Nearly 50 Guns Stolen Out of Vehicles in Nashville Last Week

An unloaded handgun sitting on the center console of a vehicle with the magazine clip next to it

Thieves in Nashville this year have stolen exactly 1,259 guns out of vehicles, according to statistics, as compiled by the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD). “More than 70 percent of ALL guns reported stolen in 2021 (1,789) were taken from vehicles. Last week, 49 guns were stolen from cars and trucks. Many of the guns taken last week came from vehicles parked outside nightclubs, apartment buildings and hotels,” MNPD officials said in a press release last week.

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Memphis Sets New Homicide Record

Memphis set a new record for homicides in a single year this week, topping last year’s record number of homicides as violent crime spikes nationwide. 

“On Thursday, Memphis police reported 333 homicides, meaning the city has officially passed the grim record set in 2020 of 332 homicides. Of those 333 homicides occurring this year — 292 are classified as murders,” Commercial Appeal said. “The remainder of the deaths fall into categories such as justified homicides or instances of negligent manslaughter.”

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Commentary: The Left Is Being Consumed by Its Own Hatreds and Hubris

Joe Biden, first as a candidate and then in the White House, from the outset saw the COVID-19 pandemic mainly as a means of leveraging political support, from the manner in which the lockdowns allowed him to run a virtual campaign from his basement to equating Donald Trump with the COVID-19 virus.

Like many on the Left, Biden was overt in such cynicism. So were Hillary Clinton, Gavin Newsom, and Jane Fonda—who claimed that COVID was a “never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste” moment. Panic and lockdowns could help achieve single-payer health care, or a recalibrated capitalism, or the end of Donald Trump himself.

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Tennessee Hospital Limits Visitor Policy as COVID-19 Cases Increase

A Nashville-area hospital announced new limits to the number of visitors a patient is allowed to have as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

TriStar Summit Medical Center will implement a mandate that will only allow one visitor per inpatient, according to a release from the group.

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Report: Tennessee One of Four States Without Limits on Property Tax Increases

A new Beacon Center report shows while Tennessee’s truth-in-taxation law creates transparency in the process of property tax assessments, it lacks the power to prevent large property tax increases.

Tennessee was the first state with a truth in taxation requirement, but it is now one of four states without a cap on property tax increases.

Truth in taxation in Tennessee requires local governments to inform residents of any property tax rate increases and local entities to consider means that do not increase property taxes alongside rate or levy increases.

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Amid U.S. Nuclear Talks, Iran Provokes by Firing Missiles, Inviting Venezuelan Leader for Visit

missile firing into the sky

Iran fired missiles in a provocation toward Israel and invited Venezuela’s socialist leader for a visit as it continued to antagonize the West in the midst of slow-moving negotiations to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.

The official IRNA news agency reported the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired 16 surface-to-surface missiles Friday at the end of five days of military drills in the desert, airing footage of the missile launches and suggesting it was a warning to Israel.

“These exercises were designed to respond to threats made in recent days by the Zionist regime,” Major General Mohammad Bagheri told the state television network.

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United Pilots Laid Off Due to Vaccine Mandate Say They Could Have Prevented Holiday Flight Disruptions

Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled on multiple airlines across the United States over the holiday weekend, leaving thousands of travelers frustrated and stranded, according to FlightAware.

Sunday saw a total of 5,936 delays and 1,387 cancellations of flights within, or out of the United States on Sunday. United, Delta, and JetBlue blamed the flight disruptions on staff shortages due the highly transmissible Omicron variant, US News reported.

