Patriot Group Members Grill Lt. Governor Randy McNally over Governor’s Executive Orders and Call for Special Session

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) was grilled at a Tuesday evening meeting by a large conservative grassroots group in his district that wants the state senate speaker to call a special session to deal with Governor Bill Lee’s executive orders.

McNally said that “a special session is one of the options on the table” and that he wouldn’t rule it out.

Read More

Commentary: Teacher Codes of Conduct Offer Alternative to Critical Race Theory Bans

The firing of Matthew Hawn, a high school teacher in Sullivan County, Tennessee, recently made national news and seemed to confirm fears that newly-enacted state bans on critical race theory (CRT) would have a chilling effect on teacher speech. Hawn, a 16-year veteran tenured teacher and baseball coach, had assigned students in his contemporary issues class Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, “The First White President,” and a spoken word poem from Kyla Jenée Lacey called “White Privilege.” One headline declared, “A Tennessee teacher taught a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. He was fired for it.” A Georgetown professor tweeted, “This really seems extreme and a harbinger of what is to come.”

But contrary to news coverage and social media chatter, Hawn wasn’t fired for violating the state’s newly passed CRT ban. Really, he was dismissed for failing to adhere to the Tennessee “Teacher Code of Ethics,” a seldom-invoked but sensible state requirement for teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics. Not only did Hawn fail to follow this code when he assigned the contentious poem and Coates’ essay from The Atlantic, which contains claims such as, “With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness,” he also later asserted that “there is no credible source for a differing point of view.” (Hawn recently denied making such a claim, though he declined to explain why the district attributed this statement to him.)

Read More

Judge Blocks Massive Alaskan Oil Drilling Project Backed by Trump and Biden

A federal judge blocked a massive Alaskan oil drilling project Wednesday after ruling that the Interior Department inadequately measured its environmental impact.

Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska wrote in her opinion that the Bureau of Land Management’s assessment of the ConocoPhillips’ Willow project was “arbitrary and capricious,” noting that it did not even include the likely level of greenhouse gas emissions in its environmental impact report.

Read More

Analysis: Republican Officials Leave Their Voters Behind over Not Supporting Monthly Child Tax Credits

As tens of millions of American families across the country began to see the second round of monthly cash payments appear in their bank accounts Friday, Republicans in Congress remained oddly quiet.

The checks were the result of an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joe Biden signed into law in March. While every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, the credit itself is overwhelmingly popular among registered Republicans and Americans overall, creating a rift between reliable conservative voters and the GOP lawmakers who represent them.

Read More

States Banning Mask Mandates Could Face Civil Rights Probes, on Biden’s Directive

President Biden is ratcheting up opposition to Republican governors blocking COVID mask mandates in schools, putting in charge the Education Department, which is raising the possibility of using its civil rights arm to oppose such policies.

Biden on Wednesday ordered Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to “assess all available tools” that can be used against states that fail to protect students amid surging coronavirus cases.

Read More

Commentary: Distrust and Verify

Every member of America’s expert class possessing even a modicum of integrity and self-awareness has long been aware of a simple truth: Only a fool would trust the emanations of America’s leading experts.

Worse, the more prestigious the job title, the less trustworthy the pronouncement. Official experts who speak for the government are the most suspect of all. Worse still, you can’t write off anything they say because a great deal of it is informed and valid.

Read More

Former Congresswoman Diane Black and Husband Dr. David Black Discuss Their Humble Beginnings and the Creation of 2ndvote.com

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former Congresswoman Diane Black and her husband, Dr. David Black, in studio to discuss their humble beginnings and the inspiration for 2ndvote.com.

Read More

All Star Panelist Roger Simon Reacts to Joe Biden’s Afghanistan Incompetency

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to provide his reactions to Joe Biden’s lack of humanity with the destructive withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Read More

Amazon Plans to Open Department Stores

Amazon is planning to open department stores where consumers can purchase a variety of goods like clothing and electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The planned expansion of Amazon brick-and-mortar stores is the online retail giant’s latest attempt to disrupt the industry, according to a WSJ report Thursday. The Seattle-based company has recently expanded its brick-and-mortar grocery store footprint, opening 17 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide, and is developing at least 20 more, Bloomberg reported.

Read More

Creator of 2ndVote Dr. David Black on Asserting Judeo-Christian Values with Consumer Dollars

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the creator of 2nd Vote, Dr. David Black and former Congresswoman Diane Black in studio to discuss how corporations are using consumer dollars to fund anti-American values.

