New Bill Introduced Classifies Weaponizing Finances as Domestic Violence

A new bill proposed this week would classify weaponizing finances as domestic assault. It would be an amendment of the current Tennessee Code Annotated Title 36, Chapter 3, Part 6, relative to domestic abuse. Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) sponsored the bill. 

The bill, if approved, would add to the current definition of domestic violence.

“Abuse” means inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means; placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm; physical restraint; malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by an adult or minor; placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the adult or minor; or controlling, regulating, monitoring, or depleting the finances, economic resources, credit, or ability to work or pursue education or job training of an adult.

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CRT in Schools: Farmington, Michigan, Parents Protest ‘21-Day Equity Challenge’ School Board Meeting

Dozens of concerned parents protested their school system’s adoption of the “21-Day Equity Challenge,” a Critical Race Theory curriculum, at Tuesday’s school board meeting, joined by members of the Oakland County Republican Party and Moms for America.

The protesters lined the street in front of North Farmington High School, holding signs and waving at drivers, who often honked their horns in support as the sun dropped and the temperature with it.

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Commentary: The Sinking Ship of the Democratic-Media Alliance

Almost no one seems to grasp the colossal irony of the current American political condition. The uniquequality of it is that the country is divided between two political forces which, in the tedious hyperbole of contemporary political jargon, view each other as an “existential threat to democracy.” The Democrats can’t sell the bunk that January 6 was an “insurrection;” they can’t wish away concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. All they have is the tired claim that Trump is a threat to democracy, and in their advocacy of that falsehood, they have made themselves the threat to democracy.

Trump emerged politically in 2015 to universal mockery. Nothing could have been more certain than that this vulgar and sleazy huckster (as he was portrayed,not without some reason), would bomb out trying to recalibrate his downmarket celebrity brand to catapult him into the White House.

As Trump cleaned up in the 2016 Republican primaries, the Democratic strategists reached to the bottom of their campaign bag of tricks. Late in the campaign came the 11-year-old Billy Bush tape, in which Trump had made some inelegant locker-room macho comments about how a celebrity could take almost unlimited liberties with women. This failed to kill him. It was stale, dated, and not exactly a startling revelation.

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State Department of Education and Metro Nashville School District to Hold Town Hall

The Metro Nashville School District and the State Department of Education is set to hold a town hall meeting Wednesday night at 6:30pm. Parents, students, teachers, and community members are encouraged to share their thoughts on state education funding. The meeting is scheduled to last an hour.

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Tennessee Legislature Session Opens with Focus on Congressional Maps, Proposed Voting Integrity Laws

The Tennessee General Assembly begins its legislative session Tuesday with two essential priorities: redistricting maps and a new K-12 public education funding model.

The assembly will also consider two bills that attempt to enhance voting integrity.

Proposed state Senate maps and Congressional maps are scheduled to be released Wednesday by the assembly’s Select Committee on Redistricting. The new education funding formula is expected to be announced in the next week as well.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Governor Lee Urge Tennesseans to Learn How to Identify Human Trafficking

On Tuesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation marked National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by urging Tennesseans to educate themselves on how to identify human trafficking and support those who have been impacted by it.

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Senator Blackburn Argues Closed Schools Should Return Federal Funding

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called on schools, who opt to return to remote learning during the school year, to give back federal funding.

In an appearance on Fox Business Network’s Kudlow, the Tennessee senator explained the lack of funding would serve as an accountability measure.

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Davidson County’s Four State Senators Get Back to Work

Tennessee Capitol building

The Tennessee General Assembly is now back in session, and redistricting and education among the most pressing issues the state’s “part time” lawmakers are set to address as they returned to the capital Tuesday.

According to the General Assembly website, “Session beings the second Tuesday in January at 12:00 Noon. There is no defined adjournment date. But, the General Assembly usually adjourns in mid April.”

