State Agencies Make Pitches for Spending Billions in Tennessee American Rescue Plan Act Money

Tennessee’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group met with state agency heads this week regarding funding requests related to the second half of $3.7 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act relief.

The group met with 17 departments over two days to hear funding requests for the $1.875 billion in what the committee is calling the Tennessee Resiliency Plan, which will cover local government technical support, health capital projects, public health and economic relief.

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Commentary: To Win Elections, Politicians Should Focus on Family-Friendly Policies

Things stopped working in this country about 50 years ago. But it wasn’t really noticeable until a few decades later. I like to date the beginning of the decay to the summer of 1969, though it’s impossible to put a precise date on it. Still, the summer of 1969 was an inflection point much more important than 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

Consider: On July 20, 1969, Apollo XI landed on the moon and 39 minutes later, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on its surface. A few weeks later, on the night of August 8, the Manson family broke into Roman Polanski’s Hollywood Hills home and murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby, and three friends who were at the house. The following Friday, August 15, the Woodstock music festival began in upstate New York. A good argument could be made that Woodstock was the culmination of the ’60s, but in reality, the ’60s had ended a week earlier. Woodstock wasn’t the final flowering, it was an aftershock.

This isn’t the time for a full exploration of the summer of ’69 (look out for that in the future), but it’s worth noting that a lot changed after that. Things had already peaked. For example, the two fastest ever commercial aircraft had both flown for the first time earlier in 1969; the 747 in February and the Concorde in March. In fact, the average speed of commercial air travel has been declining ever since. (Though that may be changing for the better.) Then, in the early 1970s, the median real wages of American workers entered a period of extended stagnation characterized by exceptionally low growth which made it impossible for the average person (who, by the way, is not an entrepreneur) to get ahead. It’s still true today, which is why so many families require two incomes if they want to remain in the middle class.

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Tennessee Stand’s Gary Humble Explains Middle Tennessee State University Nursing Student Avery Garfield’s Removal from Class by Campus Police

Torso of a nurse with a white gown on and stethoscope

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Stands founder Gary Humble to the newsmakers line to detail the arrest of MTSU nursing student Avery Garfield Thursday morning.

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Action247.com Founder Tina Hodges Talks Innovating Sportsbook Online Betting with Personal Touch

Tina Hodges

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Founder and President of Action247.com, Tina Hodges to the newsmakers line to talk about their innovation of online sports betting.

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General Motors to Shut Down Production at Most North American Plants Due to Chip Shortage

General Motors Baltimore Operations Plant Tour with Sec. Hilda Solis by Jay Baker at Baltimore, MD.

General Motors will shut down production at the majority of its North American plants for up to two weeks due to a worldwide chip shortage, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A fraction of GM plants will remain open to continue making its most profitable vehicles with the chips GM has on hand, according to Detroit Free Press. The lack of chips is a worsening problem, with surging COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia creating lasting issues for automakers.

“All the announcements we made today are related to the chips shortage, the only plant down that’s not related to that, is Orion Assembly,” GM spokesperson Dan Flores told Detroit Free Press, referring to the Chevy Bolt recall affecting the latter plant.

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Report: Afghan Women Forced into Marriages with Men Eligible for Evacuation

Afghan women in Kabul

Afghan women were reportedly forced into marriages with men who were eligible for evacuation from the country, CNN reported Thursday.

U.S. officials notified the State Department about some Afghan women and girls showing up with men pretending to be their husbands or after being forced into marriages with men eligible for evacuation, two sources familiar with the matter reportedly told CNN.

Some women are reportedly resorting to these unusual relationships in order to flee Taliban rule, CNN reported. Families of Afghan women at a transit hub in the United Arab Emirates arranged for such marriages at the Kabul international airport in Afghanistan so that women may leave, according to CNN.

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All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Fascinated by Texas Abortion Law, Predicts New Trend

Baby laying on a bed, close up of feet

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael, in studio to discuss how the mechanics of Texas’s abortion law could start a new trend.