Read More

Fort Bliss in Texas Becomes Ground Zero for Resettling Afghan Refugees During Chaotic Exit

Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, is best known as home to the Army’s tank division, the revered Old Ironsides military insignia and the country’s largest military-controlled airspace. But the Biden administration’s botched exit from Afghanistan is turning the vast installation into ground zero for the evacuation of Afghans who spent two decades helping the United States fight the war against terror.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says the fort is preparing to receive 10,000 Afghan refugees, and military officials have hinted that number could reach much higher.

It’s the second major wave of civilian guests to be hosted at the fort, which began this spring helping the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments to house thousands of unaccompanied minor children who were brought across the border.

Read More

Obama-Appointed Judge Says It Is Unconstitutional and ‘Racist’ to Prosecute Previously-Deported Illegal Aliens

On Wednesday, a judge appointed by Barack Obama argued that it is “racist” to prosecute illegal aliens who return to the country after being deported and commit crimes on American soil, as reported by Breitbart.

Judge Miranda Du, appointed by Obama to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2012, made the statements in a ruling in favor of a previously-deported illegal named Gustavo Carrillo-Lopez. Lopez had filed a motion to dismiss an indictment against him for the crime of illegally re-entering the country, baselessly claiming that such a charge was “discriminatory.” He claimed, without evidence, that federal law allowing for the deportation of illegals is in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Read More

Biden State Dept. Quashed Trump-Era Program Designed to Evacuate Americans from Crisis Zones

The Biden Administration quashed a critical State Department program designed to help Americans evacuate safely out of crisis zones just months prior to the fall of Kabul, the National Pulse reported Wednesday.

The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” was established late last year to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support involving Americans overseas.

Read More

Commentary: Distrust in Television Ratings

While they may not agree on nearly anything else, one issue manages to unite Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN: an archaic television ratings system that is known to wildly misrepresent viewership.

At a time when cord-cutting has brought about many new ways to consume television news and entertainment, the industry’s primary measurement tool, Nielsen Ratings, seems stuck in another era. Those chosen as “Nielsen families” have complained for years about the cumbersome, almost primitive methods used to track their viewership.

Read More

Newport News School Board in Virginia Votes Against Transgender Policy

The Newport News Schools Board voted 5-1 with one abstention against adopting a transgender policy on Tuesday. Board members cited concerns about provisions limiting how school staff can discuss children’s gender with parents and other concerns about implementation.

“For us to have to go in this direction when we have kids that are failing and are dropping out who didn’t get a great education as other kids did during the pandemic to discuss a gender policy,” Member John Eley said.

Read More

Cherokee County School Board Members Terminate Public Meeting Due to Audience Members’ Clapping

More than 250 residents gathered at Thursday’s Cherokee County School Board meeting to protest potential COVID-19 mask mandates, but parents’ comments irked board members to such an extent that those board members ended the forum prematurely. Witnesses said those board members then departed the building with police escorts.

Read More

Randy Zackrisson Runs for Albemarle School Board After Seeing Loudoun County Battles

The Albemarle County School Board passed a transgender policy on August 12. Less than a week later on Wednesday, Albemarle resident Randy Zackrisson announced a write-in campaign to challenge board Chair Graham Paige in the Samuel Miller District.

“This is why I’m running for school board: to respect parental rights. To let the parents decide how to raise their children. That’s their responsibility, not the school system,” Zackrisson said in an announcement speech posted to Facebook by Philip Hamilton, Republican candidate for House of Delegates District 57.

Read More

Ohio County Sherriff’s Office Says It Will Not Enforce Local City’s Indoor Mask Mandate

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it will not enforce the indoor mask mandate that Gambier passed this week.

“If you have read information from the Gambier ordinance concerning the mask mandate, it indicates a $25 fine and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is the enforcing body,” the sheriff’s office said. “I have spoken with Mayor [Leeman] Kessler and informed him that deputies will not be citing anyone for violations. We will not put deputies in that situation. We have not enforced mask mandates in the past, and we will not enforce this mandate.”

Read More

Arizona Gov. Ducey Calls for Afghan Refugees Even as Thousands of Americans Still Remain in Afghanistan

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and state Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-District 25) announced Thursday that Arizona will welcome refugees from Afghanistan.

“The Afghans fleeing the Taliban regime served alongside America’s military forces and fought for freedom,” the press release states. “We’re grateful for their efforts and Arizona wholeheartedly welcomes our fair share of the refugees in our state.”