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Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands Talks Upcoming Freedom Tour and the Need for Paper Ballot Trails

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands to discuss the upcoming Freedom Matters Tour and election integrity.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on OSHA Mandates, Football, and Helping Veteran’s Mental Health in Tennessee

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newmakers line to discuss the OSHA employer vaccine mandates, football, and mental health in Tennessee.

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‘He Knew How to Fight’: European Parliament President Dies at 65

David Sassoli, president of the European Union’s parliament, died in a hospital on Tuesday at the age of 65 after months of poor health, the Associated Press reported.

Sassoli, a socialist and former Italian journalist, had been hospitalized since late December 2021 due to abnormal immune system functioning, his spokesperson said, the AP reported. He had been struggling with poor health since he became ill with pneumonia due to the legionella bacteria in September.

European Council President Charles Michel said Sassoli was a “sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile,” the AP reported.

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Commentary: Police Officer Who Killed Ashli Babbitt was Cleared of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview

When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day.

“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.

Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations.

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Justice Department Planning to Form Special Domestic Terrorism Unit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to form a special unit focused on the threat of domestic terrorism, a top official told lawmakers Tuesday.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced the creation of the new unit in his opening remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

“I decided to establish a domestic terrorism unit to augment our existing approach,” Olsen said. “This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country.”

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Grant’s Rants: The Narcissistic Gaslighting of the Democratic Party

Grant Henry

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

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Energy Commodity Prices Increased by 59 Percent in 2021, Energy Information Agency Reports

The prices of energy, crude and gasoline all increased in 2021 from 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports. Prices increased because of higher demand and a range of other factors.

By the end of 2021, commodities on the energy index traded 59% higher than they did on the first trading day last year on the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI), the EIA reports.

GSCI is a commodity index that tracks the performance of global commodities markets. It’s a weighted average that’s updated every year. In 2021, the energy index comprised 54% of the GSCI, with the two crude oil benchmarks, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, accounting for approximately 70% of the energy index. WTI crude oil accounts for the largest share of the overall GSCI of more than 21%.

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Facebook Parent Company Will Make Its Office Workers Get the Vaccine Booster

Facebook parent company Meta will require its in-person workers to receive a booster shot in addition to a COVID-19 vaccine, the company announced Monday.

By March 28, Meta employees must have received the booster to use the in-person offices of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Wall Street Journal reported. Meta is reportedly delaying the reopening of its offices until late March due to the requirement.

“We’re focused on making sure our employees continue to have choices about where they work given the current COVID-19 landscape,” Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement, CNBC reported. “We understand that the continued uncertainty makes this a difficult time to make decisions about where to work, so we’re giving more time to choose what works best for them.”

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Poll Shows More Americans Worry About Inflation Than COVID

Despite the mainstream media hysteria over the Chinese coronavirus, a new poll shows that a broader swath of Americans continue to care more about inflation and other more direct economic issues.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the poll was conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research throughout the month of December, with its findings released on Monday. In the poll, 37 percent of Americans believe that the coronavirus should be the government’s top priority in 2022. Last year, that number was 53 percent.

Conversely, 68 percent believe the economy should be the top focus instead. Of those 68 percent, 14 percent specifically named inflation as a major issue; last year, only one percent of respondents worried about inflation, which has since risen to a 40-year high under Joe Biden’s watch.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Weighs in on OSHA Mandate and His Recent Email to the Biden Administration

Andy Ogles

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Mayor of Maury County, Tennessee, Andy Ogles in studio to talk about his recent email to the Biden administration regarding his stance on non-compliance of OSHA vaccine mandates.

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Missouri Economic Leaders Give Glimpse of How $2.6 Billion in Federal Pandemic Funds Will be Spent

Maggie Kost

Missouri’s Department of Economic Development (DED) recently previewed how Gov. Mike Parson plans to allocate the state’s $2.6 billion portion of federal pandemic funds.

