CATO: Tennessee Fourth Freest State in the U.S.

Tennessee ranked fourth in the country in the CATO Institute’s recent 2021 Freedom in the States rankings.

The rankings use 230 policy variables to rank states on how their policies promote freedom in fiscal, regulatory and personal realms. The CATO Institute is a public policy think tank based on libertarian ideals to promote limited government, free markets and peace.

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Tennessee Department of Education Launches Site for Public Education Information

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has launched a dashboard aimed at transparency and information about the goings on in the state’s public school districts. 

“This interactive dashboard filters data from the Tennessee Department of Education’s Annual Statistical Report (ASR) to provide information about Tennessee public education at the state and district levels,” the state comptroller’s website says. 

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Nuclear Power Plant One Step Closer to Being Tested in Oak Ridge

On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that it has formally accepted Kairos Power’s Construction Permit Application (CPA) for the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor to be built at the East Tennessee Technology Park Heritage Center site in Oak Ridge, according to a press release by Kairos Power.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Weighs in on the Disappearance of Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all star panelist Roger Simon in studio to speculate on the whereabouts of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

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Roger Simon Reviews Berenson’s Pandemia and Kennedy, Jr.’s the Real Anthony Fauci

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss two books he’s read recently: Pandemia by Alex Berenson and The Real Anthony Fauci by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

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Jobless Claims Increase as Employers Fight to Keep Workers

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims totaled 220,000 in the week ending on Nov. 27 as employers fight to retain workers heading into the holiday season, the Department of Labor reported.

The Labor Department figure shows a 28,000 claim increase compared to the number from the week ending on Nov. 20, when jobless claims dropped to a 52 year low of 199,000.

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‘Cannot Power the World’ with Green Energy Alone: Bipartisan Lawmakers Advocate for Increased Nuclear Energy

Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee vowed to continue promoting nuclear energy during an industry conference Wednesday.

Both Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin and Ranking Member John Barrasso reiterated their support for nuclear energy during the American Nuclear Society winter conference in Washington, D.C., arguing that an economy-wide transition to clean energy would be impossible without it. The Senate leaders added that the U.S. must produce more energy and avoid reliance on foreign entities.

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Metro Nashville Police Ready to Enforce New Alcohol Ban on Party Buses as New Bill Allowing Alcohol Is Considered

The Nashville Metro announced earlier this week that the alcohol ban on party buses will take effect beginning December 1. In a news release, Metro said that the ordinance prohibited “the possession/consumption of open containers of alcohol, including beer, in unenclosed entertainment transportation vehicles” and that there would be Metro police officers monitoring vehicles throughout the first night. 

Metro added that if there was a violation of the new ordinance, that the vehicle would be issued a civil citation and receive a $50 fine. According to Metro, there were six officers and a sergeant that patrolled the area of entertainment transportation pickup and drop-off locations to “remind businesses and their patrons of the new ordinance and to seek voluntary compliance.”

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Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Losses Mount as Three Federal Judges Cite Executive Overreach in Two Days

President Joe Biden lost three federal challenges to his vaccine mandates in just two days this week, with judges ruling the mandates are executive branch overreach and likely unconstitutional.

Federal judges in Missouri, Kentucky and Louisiana issued rulings on Monday and Tuesday in separate cases filed by multiple states, handing primarily Republican attorneys general sweeping victories and ensuring workers wouldn’t be fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 shots.

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MLB Owners Lock Out Players After Failed Contract Negotiations

Major League Baseball (MLB) owners locked out players Wednesday night after negations failed to produce a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the players association for the first time since 1995.

The two sides failed to reach an agreement during negotiations to renew the previous CBA, which expired Wednesday night, according to a letter from MLB commissioner Robert Manfred. The lockout suspends all offseason transactions and may affect spring training and the beginning of the season in March 2022.

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The Tennessee Star National Political Editor Neil McCabe Weighs in on Supreme Court and the Mississippi Abortion Ban

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed National Political Editor for The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line live from Washington, D.C. to give his take on the outcome of the Mississippi abortion ban in the Supreme Court.

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Tate Myre, Killed by Michigan School Shooter, Lauded for His Heroic Actions

An online petition has been launched to rename the Oxford High School football stadium after Tate Myre, one of four students killed this week by a school shooter in suburban Detroit and whose heroics during the massacre likely saved lives.

Myre, a 16-year-old football player, sacrificed himself Tuesday in an effort to save classmates by rushing the shooter in an attempt to disarm him and give other students time to run away. He reportedly suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died as he was being rushed to the hospital.

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Commentary: A Market-Driven Solution to the Student-Loan Debt Spiral

Graduation caps being thrown in the air.

It’s calculated that somewhere north of 45 million Americans have run up $1.73 trillion worth of college debt. The numbers may surprise a lot or a little, which is really not the point.