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Commentary: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Texas’ Abortion Law Is Another Sign That It May Overturn Roe

Couple kissing, holding up ultrasound in front of them

Just before midnight on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued an order denying injunctive relief to the Texas abortion providers who had sought to halt Texas’ new abortion law which prohibits abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. 

The majority opinion said the Court would not intervene because the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate whether the defendants, including state judges, can or will seek to enforce the law against them. The five conservative justices in the majority, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett, noted that federal courts have the power to enjoin people tasked with enforcing laws, and not laws themselves. 

The Texas law gives citizens the power to sue abortion providers or anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion after six weeks gestation. This structure provided the legal technicality which allowed the near-ban on abortion to remain in effect. 

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The John Fredericks Show: Former President Trump Talks Infrastructure, Mitch McConnell, and the 2024 Election

Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks talked with former President Donald Trump about exorbitant infrastructure spending, Mitch McConnell’s future, and running in 2024.

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U.S. Economy Added Just 235,000 Jobs in August, Way Short of Economists’ Projections

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people decreased to 8.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists projected 720,000 Americans — roughly three times the actual number — would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Despite the delta variant, there is still an opening up of the service sector of the U.S. economy,” Nationwide Mutual Insurance Chief Economist David Berson told the WSJ. “While that started some months ago, it’s not nearly complete.”

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Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on Trump 2024: ‘I Think He’s Gonna Run’

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said Thursday that he thinks former President Donald Trump will run for a third time in 2024.

“I think he’s gonna run. I want him to run,” Jordan said at a GOP event in Dallas County, Iowa, reported the Des Moines Register. “He’s proven he can take the heat. We’re at a moment now where you’ve got to have someone who’s willing to fight, willing to stand up to all the abuses.”

Jordan is one of Trump’s top allies in Congress, and he told Des Moines outlet KCCI that he is “convinced” Trump will run.

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‘They Lied to Us’: Hundreds of American Citizens and Others with Green Cards Were Left in Afghanistan

Hundreds of American citizens and people with green cards were left in Afghanistan after U.S. forces withdrew from the country, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who were left in Afghanistan were reportedly told after the last American flight took off from the Kabul international airport to expect information about routes out of the country, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said, according to the AP.

“We will communicate directly to them personalized instructions on what they should do, when they should do it, and how the United States government feels we are best positioned to help them do that,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, the AP reported.

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New Poll: In Head-to-Head 2024 Match up, Trump Beats Biden

A poll released Friday by Emerson College shows former President Trump beating President Biden in a 2024 hypothetical matchup.

Biden, dealing with a COVID resurgence a messy Afghanistan departure, still handily defeats such possible GOP challenges as including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a direct matchup. However, the poll show Trump defeats Biden by one percentage point.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump, in rematch of 2020, compared to 46% saying they would stick with Biden.

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Senator Joe Manchin Calls for Indefinite Delay of Democrats’ $4 Trillion Domestic Spending Bills

On Thursday, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) called for his party in both houses of Congress to take a “strategic pause” in their efforts to pass two massive spending bills worth $4.7 trillion, according to CNN.

Manchin made his case in an op-ed with the Wall Street Journal, saying that “instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.” He further called for Congress to instead seek “more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic,” which “will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not.”

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Michigan Governor Candidate James Craig Registered as ‘Democrat’ in 2012

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig registered as a Democrat when he moved to Ohio in 2012, after previously claiming that he converted to becoming a Republican three years earlier.

James has said he became a Republican in 2009 when he moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine. In May, the Detroit News reported:

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Michael Patrick Leahy Explains the ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Big Tech and Social Media Giants

Thursday morning on First Principles with Phill Kline, host Kline welcomed Michael Patrick Leahy, CEO of The Star News Network and host of The Tennessee Star Report to weigh in on the developing oligopoly of Big Tech and social media giants.

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Wisconsin Health Provider COVID Vaccine Declination Form Says Employees ‘Endangering Others’

A COVID vaccine declination form from a Wisconsin health provider, Hudson Physicians, says that the employee must understand that by declining they are “endangering” others. The form also states that by signing the form, the employee is acknowledging that “COVID-19 is a serious virus.”