In late December, Maggie Kost, acting director of the DED, outlined major priorities for Missouri’s portion of the more than $195 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. A total of $350 billion will be delivered to the 50 states and the District of Columbia and local and Tribal governments throughout the nation to support the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of ARPA funds, passed in March 2021, is $1.9 trillion.

“We want to give you an idea of what to expect as we get into the legislative and budget session here in January,” Kost said. “As you’re planning and setting priorities locally for communities, we want to make sure you have an idea of what’s to come so you can think about how to leverage state funds as you’re building out your local priorities.”

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Federal Reserve Chairman Powell Says Inflation Poses ‘Severe’ Threat to Job Market

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Tuesday that high inflation is indeed a serious threat to the U.S. central bank’s goal of helping to get U.S. employees back to work.

He also said the Fed will raise rates higher than initially planned if needed to slow rising prices, according to the Associated Press.

“If we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering his nomination for a second four-year term, the wire service also reports. “High inflation is a severe threat to the achievement of maximum employment.”

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California Gov. Newsom’s Health Care Plan Covers Undocumented Immigrants, Low-Income Residents

Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan to expand Medi-Cal coverage to many income-eligible residents regardless of immigration status on Monday as part of his 2022-2023 budget proposal. 

The plan, which Newsom hopes to see implemented in January 2024, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible adults between 26 and 49 years old regardless of immigration status. The proposal would also close a gap in health-care coverage for undocumented immigrants, who the state already covers up to age 26 and after age 50.

The program lies within Newsom’s $286.4 billion budget proposal, announced on Monday, including a surplus of $45.7 billion.

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Congressman Mark Green: ‘We Are in a Battle for the Very Soul of Our Country’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Congressman Mark Green to the newsmakers line to weigh in on new House rules requiring N-95 masks on the floor of the Chamber, redistricting in Tennessee, and his stance on crushing the Democrats in 2022 midterms.

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CDC Director: 75 Percent of COVID Deaths Among Vaccinated Had Four Comorbidities

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates expected as early as this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is under increased scrutiny after recent comments about COVID-19 deaths.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky fell into controversy after a clip of her appearance on Good Morning America Friday went viral.

“I want to ask you about the encouraging headlines we’re talking about this morning, a new study talking about just how well vaccines are working to prevent severe illness,” co-host Cecilia Vega said on Good Morning America. “Given that, is it time to rethink how we’re living with this virus if it is potentially here to stay?”

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Tennessee Legislature Opens Session with Focus on Maps, School Funding

The Tennessee General Assembly begins its legislative session at noon Tuesday with two essential priorities: redistricting maps and a new K-12 public education funding model.

Proposed state Senate maps and Congressional maps are scheduled to be revealed by the Select Committee on Redistricting during its meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The new education funding formula is expected to be announced in the next week as well.

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Florida Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Fried’s Distracted Pot Mogul Fiancé, Jake Bergmann, Totals Car, Mailbox; No Charges Filed

The fiancé of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried – Jake Bergmann – was distracted when on September 15, 2021 he drove his 2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn across the center-line of a two-lane road in northeast Tallahassee, destroying a neighbor’s $1,500 brick mailbox, according to a traffic crash report obtained by The Florida Capital Star.

The report indicated that debris from the crash was scattered west to east approximately 30 yards and the Ram truck was inoperable and towed from the scene. The photo of the vehicle after the incident shows massive damage to the front of the truck and, consistent with the police report, indicates that the air bags in the front seat were deployed.

The Florida Capital Star obtained documents related to the disposition of the truck which indicate that the vehicle was valued at $56,753 with a repair cost of $44,392.

The law enforcement official at the scene did not issue a ticket, charge or sanction Bergmann, the former CEO of Surterra Wellness.

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Outgoing Attorney General Herring Says Governor-Elect Youngkin Can’t Pull Virginia from Key Environmental Initiative

Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion Wednesday saying that Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin cannot pull Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI,) a program where utilities have to bid for carbon dioxide emissions allowances. Youngkin has said he would use executive action to leave the RGGI. Herring’s opinion says that since Virginia entering the initiative was the result of laws passed by the General Assembly, Youngkin can’t use executive action alone to pull Virginia from the program.

