Judge Rules Arizona Legislature Must Disclose Ballot Audit Records to Newspaper

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah, who was appointed to the bench by former Gov. Janet Napolitano, ruled that the Arizona Senate must turn over records from the Maricopa County ballot audit to satisfy a public records request from The Arizona Republic. The newspaper and left-wing watchdog American Oversight have been engaged in litigation attempting to get records from the legislature and the contractor that conducted the audit, Cyber Ninjas. 

Hannah said that while the legislature may keep conversations about legislation private, under “legislative privilege,” conversations about the audit are excluded. “This is not a confidential process,” Hannah said. “This is a highly, highly public process.” He said there is a legal presumption favoring disclosure which the Senate did not overcome. 

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Tennessee House Speaker Celebrates Court Ruling Blocking Vaccine Mandates

Tennessee’s Republican House Speaker is celebrating after a federal judge Tuesday struck down President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. 

“Speaker Sexton has always maintained that federal mandates imposed on Americans by the Biden administration were unconstitutional,” Doug Kufner, Communications Director for Tennessee’s House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) told The Tennessee Star Wednesday. “These injunctions are the first step in preserving the constitutional rights of Tennesseans and all Americans.”

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Ultium Cells LLC Battery Cell Manufacturing Plant in Spring Hill Continues Construction

Wednesday marked the beginning of steel construction at the new Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, according to a press release by Ultium Cells. The 2.8 million-square-foot facility will mass-produce battery cells for electric vehicles and create more than 1,300 new jobs for the region.

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Pumping Even More Money into Tennessee’s Public Schools Won’t Resolve Lingering Issues, State Senator Says

People who attended regional town halls this fall to discuss Tennessee’s public education funding strategy want legislators to pump even more money into public schools, but one state legislator said that’s not a remedy for improvement. Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) said Wednesday that the state’s funding formula should change but it needs to recognize how many teachers and principals are needed.

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Commentary: Court’s Legitimacy Depends on Overturning Roe v. Wade

When the U.S. Supreme Court takes up Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization today, it will be asked to overrule Roe v. Wade, the court’s 50-year-old precedent that created a constitutional right to abortion.  Legions of commentators are turning out to defend Roe, claiming that the Supreme Court’s legitimacy depends on reaffirming it.  They are wrong.

The majority’s opinion in Roe has undermined the court’s legitimacy for nearly a half-century. Roe relied on dubious reasoning to remove a contentious policy issue from the reach of the American people, placing all abortion policy in the hands of the unelected and unaccountable judiciary. As a result, Roe has politicized the court and poisoned the judiciary. The most legitimate thing the Supreme Court can do is overrule Roe.

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Second Meeting on Outdoor Homelessness in Nashville Results in No Plan

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The second Nashville Metro meeting held by Jim Schulman resulted in no plan to tackle the outdoor homelessness situation in the city. The Tennessee Star covered the first meeting from the previous night, where citizens gathered to discuss their ideas on how to address the city’s homelessness issues. 

Similar to the first meeting, over a hundred citizens attended, but this time with the expectation for there to be an outline of a plan that the community could agree on. 

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Space Force General Claims American Satellites Are Under Attack on Regular Basis

A top general with the United States Space Force says that other nations often threaten and even outright attack American satellites in space, as reported by the New York Post.

General David Thompson revealed the alarming developments in an op-ed with the Washington Post, published on Tuesday. In the article, Thompson says that “the threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time.”

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Executive Director Reinhard Mueller Discusses Orientation Philosophy and His Work with The Hodges Foundation for Philosophical Orientation

Michael Patrick Leahy sat down with The Hodges Foundation for Philosophical Orientation Executive Director Reinhard Mueller, PhD. to discuss the Foundation, its founding, and its work to advance the scholarship of modern philosophy.

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Leaked Documents Show Chinese President Xi Ordered Uyghur Genocide in ‘Top Secret’ Speeches

Documents obtained by human rights activists from the People’s Republic of China show that Xi Jinping, the country’s president, ordered the implementation of measures to persecute Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province in “top secret” speeches during the 2010s.

Xi reportedly gave the orders in a series of speeches and statements, Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow with Victims of Communism, claimed in a Twitter thread on Nov. 29, citing 317 pages of documents leaked to the Uyghur Tribunal this past September.

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Biden Approval Rating Remains an Abysmal 36 Percent in New Poll

Joe Biden’s approval numbers remain abysmally low in a new nationwide survey, dragging his presidency and congressional Democrats down.