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‘Hundreds’ of Afghan Refugees Resettling in Michigan

According to non-profit Samaritas, a Michigan refugee resettlement group that has been providing homes for displaced migrants since 1934, it will be resettling at least 350 Afghan refugees in Michigan. 

“What I can tell you is that Samaritas is committed to serving at least 350 refugees from Afghanistan,” Kelli Dobner, an executive with the organization, told 9&10 News. “Men, women and children.”

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Prince William and Virginia Beach School Boards Consider Changes to Public Hearings at Meetings

The Prince William School Board (PWSB) and Virginia Beach School Board (VBSB) are both considering changes to public hearing procedures, a move aimed at making meetings more efficient in an era of controversial school board decisions. The PWSB proposal includes an expansion of the citizen comment period from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, but limits speakers to two minutes for a total of 30 speakers. It also prohibits members of the public from having signs in the school board meeting room.

PWSB Chair Babur Lateef read that proposal for the first time at the Wednesday meeting. He explained, “The Prince William County School Board wanted to review the proposed revisions intended to improve our efficiency and safety of board meetings increase avenues of communications with the public particularly on agenda items and incorporate recent legislative changes to provisions of Virginia FOIA as they relate to the confidentiality of the personal contact information of citizens.”

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Joins Suit Related to ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

Ashley Moody

Florida joined a coalition with 17 other states to back an amicus brief asking the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the Biden administration’s motion for a stay on the Texas Supreme Court ruling to reinstate Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs), or the “Remain in Mexico” policy, established under former President Trump.

In the brief, it states, “The border is in crisis. This Administration is increasingly and alarmingly lawless. And the States continue to suffer escalating irreparable harm as the border slips further and further away from the Administration’s control.”

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First Afghan Refugees Resettled in ‘Top Destination’ Phoenix

The first of hundreds of Afghan refugees have been settled in the Phoenix area, which is being described as a “top destination” for those displaced after the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover of the country. 

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey thanked the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), along with Cindy McCain, the widow of former Arizona Senator John McCain, for assisting in the refugee resettlement process. 

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Gov. DeWine Sends 250 Ohio Guardsmen to Join Four Other States in Supporting Hurricane Ida Cleanup in Louisiana

Gov. Mike DeWine has activated an Ohio National Guard transportation battalion and two transportation companies to join relief efforts in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida’s devastation of the Pelican State.

The 250 Ohio National Guard personnel will provide general support of the recovery efforts which by Tuesday had already led to the deplayment of more than 4,800 Louisiana Guard members. Assistance from Guard units from South Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma pushed the number to more than 5,000.

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Nurse at Regions Hospital in Minnesota Reveals Internal Memo That Tells Clinicians Not to Offer Medical Exemptions for COVID Vaccine

A nurse at Minnesota Regions Hospital, a part of the Healthpartners care network, revealed an internal memo from Healthpartners president that tells clinicians not to offer medical exemptions for the COVID vaccine for their patients. The letter also specifically says that they should not offer exemptions for those that are pregnant.

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Despite Increased Revenue Projections, Michigan Gov. Whitmer Tells State Agencies to Brace for Shutdown

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MI) State Budget Director Dave Massaron instructed state department heads to begin preparing for a possible government shutdown, though Michigan taxpayers may have other concerns to expect from current budget negotiations.

Technically, Michigan state lawmakers are supposed to have passed a full budget for the governor’s signature by July 1, although officials have until Sept. 30 to finalize an agreement that would avoid a partial government shutdown.

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Calls to Fire Glen Ellyn School District 41 Teacher in Illinois After She ‘Shows Off Book Collection She Uses to Indoctrinate 3rd Grade Students’

D41 Kids Foundation, person reading

Calls to fire Glen Ellyn teacher Lauren Crowe were spreading across social media Thursday night after the D41 educator shared a video on Tik Tok promoting books highlighting LGBTQ+  activism to her grammar school students.

