K-12 Education Funding Has Doubled in Tennessee Since 1992

K-12 education is the top expenditure in Tennessee’s budget and has more than doubled, adjusted for inflation, since the current school funding plan began in 1992, a Sycamore Institute report shows.

Tennessee’s education funding model, called the Basic Education Program (BEP), is used to disperse state funds to individual school districts. Tennessee spent $5.2 billion on K-12 education in fiscal year 2020, while TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program and second-highest expense, cost the state $3.6 billion.

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Commentary: Whitmer Case Exposes Pattern of FBI Misconduct

FBI logo outside of building

As the first shoe related to the FBI’s involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol dropped—the New York Times last week reported at least two informants tied to the Proud Boys were working with the FBI before, during, and after January 6—another high-profile case continues to expose the bureau’s corrupt role in what the government also considers an act of domestic terrorism: a concocted plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage in October 2020.

In fact, Joe Biden’s Justice Department has tied the two events together in an attempt to convince the public that right-wing militiamen, ostensibly loyal to Donald Trump, pose a looming threat to the country. In a recent sentencing memorandum for one man who pleaded guilty in the Whitmer case, government prosecutors wrote, “as the Capitol riots demonstrated, an inchoate conspiracy can turn into a grave substantive offense on short notice.”

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Nashville Has Three of Tennessee’s Top Five Private Schools, According to a National Ranking

aerial view of Lausanne Collegiate School

This week, Niche rolled out its “2022 Best Private Schools in America” list and revealed which Tennessee private schools ranked highest out of the national pool. Niche is a website that gathers data on schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces in order to help people decide the best places to go to school, live, or even work.

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Country Music Star Jason Aldean Says He Will ‘Never Apologize’ for Anti-Biden Shirts

Country music star Jason Aldean pledged to “never apologize” for his political beliefs and the expression of those beliefs, specifically criticizing President Joe Biden.

The declaration from Aldean follows attention from left-wing social media users after Aldean’s wife, Brittany, posted a series of photos where the family wore anti-Biden shirts.

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Washington Governor’s Boast He’s ‘Only’ Person Saving Lives from COVID-19 Triggers Backlash

Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he singlehandedly is saving lives with his powers as the state’s top executive.

In an interview with TVW’s Mike McClanahan, Inslee gave an in-depth look into his perspective when it comes to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TV host questioned Inslee, well into his second year of governing by emergency declarations, about dozens of legal challenges to his executive authority.

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California Will Mandate Vaccines for Grades Seven Through 12, Pending Federal Approval

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he would require all private and public school students between seventh and 12th grade to get vaccinated against COVID-19, once the vaccines are approved for ages 12 and over.

According to The Associated Press, the governor’s executive order will take effect once a vaccine receives full federal approval for ages 12 and over.

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Increase in Food Stamp Benefits to Begin in October

After a major update to the food stamp system, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), recipients will see a massive increase in food stamp handouts in the month of October, according to CNN.

Benefits will rise by approximately 27 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, the largest such increase in the program’s history. Even after the special extension and increase that was implemented specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic has expired, the regular handouts will go up due to a revision of the Thrifty Food Plan.

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Senate Confirms Alleged Eco-Terrorist Collaborator to Lead Bureau of Land Management

The Senate vote 50-45 on a party-line vote Thursday to confirm President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management nominee amid strong opposition from Republicans and former Obama administration officials over the nominee’s involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism incident.

The nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning, failed to win a single Republican vote amid accusations she lied to the Senate Energy Committee over her involvement in the 1989 Clearwater National Forest tree-spiking case. All 48 Senate Democrats and the two independent senators who caucus with the party voted in favor of Stone-Manning’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees 245 million acres of public lands.

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Supreme Court Rejects NYC Teachers’ Request to Stop Vaccine Mandate

U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block New York City’s vaccine mandate for public schools following a petition brought by a group of teachers.

According to The Hill, the group of New York City teachers asked for an emergency injunction on Thursday, following a lower court’s ruling that permitted the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate to take effect this coming Monday.

The group argued that many teachers would lose their jobs if the Supreme Court didn’t intervene.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Energy Policies Hurt My Family

I started pipelining in 2008 during one of the worst economic recessions our country has ever witnessed. I’ve seen disaster after disaster, both natural and policy-related, devastate our oil and gas supply over the past 13 years of my pipelining career. Yet through all of this, I have never been more concerned for our nation and its energy security than I am right now, watching the Biden administration minimize the progress we have made over the past decade.