The main thing is that debt now measured in the trillions is in a sense a logical midpoint to the federal government’s unfortunate involvement in the financing of college education. “No one spends the money of others very carefully” is a truth as old as humanity (or money) is, and the trillions worth of federal student loan debt vivify this truth. We know this because the hangovers (literal and figurative) from time spent on campus continue to grow.

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19th Annual ‘Tennessee Season to Remember’ Celebrates the Lives of More than 200 Lost to Homocide

The 19th annual Tennessee Season to Remember was live-streamed on the First Baptist Church’s YouTube. Valencia Wicker of WKRN News 2 hosted the event again this year. She began and said that she was honored to lead the ceremony again, and that “tonight we pause to memorialize and honor victims of homicide across our state.”

She continued and said that while the event has been held in person in the past, due to another year of COVID regulations, the event would be live-streamed to keep everyone safe. But, the Tennessee Season to Remember has become a tradition, she said, “through this event, we have been remembering and honoring homicide victims since 2003.”

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Commentary: The Madness of Anthony Fauci

It’s nearly impossible to select the most maniacal comment made by Dr. Anthony Fauci in his nearly 70-minute interview with “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that aired over the weekend. Joe Biden’s chief coronavirus advisor and miniature global menace spent more than an hour denying responsibility for his documented mistakes, bragging about his self-appointed role as the world’s doctor, hogging credit for the vaccines, and attacking anyone who has challenged his unrivaled ego and track record of failure.

Portraying himself as a victim rather than the cruel, megalomaniacal tyrant he is, Fauci took aim at Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Congressional co-sponsors of the “Fire Fauci Act,” which would zero-out the salary of the federal government’s highest-paid bureaucrat and audit Fauci’s correspondence and financial transactions during the pandemic.

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Commentary: Unions Aligning with America First

After intense negotiations, the United Auto Workers secured a new agreement with Ford, General Motors, and their suppliers that effectively prohibits a vaccine mandate for employees by requiring only “voluntary” disclosure of vaccination status for union members. This hard-won validation for workers points to a larger opportunity for the America First movement and organized labor to acknowledge that they are natural allies.

On critical issues ranging from medical privacy to border security and foreign trade, the emerging populist and nationalist consensus of the New Right creates an obvious home for unionized Americans. The America First cause can, in turn, help revitalize private-sector unions and guarantee a more prosperous society for our country, with a stronger middle class through a better diffusion of economic and political power.

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European Union LGBT Ambassador Does Photoshoot as Trans Virgin Mary

Riccardo Simonetti, LGBT ambassador to the European Union Parliament, dressed as a transgender Virgin Mary for the cover of a Berlin-based queer magazine.

The photos show a bearded Simonetti in a tunic and veil, holding a baby who is presumably representing Jesus. In another photo he is holding the baby with another man, who appears to represent Joseph, wrapping his arms around Simonetti.

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Crom’s Crommentary Discusses Keeping Watch on Governor and State Legislative Races

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the newsmakers line for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary where he talks governor and state legislative 2022 elections.

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Georgia Congressional Candidate Rich McCormick Says Lack of ‘Political Speak’ Prompted Him to List Endorsements He Did Not, in Fact, Receive

Republican Rich McCormick, running for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, previously said four GOP members of Congress had endorsed his candidacy but on Thursday he said they did not actually endorse him. McCormick said he made a mistake.

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Arizona State University Defends ‘Death 2 America’ Sign at Anti-Rittenhouse Rally

Arizona State University (ASU) Thursday defended a photo circulating the internet that depicts a woman on its campus holding a sign that says “Death 2 America” during Wednesday’s anti-Kyle Rittenhouse protests. 

”University campuses are synonymous with free speech, an environment for the vigorous discussion and debate of ideas,” an ASU spokesperson told The Arizona Sun Times. “Differences of opinion, from all sides, should be explored in a peaceful exchange.”

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Ohio Republican Party Central Committeeman Bainbridge: I Am Not Working with ‘Dark Money’ Group, I Did Not Force Ohio GOP’s Timken-Conflicted Audit Firm Off Account

The retired Ernst & Young partner and member of the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee responded to charges from the party chairman Robert A. Paduchik and his supporters that he is ignorant of non-profit accounting and that he delayed the resolution of the party’s books by forcing the party’s audit firm to resign.

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Commission Passes School Upgrade Funding Recommendations to Virginia General Assembly

Virginia’s Commission on School Construction and Modernization recommended actions for the General Assembly and the Governor to take to help fund upgrades and new construction in schools.

A June report to the Commission found that 41 percent of school divisions are at or above capacity, and 29 percent are nearing capacity. More than half of school buildings are over 50 years old, and divisions in Western Virginia, Southwest, and Southside have the oldest buildings with a median age of 58 years.

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Florida Bill Could Expand Hope Scholarship Access

Florida Sen. Manny Diaz (R-FL-36) is sponsoring legislation that would expand opportunities for students to be able to attend a school of their choice through a voucher program. SB 506 would amend the Hope Scholarship program to permit students who attend school districts who are not complying with state law to apply for the program and receive a voucher.