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National Political Parties Have Raised $716 Million in 2021, Republicans Hold Slight Edge

Six party committees have raised a combined $716 million over the first ten months of the 2022 election cycle. In November, the committees raised $54 million, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission. This was the lowest cumulative fundraising month of the 2022 election cycle.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.6 million and spent $6.4 million in November, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $7.3 million and spent $7.9 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the DCCC has raised 6.8% more than the NRCC ($130.8 million to $122.1 million). November was the fifth consecutive month where the DCCC outraised the NRCC.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $8.4 million and spent $8.0 million, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $6.8 million and spent $4.5 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the NRSC has raised 14.3% more than the DSCC ($93.6 million to $81.1 million). This was the 10th consecutive month where the NRSC outraised the DSCC.

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Auction Houses See Record Sales in 2021

The world’s three largest auction houses reported record sales of over $15 billion in 2021, highlighting a surge in global wealth and more first-time, young collectors entering the market, multiple sources reported.

Christie’s reported total sales of $7.1 billion in 2021 on Monday, marking the highest figure in five years, according to CNBC. Sotheby’s saw sales surge to $7.3 billion in 2021, the company announced Wednesday, the best year in its 277-year history, and Philips said its sales hit a record high of $1.2 billion.

“Every single category is outperforming,” Guillaume Cerutti, chief executive of Christie’s, told CNBC.

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Nearly 60 Percent of American Parents Are Concerned With What Their Kids Are Learning: Poll

Roughly 6-in-10 parents are concerned about the current quality of American education, according to a survey conducted by an education advocacy group.

An overwhelming number of parents believe they should be able to determine what their kids are taught in the classroom, according to a Free to Learn (FTL) poll. Concerns over COVID-19 mitigation measures, Critical Race Theory (CRT), gender ideology and virtual learning have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

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1619 Project Creator Says She Doesn’t ‘Understand This Idea That Parents Should Decide What’s Being Taught’ in School

The 1619 Project Creator said she doesn’t understand the argument “that parents should decide what’s being taught” to their children in school on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

The 1619 project was created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a writer for The New York Times, and it promotes the idea that America’s ‘true founding’ occurred when slaves arrived in the colonies, framing the history of the country around race and slavery.

“I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught,” Hannah-Jones said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science,” she said.

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Vanderbilt University Renews Pharmaceutical Partnership with Japanese Company Ono

Vanderbilt University announced last week that they would continue the partnership with the Japanese-based Ono Pharmaceutical Company through November 2023. Vanderbilt has been working with Ono since 2015, and this is the fourth extension of their contract. 

“Such a successful cooperative effort is never guaranteed, so it is great to be able to continue and extend what has been Vanderbilt’s longest ongoing drug discovery collaboration with Ono,” said Thomas Utley, senior licensing officer at the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. “The collaboration is only possible because of the great working relationship that Ono brings to the table.”

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Thousands of Federal Prisoners Released Early Due to COVID Surge Do Not Have to Return to Prison

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be permanently extending the early release of thousands of federal inmates who were set free due to a spike in COVID cases, as reported by the New York Post.

In doing so, the DOJ reversed an order previously made by President Donald Trump in January that would have seen such prisoners eventually returned to confinement. Instead, over 5,000 prisoners will now either remain in home confinement or be allowed to roam completely free.

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Commentary: It’s Time to End Race-Conscious Admissions Policies

It’s no secret that there is an obsession with race among our nation’s colleges.

On every campus, there seems to be another multicultural center for BIPOC students, or a class on how to be woke, or a bias response team.

And while the country is finally waking up to just how far left American society has drifted recently, such politics have been the norm on college campuses for years.

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State Senator Lena Taylor Joins Milwaukee Mayoral Race After Ending Campaign for Lieutenant Governor

State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) on Monday launched a campaign for mayor of Milwaukee, joining a crowded field of more than a half dozen individuals.

Taylor made the announcement following her decision to suspend her campaign for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor.

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Astronomers: Black Holes May Have Existed Just After Big Bang, Shedding Light on Universe’s History

Astronomers with the European Space Agency have proposed a new astrophysical model in which black holes formed directly after the Big Bang, a postulation which, if true, may explain the current structural formations present throughout much of the present-day cosmos.