Read More

Reported Hacking of Ohio’s Unemployment System Raises Concerns

An Ohio lawmaker wants the state to provide more answers quickly as to why personal information and online portal accounts were compromised on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ website.

Rep. Jeff Crossman, D-Parma, wrote to ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder after witness testimony reported the hacking of personal, online portal accounts allowed bank routing information to be changed and unemployment funds to be redirected.

Read More

Minnesota Department of Health Recommends School Aged Children Test ‘at Least’ Weekly for COVID

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has recommended that school aged children test at least weekly for COVID. Local districts can choose to take part in the program offering on-site testing at elementary schools and receive a grant to fund it.

Read More

Miami-Dade Schools Implement Mask Mandate

Ron DeSantis of Florida

The Miami-Dade Public School Board voted to impose a district-wide school mask mandate only providing a medical opt-out form. The board’s final vote was 7-1, after Superintendent Alberto Carvalho already expressed his support for a mask mandate.

Miami-Dade joins two other districts, Alachua and Broward, who are imposing a mask mandate illegally. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning mask mandates in Florida’s school, and the Florida Board of Education (BOE) districts defying the order are outside of state law. Rogue districts are also at-risk of losing funding from the state over the mask mandate, according to the BOE.

Read More

Major Conservative Groups Join Arizona Legislators to Launch New Arizona Voter ID Ballot Initiative Effort

A coalition of conservative organizations is working with Arizona Republican legislators to put the Arizonans for Voter ID Act on the ballot next fall. The initiative will require voter ID on mail-in ballots, improve existing in-person voter ID requirements, prevent ballot harvesting by enhancing voter ID requirements for in-person ballot drop off, and provide a free voter ID option to lawfully registered Arizona voters who need it for voting. 

Scott Mussi, President of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which is spearheading the initiative, said in a statement, “This initiative will ensure that no matter when you vote, where you vote, or how you vote, identification will be required.” The AFEC went on, “Arizonans use these forms of identification commonly in their everyday lives to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, obtain a driver’s license, board a commercial flight, donate blood, open a bank account, purchase a firearm, receive unemployment benefits, obtain auto insurance, purchase or rent a home, confirm identity over the phone, and many other basic transactions.”

Read More

Jon Ossoff Wants to Challenge Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law with Federal Legislation

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) has filed legislation that would, if enacted into law, create what he said is the first-ever affirmative right to vote and challenge Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. “This builds upon the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and would establish for the first time in federal statute an affirmative right to vote for every U.S. citizen,” Ossoff said on MSNBC.

Read More

Rubio Leads in Early Florida Senate Race Poll

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) leads Rep. Val Demings (D-10) by two points in a hypothetical head-to-head general election poll for the 2022 Senate election.

According to poll from St. Pete Polls, Rubio leads 48 percent to 46 percent, however the results are still within the 2.2 percent margin of error. The poll consisted of just over 2,000 registered Florida voters.

Read More

President Biden Announces Vaccine Requirement for Nursing Home Employees

The Biden Administration announced Wednesday its plan to require nursing home employees across the country to receive the vaccination for COVID-19 in order to receive federal Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Given the fact that Florida is a common retirement destination for people across the country, it is responsible for almost 700 nursing homes out of more than 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. that will be affected by the mandate.

Read More

Albemarle County in Virginia Bans Guns on County Property

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt a ban on firearms on county property, including buildings and parks. It does include an exception for carrying firearms secured in a container inside a private vehicle, but the board chose not to extend that to boats or allow concealed carry in parks. The Board previously considered the ordinance in July, but postponed a decision amid questions of how to handle concealed carry and firearms in vehicles.

Supervisor Diantha McKeel expressed concern about the proliferation of firearms. She said, “I am supportive of what we’re doing. I think it brings safety to our community. But we have compromised, I believe, made some good compromises for those members of our community who carry guns for whatever reason legally and want the ability to leave them in their vehicles.”

Read More

Wisconsin Leaders React to Afghan Refugees Coming to the State

There are more questions than answers about the likely thousands of Afghans who are coming to Wisconsin.

The Pentagon on Tuesday said 22,000 Afghan refugees will be sent to military bases in Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin base is Fort McCoy.

Read More

Michigan Bill Aims to Ban Employers from Requiring Vaccines, Masks

Lawmakers heard testimony on House Bill 4471, which aims to ban employers from requiring certain vaccines and wearing masks.

The bill aims to ban employers from firing or discriminating against employees who choose not to get certain vaccinations, including tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, or COVID-19, or making them wear masks or disclosing vaccination status.

Read More