According to a Trafalgar poll published Wednesday, just 36.3 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s performance in the White House, and 59.1 percent disapprove.

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A Firsthand Look into Texas’ ‘Operation Lone Star’

RIO GRANDE VALLEY — The alarm clock sounded at 3 a.m. local time. It was dark and the skies were clear from the storm that had just passed. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Lt. Craig Cummings, who was driving me around the valley, joked that we may face a more dangerous situation than the border had in store for us because of the tornado-like winds and torrential downpour that had swept through the area just hours before.

We decided the early morning would be the best time to capture suspected human smuggling attempts. Texas troopers with DPS supporting Operation Lone Star, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s initiative to combat nefarious activity from entering his state, dotted the roads making their presence known.

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Coffee Prices Reach 10-Year Highs That Could Last Years

Coffee prices soared to a 10-year high on Monday, with experts projecting the high costs to last well into 2023, CNBC reported.

Coffee contracts for December hit $2.34 per pound at the end of Monday’s trading day, CNBC reported. Coffee futures on the New York Intercontinental Exchange soared to $2.46 on Thursday, recording the highest price since 2011.

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Commentary: Redditors Flock, Amplify ‘Antiwork’ Movement

When it comes to blaming the masses, no one seems to take the fall more than young people: Weird food trends, the “baby bust,” and now, a labor shortage all seem to be attributed to Millennials and Gen Z. Now, following “The Great Resignation” comes a new phrase, “antiwork.” It’s a movement pointing out the flaws in work and employment. The subreddit grew from 76,000 to 1,019,000 subscribers from January 2020 to November 2021, according to Vice. And they planned a “Blackout Black Friday” strike. So, what’s this movement, and how far will it go?

What is antiwork?

This isn’t simply a lazy act of defiance. The antiwork movement has to do with burnout, mental health, wages, benefits, employer treatment, and many other factors. The pandemic saw many people working themselves to the bone but for low pay under toxic management. Then came The Great Resignation, where millions voluntarily left their jobs. Nearly 40% of those were service jobs— restaurant, hotel, bar, and health care workers, and others—also known as those who are famously underpaid. Now, employees from nearly every workforce sector in the U.S. are coming forward to expose poor treatment and overworking, among other issues.

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Commentary: Our Enemies Wait as We Destroy Ourselves

Is the United States becoming like the old Soviet Union in a way that people fail to see because of the noise and the distractions of electoral politics, mass entertainment masking as news, and mass indoctrination masking as entertainment? 

We are becoming a meritocracy that punishes merit and rewards folly. We have all the disutility of a meritocracy—the snobbishness, the restless ambition, the inclination to see merit only in what can be measured or paid for; even the tendency to pull intelligent people out of their native regions and set them down, like gilded tumbleweeds, in places without memory or character. But we get none of the benefits. We punish truth-telling and intelligence, and reward stupidity. 

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Noble Education Initiative’s Sherry Hage and Richard Page Discuss New Rutherford Collegiate Prep

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Sherry Hage and Richard Page of Noble Education Initiative to discuss their new charter school Rutherford Collegiate Prep and local school board passivity.

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Judicial Watch Moves to Depose Chicago Mayor Lightfoot over Racist Interview Policy Under Oath

Judicial Watch filed a motion on Nov. 23 on behalf of The Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci, asking the court to depose Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot to discuss her allegedly racist interview policy under oath.

Lightfoot failed to comply with court-ordered deposition in August after a representative refused to answer a series of questions of the Democrat’s policy to interview journalists of color, according to the Judicial Watch press release.

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Anti-Trump Group Donated $85k to Atlanta Election Judges, Now Auditors Want Some Repaid

A liberal nonprofit that accused President Donald Trump of unleashing a “surge in white supremacy and hate” donated $85,000 last fall to election administrators in Georgia’s largest county as part of a campaign to turn out black votes in the 2020 election. Auditors now want some of that money returned.

The Fulton County Auditor declared this month that county election officials failed to spend all of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s grant for buying absentee ballot drop boxes and did not comply with one of the grant’s primary requirements to publicly disclose how many ballots were collected in the boxes.

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Kenosha Police Bodycam Video Shows NBC Producer and Freelancer Weaseling Out of Jury Tampering Rap

A freelance photographer and his NBC contact were caught on camera trying to squirm their way out of trouble in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, when the freelancer was stopped for running a red light while trying to keep up with the Rittenhouse jury van.