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Surveillance Video Allegedly Shows D.C. Police Beating Women on January 6

Recently-released surveillance video from inside the lower west terrace tunnel at the Capitol building from last January 6 confirms what American Greatness has reported for months: law enforcement officers from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police led a brutal assault against Trump supporters trapped inside that tunnel during the Capitol protest.

The three-hour clip offers one angle of what happened between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the tunnel, the site of the most violent clashes between police and protesters. It also is the location where Rosanne Boyland, a Trump supporter from Georgia, died.

One clip shows the attack on Victoria White, a Minnesota mother of four who was viciously beaten by at least two D.C. Metro officers including a supervisor:

The video supports what White told me in a series of interviews earlier this month; she was repeatedly beaten on the head with a baton and punched directly in the face numerous times by police. One officer grabbed her by the hair and shook her head side to side. Government charging documents, however, claim White—who is 5’6”, weighs 155 pounds, and had no weapon—was the aggressor:

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Commentary: The World May See a Red Revolution Before a Green One

Chinese flag

In the current day and age, energy security is a prerequisite for national security. When America became energy independent in 2019, it freed us from the political whims of unstable countries. But dogmatic leftists across the world have made it clear that they will sacrifice energy security for their idea of necessary climate policy, seemingly undisturbed by the transfer of that security to communist and authoritarian regimes in China and Russia. As a result, the world might see a Red Revolution before it ever sees a Green one.

While in recent years the US has embraced its liquified natural gas (LNG) boom, European countries steered the other way, ramping down fossil fuel production and increasing their dependence on fossil fuel imports. They have justified this as a “necessary” sacrifice until solar and wind deployment catches up. They are seemingly unconcerned that Russia has become the EU’s largest supplier of fossil fuels, supplying around 40% of the EU’s LNG and coal. 

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Republicans Move to Ban Federal Funds to States, Cities That Allow Non-Citizens to Vote

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is leading a coalition of Republicans in Congress to sponsor legislation that would ban federal funding to states or localities that allow foreigners to vote in U.S. elections.

The new legislation, dubbed the Protecting Our Democracy by Preventing Foreign Citizens from Voting Act, was introduced after many liberal municipalities from San Francisco to New York have moved in 2021 to allow non-citizens to cast ballots in local elections

“It’s ridiculous that states are allowing foreign citizens to vote,” Rubio said. “However, if states and localities do let those who are not U.S. citizens to vote in elections, they shouldn’t get U.S. citizen taxpayer money.”

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Kansas Lawmakers Reveal Draft Bill to Eliminate the Food Tax

Laura Kelly

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the Legislature’s Democratic leadership on Thursday released a draft bill to get rid of the food sales tax in the state. 

Known colloquially as the “Axe the Food Tax” bill, the legislation would eliminate the state’s 6.5% sales tax on food. The draft bill also includes a full exemption on state and local taxes for items bought at farmers markets. 

Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa, and House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, helped craft the legislation and are formally looking for co-sponsors. 

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Youngkin Announces Finance Secretary, Vows Lower Taxes

Glenn Youngkin in crowd during a rally

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his new finance secretary and vowed his team will promote lower taxes and greater fiscal responsibility in Richmond.

The governor-elect’s incoming finance secretary will be Stephen Emery Cummings, the former president and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

“Lowering taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Richmond is a primary focus of our Day One Game Plan, and Steve’s experience and expertise will help make sure we deliver real results for Virginians,” Youngkin said in a statement.

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Minnesota Mother, Wife of January 6 Defendants Speaks Out: ‘I Can’t Believe Our Government Is Doing This’

Rosemarie Westbury’s life was turned upside down on April 9. Armored vehicles carrying federal agents equipped with fully-automatic rifles and battering rams were looking for her son.

It was 6:30 in the morning and Rosemarie was on her way to work as the sole breadwinner of the family. Her 62-year-old husband, Robert, has had eight strokes.