“Climate change remains an urgent and ever-growing threat to Virginians, their safety, their health, and their communities. Virginia’s participation in RGGI is crucial to reducing our carbon pollution, while simultaneously investing hundreds of millions of dollars in mitigation and resilience efforts,” Herring said in a press release

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Wisconsin Schools, Public Health Managers Change Coronavirus Rules for Students

students working on school work and wearing masks

School kids across Wisconsin will likely miss fewer days because of a change in the state’s coronavirus rules.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services on Monday sent a letter to every school in the state, informing them of new guidance for coronavirus isolations and quarantines.

“Science shows that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission happens early in the illness, so CDC has shortened the recommended length of isolation from ten days to five days for people with COVID-19 who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms or symptoms have resolved or are improving after five days,” DHS wrote in its letter.

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Despite University System of Georgia Opposition, Rep. Josh Bonner Says He Expects Legislators to Pass Bill Granting Free Speech Rights to College Students

Georgia State Representative Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville) said this week that University System of Georgia officials oppose a bill he’s submitted that would, if enacted into law, bestow students with greater First Amendment rights. “The [University System of Georgia] officials are very opposed to it,” Bonner told The Georgia Star News.

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Pennsylvania Courts Deal Blows to Progressives on Election Review and Redistricting

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court green-lighted the state Senate Republicans’ election probe this week; the state Supreme Court has meanwhile declined to take up the remapping of congressional districts. 

As a result of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee may proceed with its subpoenas of voter records. The Supreme Court’s decision means Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will likely have to work out a compromise with the Republican state legislature on congressional reapportionment.

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Minnesota Man Sentenced to over Two Years in Prison for 2020 Arson

A Brooklyn Park man was sentenced to over two years in prison and over $30,000 restitution for his participation in the May 2020 riots and arson. According to the District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Samuel Elliott Frey, 20, and co-defendant McKenzy Ann DeGidio Dunn, 21, joined other individuals who had gathered near the Great Health and Nutrition store located at 1360 University Avenue West, in St. Paul.”

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Republican and Democratic Lawmakers File Multiple Firearm Related Bills for 2022 Florida Legislative Session

As the 2022 legislative session in Florida began on Tuesday, proposals from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers regarding gun rights for Floridians prepare to face off; as one side promotes increased gun safety, while the other promotes loosening gun restrictions that are already in place.

The proposals by Democrats range from safe storage laws, the ban of “ghosts guns,” and a law that would require a background check each time an individual purchases or transfers ammunition.

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Afghan Refugee at Quantico Commits ‘Unlawful Act with a Child’

Another alleged refugee from Afghanistan has committed a crime since being brought over to America, while living at a Marine Corps base, with this incident involving a child.

As the Daily Caller reports, the incident occurred last year at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, located in Virginia, and was only recently revealed in an Inspector General report. The report states that there was a “major criminal security incident” involving a refugee, one of thousands who was imported into the United States after the fall of Afghanistan last August.

It was confirmed that the crime “appeared to be an unlawful act with a minor,” although the report did not divulge the nature of the crime itself. Following an internal investigation, the culprit was handed over to the FBI.

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Susan B. Anthony List Urges Florida Legislature to Pass Pro-Life Bill That Would Stop Late Abortions After 15 Weeks of Pregnancy

On Tuesday, the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List announced their support for legislation in the Florida Legislature that would stop late abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, according to a press release by the organization.

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Tea Party Patriots Slam Biden ‘Voting Rights’ Speech in Georgia

Tea Party Patriots Action and Action Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin slammed President Joe Biden’s speech in Georgia on “voting rights.”

In the speech, Biden suggested that he supports the effort of far-left Democrats to alter the rules of the U.S. Senate, eliminating the filibuster.