Kenosha police on Tuesday released the body camera video of the November 17 stop. James Morrison, the driver of the vehicle, identified himself as an NBC producer.

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Mayor Scott Conger of Jackson, Tennessee See’s Smart Growth in 2022

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Jackson, Tennessee Mayor Scott Conger to the newsmakers line to talk about the growth of his city and goals for 2022.

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Commentary: What to Do About China

Xi Jinping

In a recent article, John J. Mearsheimer traced America’s post-Cold War policy of engagement with China and the goals the U.S. hoped to achieve:

“Washington promoted investment in China and welcomed the country into the global trading system, thinking it would become a peace-loving democracy and a responsible stakeholder in a U.S.-led international order.”[1]

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Wisconsin Senate Committee Advances Bill to Block Critical Race Theory Teaching

The Wisconsin Senate Education Committee on Monday advanced a bill to block Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings from the state’s school curriculum.

The measure was passed by the State Assembly earlier this year and is now prepared for full consideration by the Senate.

Assembly Bill 411, approved by Republicans on a party-line vote, would prohibit “race or sex stereotyping in 1) instruction provided to pupils in school districts and independent charter schools; and 2) training provided to employees of school boards and independent charter schools,” according to a summary produced by the Legislative Reference Bureau.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Backs Republican-Drawn, ‘Least-Change’ Map

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has indicated it will not make many changes to the political map drawn by Republicans.

The court ruled 4-3 on Tuesday that it is going with the “least-change approach” to the state’s new political map.

“We have the power to provide a judicial remedy but not to legislate,” Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote for the majority. “We have no authority to act as a ‘super-legislature’ by inserting ourselves into the actual lawmaking function.”

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In Some Minnesota Counties, Criminals Don’t Have to Pay Bail for Stealing a Car

At least two Minnesota counties do not require bail payments for individuals accused of committing certain “non-violent” crimes.

According to a WCCO report from December 2020, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Washington County Attorney Pete Orput dropped a bail requirement for 19 “low-level offenses.” It was a move that took effect at the beginning of 2021.

Such offenses include but are not limited to theft under $35,000, car theft, property damage, insurance fraud, counterfeiting currency, possession of shoplifting gear, possession of tools to commit burglaries and thefts, and wrongful obtainment of public assistance and unemployment benefits.

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Florida Democratic Lawmakers File Bills Supporting Abortion Rights

Months after a Florida House Representative Webster Barnaby (R-Deltona) filed an anti-abortion bill (HB 167) in September, which would ban the procedure after fetal heartbeat, Democrats in the Florida legislature filed identical bills in both the House and Senate that would establish a woman’s right to an abortion.

Representative Ben Diamond of St. Petersburg, and Senator Lori Berman of Lantana, filed HB 709 and SB 1036, respectively, known as “Reproductive Health Care Rights.”

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Democrat Stacey Abrams Launches Second Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign

After losing to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams on Wednesday launched her second gubernatorial campaign.

Abrams will likely face an uphill battle in her quest to defeat Kemp, as Democrats lost key elections in Virginia and President Joe Biden’s approval numbers continue to decline.

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Legal Team Advises Michigan Redistricting Committee to Hide Memos from Public

The Michigan Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Committee’s (MICRC) legal team advised it to continue hiding documents from the public in the same letter it touted transparency.

The Nov. 30 letter follows a nonbinding opinion from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel that the committee “must” release memos discussed in a controversial closed-door session.

The MICRC has also denied Freedom of Information Act requests for the memos, claiming attorney-client privilege protected the communications. Despite the Constitutional mandate stating, “The commission shall conduct all of its business at open meetings,” the MICRC held a closed-door session in October to discuss two legal memos. It’s still unclear what commissioners discussed behind closed doors.

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Sports Betting in Virginia Exceeds $2 Billion in Wagers Cast Since January Launch

Virginia’s new sports betting continues to set records, with $427 million in wagers cast in October thanks to five weekends of football, postseason baseball, and the opening of the NBA season. Sportsbetting was launched in the Commonwealth on January 21, and October’s results helped make Virginia the fastest state to exceed $2 billion, according to a PlayVirginia press release.

“It took Old Dominion a little less than nine months to reach the milestone. The previous record-holder, New Jersey, took about 10 months to reach $2 billion in wagers,” PlayVirginia said.