She received a terrifying call from one of her sons: the FBI was at their door.

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Ohio’s Highway System Fails in National Rankings: Report

In a year, Ohio’s highway system fell from consideration as one of the best in the nation to average, based on a recently released report from the Reason Foundation.

The state ranked 13th in the nation a year ago in the report that analyzes overall cost-effectiveness, along with condition, fatality rates and time spent commuting. It remains above average, however, coming in at a 24th ranking in the nation in the most recent report.

“To improve in the rankings, Ohio needs to reduce its administrative disbursements or have those costs translate into better system performance. The state’s disbursements are three times higher than Ohio’s peer states. The state also needs to improve its urban arterial pavement condition,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Ohio’s administrative costs have increased significantly from the last report. The state’s three fatality rates have increased slightly as well.”

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Commentary: Democrats’ 2020 Tactics in Philadelphia Part of a Failing Attempt to Keep Control

Mail in ballot with U.S. flag

Pennsylvania was by far one of the most contentious battleground states in the 2020 election, but new analysis shows even in Philadelphia Democrats are only treading water.

In 2020, both Democrat and anti-Trump groups dumped millions into Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, with roving food vans that would extract votes out of people in exchange for a meal, or the use of “street money” to incentivize election-day door knockers to push people to the polls.

Despite these borderline-bribery efforts to drag people out to vote against Trump in 2020, Democrats gained less than 20,000 votes in Philly compared to 2016 numbers.

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Eight New Lawyers, Some with Strong Ties to Democrats, Join U.S. Attorney’s Office for George’s Northern District

Federal officials have announced eight new assistant U.S. attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia. One of them, Mary Jane Stewart, as referred to in a press release is “a career public servant.”

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Governor Tom Wolf Signs Bill to Expand Broadband Access Throughout State

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that will help expand access to broadband internet throughout the state.

House Bill 2071, sponsored by a trio of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, will establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, an agency that will help award grants to underserved areas throughout the state.

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Federal Court to Hear Challenge to Florida Gun Law

Rick Scott

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a time when it will hear a challenge to a Florida law that bans 18 to 20-year-olds from purchasing rifles and shotguns. The court will hear the arguments during the week of March 21, 2022.

The law in question is the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, named after the school where the Parkland school shooting took place. The assailant was underage and used a modern sporting rifle during the shooting.

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Wet Summer Leads to Record West Nile Infections in Arizona

Arizonans enjoyed a cooler and wetter summer in 2021 but so did mosquitos, which caused West Nile virus infections at rates multiple times higher than previous years.

As of Dec. 23, the Arizona Department of Health Services recorded 1,567 known or probable cases of the virus. The agency attributes 99 deaths to the virus. 

By contrast, 2020’s dry summer saw 11 total cases and two deaths, one of the lowest years of transmission since the virus was first discovered in 2003. The only year Arizona recorded more cases was in 2004, when the state had 391 cases.

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Rural Areas of Minnesota Have Highest Wage Increases, Job Vacancy Rates, Report Says

The population continues to decrease in rural Minnesota. Additionally, rural Minnesota continues to experience the highest increase in wages along with the highest job vacancy rates, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Rural Policy and Development.

Marnie Werner, CRPD vice president, research, and Kelly Asche, CRPD research associate, wrote the nonprofit policy research organization’s “The State of Rural” 2021 update.

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Warnings About Myocarditis Differ Between Pfizer EUA Vaccine and Fully-Approved Comirnaty

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine authorized under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) has a different label than the FDA-approved Comirnaty label for the vaccine, and Pfizer has said they will continue to distribute the vaccine made under the earlier label until stocks run out.

The EUA was granted before the risk of myocarditis for men under 40, caused by the vaccine, was known, and the Comirnaty package insert found on the FDA website includes warnings about the rare side effect. A fact sheet distributed with the EUA vaccine also includes a warning about the risk.