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Head of Wisconsin Election Probe Accuses Two Big-City Mayors of Coverup, Stonewalling

A former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is leading one of the investigations into the state’s 2020 elections says it’s clear to him there is a cover-up going on.

Former Justice Michael Gableman told the Assembly’s Committee on Elections on Wednesday that the state’s Elections Commission, its administrator, and the mayors of Madison and Green Bay have refused to answer any of his questions about the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life, and continue to refuse to cooperate with the subpoenas issued in the case.

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Arizona Senate President Karen Fann Named Chair of American Legislative Exchange Council

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) on Wednesday was named Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Fann, who served as treasurer of the organization in 2021, was awarded the position at the group’s annual policy summit in San Diego.

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Exclusive: GOP Governor Hopeful Renacci Tells Why He Named Pro-Life Filmmaker Joe Knopp His Running Mate

The former congressman and main challenger to Ohio Gov. R. Michael DeWine for the 2022 GOP gubernatorial nomination announced today, Joe Knopp, the producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned” agreed to be his lieutenant governor running mate.

“I picked a guy who’s going to help me get elected and help me govern,” said James B. “Jim” Renacci, who June 9 announced his own candidacy for governor.

In addition to being a producer for “Unplanned,” the 2019 true-life film about Abby Johnson’s transformation from a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director to becoming an advocate for the unborn and a leader in the pro-life movement, Knopp also produced the 2015 film “Woodlawn” and the 2018 film “I Can Only Imagine.”

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Virginia State Sen. Suetterlein Targets Lengthy Executive Orders with Bill for 2022 General Assembly

  Governor Ralph Northam came under fire from Republicans, including Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, for his lengthy COVID-19 mandates through emergency powers. Senator David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke) has prefiled a bill for the 2022 General Assembly session to limit emergency powers to a duration of 45 days. “The vast majority of…

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Brooklyn Center City Council to Vote on Eliminating 30 Percent of Police Officer Positions

The Brooklyn Center City Council is slated to vote on $1.2 million worth of budget cuts to the city’s police department, which would effectively reduce the size of the force by 30%.

Although the council considered the measure at a meeting Monday night, the vote did not take place because the discussion lasted until midnight. The council is expected to resume discussion on Thursday.

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Woke Media Ties Trump to Michigan School Shooter, Still Silent on Waukesha Motive

Far-left media outlets and commentators have tied the deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan to former President Donald J. Trump, all while denying that the massacre in Waukesha, Wisconsin could have had political motivations. 

“Comprehensive coverage of the Oxford High School shooting here, from the gunman’s chilling videos to his parents’ outspoken political views,” Daily Beast’s Rachel Olding bragged on Twitter. 

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Michigan State Senator Aric Nesbitt Introduces Bill to Cut State Taxes

Michigan State Senator Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) on Thursday introduced legislation to cut the state’s income tax rates.

The measure, Senate Bill 768, would reduce the personal and corporate income tax rates to 3.9% from 4.25% and 6%, respectively.

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Florida Department of Education Takes Down Web Page with External Links to LGBTQ Advocacy Groups

After The Florida Capital Star sought comment from officials about a web page with hyper-links to LGBTQ advocacy groups on the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) website, the web page was removed.

FDOE officials told The Florida Capital Star that the content on the web page was under review.

The Florida Capital Star also found that at least one Florida school district was using the presence of the resources on the FDOE web page as justification for certain LGBTQ school activities.

When asked to provide the school policies that support advocacy of LGBTQ issues in middle schools, the Leon County School District provided a link to the FDOE web page with the external links  to LGBTQ advocacy groups.

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Minnesota Democratic Lawmakers Respond to First Fully Vaccinated Omicron COVID Case: ‘Get Vaccinated’

Minnesota’s Democrat lawmakers responded to the first Omicron COVID case detected in Minnesota. To date, the case is only the second diagnosed case of the Omicron variant in the nation. The man who tested positive for Omicron was fully vaccinated and had just gotten his booster shot in early November. He contracted the virus while attending a conference in New York City in mid-November, Alpha News reported.

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Timken Campaign Claims Second Spot in Own Poll on Ohio’s GOP Nomination Race for U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate primary campaign of Jane Timken has released a poll showing she has climbed into a strong second-place performance against five od six rival candidates named in the poll ahead of the Ohio GOP primary in early May.
The interactive voice response poll of 1,000 likely Republican primary voters shows her challenging former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for frontrunner status while putting distance between rivals Mike Gibbons and J.D. Vance.

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Tennessee Officials Can Penalize Nashville Schools for Not Complying with New Law on Transgender Athletes, Legislator Says

Metro Nashville School Board members won’t update their policy on transgender athletes to comply with a new Tennessee law, but a state legislator says state government officials could penalize the school district for disobeying. State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Howenwald) helped get the original bill through the Tennessee General Assembly.

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