I began my career as a welder’s helper before realizing that I had all of the necessary skills to be a pipeline welder myself. I’ve become passionate about doing my part to bring reliable, affordable, safe energy to the American people. Being married to someone in the pipeline industry as well, we’ve seen the industry change over the years— sometimes for the better and lately, for the worst.

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Commentary: A Battlefield Triage for the Midterms

"I Voted" Stickers

The first time I was tossed into the cesspool of politics occurred when I was “volunteered” to work on my mother’s city council campaigns. The second time, I swan dived into the miasmatic morass by campaigning for Republican precinct delegate. (Yes, you jackanapes, I probably should have quit while I was ahead.)

Back in those Paleozoic days, precinct delegates had to collect 20 petition signatures within their voting precinct to get on the ballot. Then, in a primary election, the aspirants had to garner the necessary votes from their precinct’s fellow Republicans to win the seat or, if unopposed, gain at least three votes (as I recall). If successful, the newly elected precinct delegate was accorded the right and duty to attend the county convention. There, following a vote of their colleagues, a precinct delegate could be elected to the state convention.

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Commentary: Guided by Faith, Divinity Student Fought His ‘Anti-Racist’ Princeton Seminary — and Won

Timothy Keiderling’s decision to enroll in the Princeton Theological Seminary reflected his commitment “to give my life to work for justice and to live out the values of the Kingdom of God.” In a letter to the seminary’s president, Craig Barnes, he wrote that he “would sacrifice anything to make sure that my brothers and sisters see relief from their oppression.”

But the seminary’s concept of justice clashed with Keiderling’s conscience when PTS required him to attend “anti-racism” training sessions that he considered a form of indoctrination. He refused to participate in the sessions even after being reminded that they were mandatory. And then – early this year, with the potent support of the newly founded Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) – he convinced the seminary to exempt him from the training.

It was “a real victory which can advance the academic freedom cause substantially,” says Princeton Professor Robert George, a leader of the AFA who acted as an adviser to Keiderling, and whom the latter credits with making his victory possible. “Instead of a victim, we have a victor — one who stuck to his guns and persuaded his institution not only to respect his right of conscience, but to acknowledge the difference between education and indoctrination.”

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Biden’s Approval Rating Tanks Again in Latest Poll

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has declined to 50%, its lowest level since he took office, the latest Associated Press-NORC poll showed.

While 50% of Americans approved of Biden’s job performance, 49% disapproved, according to the AP poll released Friday. The survey — conducted between Sept. 23-27 — showed the president’s approval rating declining to 85% among Democrats, 38% among Independents and 11% among Republicans, each category’s lowest level of Biden’s presidency.

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National School Board Association Calls on the Biden Admin to Police Parents Using Domestic Terror Laws

A group representing school boards across the country asked President Joe Biden to enforce federal statutes that combat terrorism to address violence and threats directed toward school board members and public schools in a Wednesday letter.

A letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA) asked the Biden administration to use statutes such as the Gun-Free School Zones Act and the USA PATRIOT Act to stop threats and violence directed toward school board members over actions that could be “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” according to the letter.

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Sen. Josh Hawley Proposes Bill Holding Tech Companies Liable for Harm to Children

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Thursday removing liability protections from tech platforms that harm children.

The bill would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to strip liability protections from social media services that are found to have caused “bodily injury or harm to mental health” to users under the age of 16. This allows for users who suffer harm at the hands of social media companies to sue for damages.

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Florida-Based Trulieve Becomes Largest Medical Cannabis Company in the Country

Florida-based medical marijuana company Trulieve has completed the acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation, becoming the largest medical cannabis provider in the country. Trulieve announced the beginning stages of the acquisition in May.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said the acquisition will provide a solid foundation for her company to grow.

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Wisconsin Rep. Grothman Signs Letter Asking for Release of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller

Wisconsin Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) signed a letter asking for the release of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who was jailed after criticizing the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Grothman said, “Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller spoke truth to power. Now, he is unjustly sitting in pre-trial confinement.”

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Carole King Sends Fundraising Email for Terry McAuliffe, Claims McAuliffe has ‘Proven Record’

Famous singer-songwriter Carole King on Saturday sent a fundraising email for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, claiming McAuliffe has a “proven record.”

The email, which was sent with the goal of “helping Terry McAuliffe win Virginia,” repeatedly knocked GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin.