On Tuesday, an FDA official told The Virginia Star on background that the FDA has to ensure that EUA vaccine recipients are informed of the EUA, the extent and benefits of the vaccine, that the vaccine is optional, and of alternatives to the vaccine. Normally that data is communicated through a fact sheet for EUA vaccines. A package insert is used with fully approved vaccines like Comirnaty.

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Report: Virginia Has Best Business Climate in the Nation:

Virginia has the best business climate in the country in 2021, according to Business Facility’s annual business ranking released this week.

“The commonwealth’s location, right next to the District of Columbia, combined with its pro-business work environment, strong workforce and educational systems, makes it [a] great place to do business in,” Business Facility Editorial Director Seth Mendelson said in a statement.

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Bill Proposed to Exempt Voter Registration Data From Florida’s Public Records Laws

Florida Senate Capitol

A bill that aims to exempt additional voter registration data from Florida’s public records laws was introduced Sunday by State Representative Cyndi Stevenson of St. Augustine.

In addition to data such as a voter’s social security number and address that were already exempt, Stevenson’s bill (HB 983) looks to shield the public from a voter’s date of birth, telephone number, e-mail address, and party affiliation.

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Ohio Supreme Court Set to Hear Challenge to State’s New Congressional Districts

The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday, relating to the constitutionality of new congressional maps that were recently signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.

The new map, passed earlier this year by the state legislature, established new boundaries for federal and state representation following new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Republican Senate Candidate Is Selling Non-Fungible Tokens to Finance Arizona Campaign

Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters is selling a line of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to finance his campaign, Axios reported.

NFTs are unique packets of data stored on the blockchain, a decentralized public ledger distributed across multiple servers, that often correspond to media such as a piece of digital art. Masters’ NFT includes a digital copy of the cover art of “Zero to One,” a book he co-authored with tech billionaire Peter Thiel, along with a signed hardcover print of the book, according to Masters’ website.

“This is the first NFT we’re issuing to help share the book’s cool history, and to help raise money for my U.S. Senate campaign, so we can help use Zero to One thinking to save America from the brink of destruction,” Masters, who serves as chief operating officer of Thiel Capital, wrote in announcing the NFT.

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Minnesota County Executives’ Days of Working from Sunny California May Be Over

California may not be what it used to be, but it still looks tempting in the middle of a Minnesota winter. So tempting two of Hennepin County’s highest paid public employees made the Golden State their home base for working remotely during–and now–after the pandemic.

Michael Rossman takes home $189,000 in salary as Chief Hennepin County Human Resources Officer supervising 70 employees from his Palm Springs pad, while Chad Helton gets paid $184,000 to lead over 500 employees of the Hennepin County Library system out of Los Angeles.

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Legislation Aims to Smooth Out Complexity of Pennsylvania Tax System

An Allegheny County legislator indicated last week that he is preparing to offer legislation to iron out complexities in Pennsylvania’s tax system. 

State Rep. Robert Mercuri (R-Wexford) has underscored the current lack of conformity between Pennsylvania’s tax rules and those of the federal government. The chief concern the lawmaker said his upcoming bill would address is reforming the Keystone State’s legal treatment of depreciation of corporations’ assets and of property transferred or sold during a taxable year. 

“It is essential that we take steps now to make it simple and advantageous to do business within the Commonwealth, positioning our communities for investment and growth as we continue to recover from the economic uncertainty that has arisen as a result of COVID-19 policies,” Mercuri wrote in a memorandum to fellow House members.

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State Building Commission Doubles the Budget for West Tennessee Megasite

Members of the Tennessee State Building Commission last week approved a budget that more than doubles the amount for infrastructure improvements at the Megasite of West Tennessee.

State Building Commission members and the State Building Commission’s staff did not return The Tennessee Star’s requests for comment Monday.

Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) serves on the Building Commission, according to the Office of the State Architect’s website.

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