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Ohio Think Tank Sues for Documents on Biden Administration’s Vaccine Mandate

An Ohio public policy think tank said Wednesday that it is seeking to get to the bottom of how the White House decided to implement its federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“The Buckeye Institute filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of its clients, Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company and Sixarp LLC, demanding that the White House produce all communications and records regarding the initiation and development of President Biden’s vaccine mandate,” according to a press release from the group.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Withdraws Federal Lawsuit Against Line 5, Seeks to Shut Down Pipeline Through State Court

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday withdrew a federal lawsuit against Enbridge, a Canadian company that owns the Line 5 pipeline.

Instead, the Democratic governor detailed that the state is “shifting its legal strategy,” to use a state lawsuit filed by Attorney General Dana Nessel to shut down the pipeline.

Whitmer called for Line 5 to be terminated “as soon as possible.”

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State Sen. Suetterlein Re-Introduces Virginia Parole Board Vote Transparency Bill

Senator David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke) has introduced a bill to make individual Virginia Parole Board members’ votes public records and open to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“The parole board has significant authority over individual Virginians’ liberty and the Commonwealth’s public safety,” Suetterlein said. “And the public gets to know, when someone is charged with a crime, who the police officer is that arrested the person. Who the prosecutor who pursued the criminal charges was. Who the judge that oversaw the case was. Who the appellate court judges that upheld the cases were. And then the parole board has the power to reduce that sentence effectively and their action is done in private. Their votes are not recorded, which is most unusual. I was not able to find any other board in Virginia where their actions and their individual votes are not recorded.”

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Phoenix Home Prices Experience Nation’s Biggest Price Spike in September

Even though they already are at historic highs, home prices in the Valley are increasing faster than in any other market in America. 

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Schiller Home Price Index from September showed Phoenix home sale prices increased more than 33% from September 2020.

Of the 20 major metropolitan markets the index tracks, no other city increased as much in the report, which was released Tuesday. The next-highest annual percentage increase was Tampa Bay at 27.7%.

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Wisconsin Elections Commission to Face Allegations of Potentially Illegal Behavior

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will soon answer the charges from an October audit that found dozens of instances when the commission didn’t follow the state’s election laws.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to provide an official response to the audit’s questions, and Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, is very interested to hear what the Commission has to say.

“The audit is damning,” Brandtjen told The Center Square on Tuesday. “It makes it very clear that WEC is not doing its job.”

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Commentary: Was Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Father Part of Brutal Marxist Military Dictatorship in Somalia?

If Rep. Ilhan Omar wants white Americans to apologize for the sins of their ancestors, she should be transparent about her father’s apparent leadership role inside a genocidal Marxist regime.

Omar’s father, Nur Omar Mohamed, passed away last year from COVID-19 complications. Upon his death, Minnesota’s progressive, Omar-friendly Sahan Journal praised “his climb in the military hierarchy, eventually becoming a colonel.” Yusuf Ismail Faraton, another colonel who served alongside Omar Mohamed, told Sahan Journal (which was founded in partnership with and using money from Minnesota Public Radio) that Omar’s father “played a significant role in the war” Somalia waged with Ethiopia from 1977-1978 (the Ogaden War). Other outlets like the Blaze have also reported that Omar’s late father served during the 1982 Somali-Ethiopian Border War.

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Georgia’s Raffensperger Files Lawsuit Against Justice Department over Request for Documents

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA) filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) for information about the department’s lawsuit against Georgia’s election integrity law.

Raffensperger’s lawsuit seeks to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sent by the secretary months prior to find the motivations behind the DOJ’s initial case.

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Florida School Board Association Withdraws from National Association

The Florida School Board Association (FSBA) announced they have withdrawn from their affiliation with the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The announcement comes as 26 state school board associations have either cut ties or distanced themselves from the parent organization.

The impetus for the withdrawal stems from the NSBA’s letter to the federal government asking for intervention at local school board meetings. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the NSBA up on their recommendations and announced they would be launching investigations into parents at school board meetings.

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Metro Nashville Health Department Apologizes for Calling Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict an Injustice

Metro Nashville Health Department (MPHD) staff on Wednesday apologized for Director of Health Equity Stephanie Kang calling the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial an injustice. Last week, Kang in an email to MPHD employees, described Rittenhouse as “a young white man who shot and killed two people and wounded one other.”

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