt over 10 years.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act

United States currency

The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.

The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.

However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan): 

“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

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Wisconsin Republicans Issue Subpoenas for Election Materials

Representative Janel Brandtjen

Wisconsin State Representative Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) on Friday issued subpoenas for a host of election materials, including all ballots and voting machines in two Wisconsin counties.

Brandtjen called the efforts a “top-to-bottom investigation of the 2020 Presidential General Election,” after the probe was initiated by Assembly Resolution 15.

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Critics Pan Biden Order Calling for Half of U.S. Vehicle Sales to Be Electric by 2030

Electric car being charged

A new executive order from the Biden administration has accelerated the timeline for electric vehicles and raised questions about the economic impacts of the transition away from gas-powered vehicles.

President Joe Biden signed the executive order Thursday aimed at making 50% of vehicles zero emission in the U.S. by 2030, an aggressive push toward electric vehicles. About 2% of new cars sold each year in the U.S. are currently electric, according to the Pew Research Center.

“The Executive Order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis,” the White House said.

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Facebook Courts Religious Groups, Religious Leaders Remain Skeptical

Facebook has been courting partnerships with religious groups in hopes of becoming their virtual home, the New York Times reported in late July. Experts and religious leaders told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the social media platform’s interest in shaping the future of religious experience should be closely monitored to protect religious freedom.

Though it is unlikely that a virtual religious experience will replace in-person religious services, the Times acknowledged, Facebook’s partnerships with religious groups expose Facebook’s plans to shape the future of the religious experience — as it has done with both political and social life.

“I just want people to know that Facebook is a place where, when they do feel discouraged or depressed or isolated, that they could go to Facebook and they could immediately connect with a group of people that care about them,” Nona Jones, a nondenominational minister and Facebook’s director for global faith partnerships, told the Times.

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Former Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen Named President of Lipscomb University

Dr. Candice McQueen

Lipscomb University announced on Friday that Dr. Candice McQueen, former commissioner of education for Tennessee, will serve as the school’s new president.

McQueen, who previously served as the school’s dean of the university’s College of Education, will be the first woman to lead the 130-year-old institution.

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Treasurer of ‘Nonpartisan’ Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration Verbally Attacked Wayne Co. GOP Election Officials Last November

Ned Staebler

Ned Staebler, the university administrator who notoriously spouted a furious tirade against two Wayne County Republican election officials in a public meeting last November, is also treasurer of an entity promoted by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) for “nonpartisan voter education.”

On November 17, 2020, Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and head of the business-development organization TechTown Detroit, blasted county Board of Canvassers’ members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann for initially voting to block the certification of votes in Wayne County. 

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MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray in Studio Reflects on Career Cancel Culture and Getting Kicked Out of Studio for Conservative Beliefs

Bryson Gray

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MAGA rapper and Nashville Transplant Bryson Gray in studio to talk about the pushback he’s been given in his career for being a conservative hip hop artist.

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MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray Talks Brysoncreates.com Apparel and Bringing Conservative Values to Twitch

Bryson Gray

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MAGA rapper Bryson Gray in studio to talk about his website’s apparel and live streaming conservative values on liberal Twitch.

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The Most Infamous MAGA Rapper in America Bryson Gray Talks Moving from Liberal North Carolina to Conservative Tennessee

Bryson Gray

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the most infamous MAGA rapper in the United States, Bryson Gray in studio to talk about his move from North Carolina to Tennessee.

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Andrew Provence of Upwards Sports Talks Spreading the Word of God Through Child’s Play

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Director of Partnerships for Upward Sports, Andrew Provence to the newsmakers line to talk about their mission and connecting children to the word of God through play.

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Grand Valley State Mandates COVID Vaccine for Students, Faculty, Staff

Though the COVID-19 vaccine does not stop the transmission or contraction of the virus, students, faculty, and staff at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) will be forced to take the experimental jab in order to return to campus this fall. 

Everyone on campus is expected to receive the shot by September 30, WZZM reported. The school will provide numerous opportunities to get vaccinated at free at pop-up clinics.

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University of Minnesota Faculty Pushing for Mandatory COVID Vaccinations

More than 500 University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and alumni signed a letter asking the university to mandate the COVID vaccine for the 2021 school year as cases continue to rise. According to WCCO, a statement released by The University of Minnesota chapter of the American Association of University Professors says that there is “broad frustration and deep anger among faculty at Twin Cities that has been building over the summer about the unsafe reopening policies put forward by the administration.”

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Some School Administrators in Minnesota Required to Take Critical Race Theory Training

Muhammad Khalifa

School administrators from seven Minnesota districts are being required to take critical race theory training, as was reported by Child Protection League. The course is taught by Muhammad Khalifa, through his leadership institute. According to Julie Quist, the Board Chair for Child Protection League, an administrative staff from one of the districts who wishes to remain anonymous shared handouts from the required sessions.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Files Amicus Brief to Uphold Georgia ‘Election Integrity Act’

Attorney General Mark Brnovich

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that he joined a coalition of 16 states in filing an amicus brief urging the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to uphold the state’s recently-enacted “Election Integrity Act of 2021.”