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Michigan Redistricting Committee Draws Fire for Canceled Meetings, Limiting Public Comments

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (MICRC), charged with redrawing the state’s district boundaries based on 2020 U.S. Census data, has been riddled throughout its inaugural outing with blown deadlines and other missteps.

The most recent issue raising public concerns is the MICRC’s apparent lack of transparency, which was prompted by the committee eliminating four of its nine scheduled October public hearings. That means the committee will comply with the minimum number of five meetings called for in the state constitution, but canceling the four meetings will disappoint voters in Novi, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Warren. The five meetings not cancelled will be held in Detroit, Flint, Gaylord, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

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Wisconsin State House Speaker Vos Issues First Subpoenas in 2020 Election Audit

Robin Vos of Wisconsin

Wisconsin state House Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, said Friday he has signed off on the first subpoenas in an audit of the state’s 2020 election results, an indication the review is proceeding.

Vos said the subpoenas were being filed as part of the GOP-backed investigation being led by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. The former justice visited the site of the election audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County and has said he could issue subpoenas to election officials who don’t comply with information related to his review, according to The Hill newspaper.

Said Vos: “Ensuring the 2020 election was conducted fairly and legally is critically important to maintaining faith in our election system.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Says Washington Dysfunction Hurting Florida Transportation Projects

In a press release on Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis called attention to the impacts congressional inaction and dysfunction are beginning to have on transportation projects in Florida.

“Yet again, the delays in Washington are impacting the lives of Floridians,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “It is unacceptable that Congress or the Biden Administration would use highway construction as a bargaining chip and leave Florida taxpayers to foot the bill. This is even more proof that the Democrats in leadership don’t want to help people, they don’t want to get anything done, they just want to follow a political agenda.”

And DeSantis is not alone in his criticism.

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House Passes Virginia Rep. McEachin’s Bill to Study Creating a Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area

The House of Representatives passed Congressman Don McEachin’s (D-VA-04) Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Act on Tuesday. If passed in the Senate, the bill will require the Secretary of the Interior to study potentially designating a Heritage Area in the region of the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia – North Carolina border.

“The Great Dismal Swamp is an incredibly important historical, archaeological, and environmental site for the Commonwealth,” McEachin said in a press release. “The Swamp was once a home and refuge to African American and Indigenous populations and enabled robust economic activity between the communities that called it home. Not only does it have immense cultural significance, the Swamp also plays a crucial role in our continued fight against the climate crisis.”

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Loudoun County Parents Rally in Opposition to McAuliffe

More than a hundred concerned parents and residents of Loudoun County, Virginia rallied on Saturday to encourage voters to cast a ballot in the state’s upcoming election.

Particularly, the attendees focused their attention on curriculum in the school system and the recent statements made by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

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Convicted Felon in Tucson Indicted for Voting in 2018, 2020 Elections

A convicted felon in Tucson was indicted by a Grand Jury for illegally registering to vote and voting. According to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, 45-year-old Kenneth Russell Nelson falsely stated on a voter registration form while incarcerated that he did not have a felony conviction, and then proceeded to vote in the 2018 primary and general election and the 2020 general election.

Nelson was convicted in 2007 of aggravated driving while under the influence of liquor while his license was suspended. He did not have his rights restored. He was arrested for first-degree murder in 2019 for killing his wife, which he admitted to. For the voter fraud, the Grand Jury indicted him on one count of false registration and three counts of illegal voting, comprising four felonies. 

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Ohio Landlords Could Receive Help with Unpaid Utility Bills

Ohio landlords burdened with unpaid water and sewer bills assessed to tenants could get relief from legislation recently introduced in the Ohio House.

Ohio law puts the responsibility for debts accrued on property owners rather than tenants who actually contracted for the services but default. Municipalities can place a property tax lien on those properties.

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Georgia Department of Public Safety: Salary Increase for Employees Is ‘Mandatory’

officer using radar gun in SUV to check Georgia residents' speed

One of Georgia’s top law enforcement officials is calling on Georgia lawmakers to increase taxpayer-funded pay and benefits for state law enforcement employees.

Georgia Department of Public Safety Chief of Staff Maj. Joshua Lamb told members of the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee on Thursday it is “mandatory” to increase pay to recruit and keep current law enforcement employees.

Lamb said the department has a 22% turnover rate and annual job applications have decreased by 60% over the past three years.

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