Crowe, who teaches third grade at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School,  posted the video on Tik Tok. It was then shared on Twitter by a user who goes by the name “Libs of Tik Tok.” 

“Activist teacher shows off book collection she uses to indoctrinate 3rd grade students,” the user posted.

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Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill to Create Exemptions to College Vaccine Mandates

State Senators Kim LaSata (R-MI-Coloma) and Jim Runestad (R-MI-White Lake) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow students in Michigan’s colleges and universities the right to opt out of vaccine mandates imposed by those institutions.

The bill would create a range of medical and non-medical exceptions to requirements for students at any higher-education institution in Michigan to get any kind of vaccine.

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City of Tucson Joins Two Lawsuits Against Arizona Legislature over Masks, Vaccines, CRT, Police Review Boards, and a Ballot Audit Committee

Tucson City Hall

The City of Tucson is joining two lawsuits against the Arizona Legislature with amicus curiae briefs. The first is a lawsuit filed on August 12 by the Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona Education Association and other education organizations and activists over HB 2898, SB 1824, and SB 1825, which prohibit mask and vaccine mandates, ban Critical Race Theory, and establish a legislative committee to review the findings of the state Senate review of the November 2020 election results in Maricopa County.

The second is a lawsuit filed by the City of Phoenix over HB 2893, which sets the qualifications for members of civilian review boards including requiring training. It also allows a legislator to submit a request to the Arizona Attorney General for an investigation of “any written policy, written rule or written regulation adopted by any agency, department or other entity of the county, city or town.”

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Georgia Democrats Warn Raphael Warnock Is Vulnerable

Members of the Georgia Democratic Party sent out a series of fundraising emails this week warning that U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) could lose reelection next year. “The analysts at CNN have put together a list of which Senate seats they believe are most likely to flip in 2022, and the results are extremely concerning: They’re saying Sen. Reverend Raphael Warnock is the MOST vulnerable Democrat up for re-election,” according to one of the Georgia Democratic Party’s emails.
“Making things even worse, a recent poll shows Herschel Walker, Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate, is NECK AND NECK with Sen. Rev. Warnock! That means top supporters like YOU are all that will stand in the way of Mitch McConnell becoming Senate Majority Leader once again.”

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State Sen. Newman Announces Resignation from Virginia Redistricting Commission the Day After Commission Sees First Partial Map Drafts

Another Republican member is resigning from the Virginia Redistricting Commission. On Friday, Senator Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) announced his resignation; the commission will likely appoint a replacement from a list already put forward by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment, Jr. (R-James City.)

“I have enjoyed working with my colleagues on the Virginia Redistricting Commission for the past nine months. Approved by the voters last November, the bipartisan Commission is in its first year and I wish them well as they continue to navigate uncharted territory,” Newman said in a statement. “Given the newly published Commission meeting schedule and my ongoing professional obligations, I regret that I can no longer serve on this body.”

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U.S. Rep. Austin Scott Says Hundreds of Afghan SIVs Who Trained in His Georgia District Can’t Get Through Taliban Checkpoint

U.S. Representative Austin Scott (R-GA-08) said this week that hundreds of Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) connected to his district were left behind in Afghanistan. This, Scott said, after those SIVs waited for days at the gates to the Kabul airport as they tried to get out of Afghanistan.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Says Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Has Decreased COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Governor DeSantis announced Thursday that the 21 monoclonal antibody treatment centers he issued last month have positively resulted in a decrease in the number of hospitalizations in Florida that surged due to the COVID-19 delta variant.

Data from the Florida Hospital Association from Wednesday showed that 14,682 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday – a decrease of 9.9% in the last seven days.

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Middle Tennessee State University Nursing Student Who Declined COVID-19 Vaccine Says She Will Push Back Against Unlawful Mandates

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) nursing student who said police officers forced her from class because she refused the COVID-19 vaccine said she will oppose a policy that defies her beliefs and her legal rights. That student, Avery Garfield, spoke to The Tennessee Star on Friday.

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