The attorneys general expressed their support for Georgia’s motion to throw out the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against the new voting law, which Georgia said was based on “political posturing rather than a serious legal challenge.”

The “Election Integrity Act of 2021,” or Senate Bill 202, passed the legislature along party lines. Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga, signed the 98-page omnibus bill on March 25.

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Virginia Senate Republicans Angry After Democrats Interview Court of Appeals Candidates in Private

RICHMOND, Virginia – Republican legislators say that Democrats are leaving them out of the process of vetting candidates to fill eight Virginia Court of Appeals seats. Next week, legislators are expected to appoint judges to the newly-expanded court. But Democrats privately interviewed the candidates on Wednesday and only intend to advance eight candidates to be approved by the General Assembly, as first reported by The Virginia Mercury and The Richmond Times-Dispatch. On Thursday, Republican and Democratic senators went back-and-forth on the Senate floor about the process.

“I am confident that there were no Republicans who were invited to participate in those interviews and I just want to point out that it seems to be a little bit of a theme that has developed during the course of this session,” Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) said. “There is way too much business that’s being conducted behind closed doors, out of the view of the public.”

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New Florida Chamber of Commerce Poll Shows DeSantis Ahead of Crist

Charlie Crist

After a poll released by St. Pete Polls Tuesday had U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) leading Governor DeSantis, a different poll released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce (FCC) on Friday showed the exact opposite. 

Rather than being behind Crist, the FCC poll shows DeSantis ahead 51% to 43%, with an approval rating of 54% among all poll participants as opposed to 43.7% in the St. Pete Poll. 

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DeWine Stresses Vaccine, Informed Choice v. COVID-19 Strain Even as Some Businesses Press Masks, Social Distancing

Gov. Mike DeWine and vaccines

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) has stepped up his calls for unvaccinated Ohioans to get a COVID-19 shot amid the rising threat presented by the Delta strain that has quickly spread throughout the state since May.

He said individuals must decide for themselves what precautions to take given what he said is the growing danger Delta presents.

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Sartell-St. Stephens Parents in Minnesota Retain Lawyers After Consulting Group Fails to Release Equity Audit

Sartell-St. Stephens parents and Kids Over Politics 748 have retained lawyers with the Upper Midwest Law Center after the consulting group hired by the school district failed to release the contents of the equality audit. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, the Sartell-St. Stephens district came under fire after a fourth grader said her teacher told her to never repeat equity survey questions to her parents. The questions reportedly were on topics regarding sexuality, gender, and race.

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Hospital CEOs, DeSantis Discuss Rise in COVID Cases

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion with the CEOs of some of Florida’s largest hospitals, and they said fewer people are being hospitalized or dying from COVID.

While they are definitely seeing increased cases, the CEOs said the delta variant is making its way through a younger population, who they said are more suited to deal with the effects of and recover from the virus.

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Georgia U.S. Rep. Rick Allen’s Amendments to Cut Spending Rejected

Rick Allen

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA-12) has sounded the alarm bell over what he calls wasteful and excessive spending at the federal level, but his pleas to trim the budget went unheeded. Allen, on the floor of the House, criticized Democrats for what he called “a bloated spending package.”

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Northam Says Virginia State Employees Must Get Vaccinated or Face Weekly Tests; Says Schools Must Require Masks

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that all state employees will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or take COVID-19 tests every week. Local governments and private employers are considering similar moves

“Governor Northam’s action comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant is driving up cases across the Commonwealth and around the country, primarily among unvaccinated people,” Northam’s press release explains.

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New Ohio Sen. Portman-Endorsed Infrastructure Amendment Could Hurt Cryptocurrency Industry, J.D. Vance Says

A proposed amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), could dramatically harm the cryptocurrency industry, according to various officials.

The measure would increase IRS reporting requirements for the cryptocurrency industry, a move that could potentially hurt American innovation.

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Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Report: 73 Percent of Illegal Aliens Arrested for Reentry Have Criminal Records in U.S

A shocking report released by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona shows that 73 percent of illegal aliens who were arrested for illegal reentry into the United States in June have prior criminal records here. 

According to the report, “241 individuals were charged in June with illegal reentry,” and “178 of those 241 individuals had previously been convicted of non-immigration criminal offenses in the U.S.”

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Florida School Board Member Blames Unvaccinated for Her Getting COVID

Rosanne Wood

Leon County, Fla. School Board Member Roseanne Wood announced she has tested positive for COVID, and she blames unmasked, unvaccinated attendees at a school board meeting for her positive COVID infection.

Wood specifically notes she was wearing her mask and has received her vaccine, yet she still tested positive.

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Tennessee Commissioner of Health Says All Pediatric Hospitals Will Fill with COVID Patients

Despite the fact that only 23 people under the age of 20 are currently hospitalized in the state of Tennessee with COVID-19, the state’s health director is scaremongering, telling reporters that all of the pediatric hospitals in the state will soon be full. 

Dr. Lisa Piercey said Thursday that every children’s hospital in the state will be full as children contract the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

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