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Youngkin Finishes Cabinet Nominations with Sec. Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Sec. Health and Human Resources

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin completed his cabinet nominee picks on Monday with the announcement of Fauquier County Sheriff Robert Mosier to be Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and recent Magellan of Virginia President John Littel to be Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on Virginians across the Commonwealth, and John will play a pivotal role in overseeing our efforts in protecting Virginians’ lives and livelihoods. Starting on Day One, John’s experience will be an asset as we fix our broken mental and behavioral health system, ensure Virginians have access to affordable, free-market healthcare options, and reform our healthcare safety net to save taxpayer dollars and improve healthcare outcomes,” Youngkin said in the announcement.

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Hennepin County Attorney Launches Program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ to Combat Crime

Michael Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the launch of a program ‘MN HEALS 2.0’ on Tuesday morning following several letters asking him to address the crime surge. “The crime rates experienced in our communities in 2021 have raised important questions and concerns about approaches to prevention, law enforcement and prosecutions,” Freeman said.

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Ohio Senate Hopeful Supports First Ohio Starbucks Unionization Effort

A Democrat U.S. Senate hopeful from Ohio declared his support for a Cleveland Starbucks store, which aims to become the retail giant’s first unionized coffee shop in the state. 

“Something big is brewing in Cleveland. Congratulations and solidarity to the workers taking this critical step to get the fair treatment and respect you deserve,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-17).

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Transgender Ideology Threatens Future of Sports, Warns Former University of Minnesota Swimmer

people in swimming pool

A former member of the women’s swimming and diving team at the University of Minnesota has sounded the alarm against the inclusion of biological men in women’s athletics.

On Dec. 19, Jenna Stocker published an article in National Review that called transgender athletes an “affront to the fairness of sports.”

“Nothing has threatened the future of sports more than transgender integration,” she said.

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Whitmer to Deliver State of the State Address Remotely, Cites Safety Concerns

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the annual State of the State address remotely, according to a release from her office.

The top executive detailed the event, scheduled for January 26, will be held virtually “to ensure everyone can safely partake” during the coronavirus pandemic.

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McCarthy Vows to Remove Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee If Republicans Take Back House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA-23) vowed to remove a Minnesota congresswoman from her House Foreign Affairs Committee assignment if Republicans take back the lower chamber of Congress in 2022. 

“The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who could be on committee. Never in the history have you had the majority tell the minority who could be on committee,” McCarthy told Breitbart. 

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Awaiting Supreme Court Decision, Iowa OSHA Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

Iowans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. In the meantime, they’re moving ahead with actions of their own.

Iowa Department of Education Communications Director Heather Doe told The Center Square in an emailed statement that since Iowa is a state-plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor typically enforces workplace safety in Iowa instead of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state is required to notify OSHA whether it will adopt a given Emergency Temporary Standard or provide notice it will not adopt it because its standards are as effective as the new federal standard. Iowa needed to respond to the standard by Jan. 7.

Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts did so, saying that the Hawkeye State will not adopt or enforce the mandate.

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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Offers Groundbreaking Solution to Fix Border: Go Around Feds with an Interstate Compact

Kari Lake

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake unveiled a border security plan aimed at circumventing the federal government through the creation of an interstate compact.

Titled “Defend Arizona: We will do what Washington will not,” her plan will bring states together to use Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution to “declare their territories as under invasion and declare it their sovereign right to secure the borders of the United States.” Lake told The Arizona Sun Times, “The people of Arizona and the people of this country are dying to have real solutions to bring sanity and the security back to the border.”

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Norfolk Elects Jackie Glass to Fill House District 89 Vacancy

Democrat Jackie Glass will represent Virginia’s 89th house district. According to preliminary results in a Tuesday special election, Glass received 75.11 percent of the votes while Republican Giovanni Dolmo got 24.68 percent in a battle to replace former Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), who announced his resignation in December.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Wants Nationwide Ban on Ballot Harvesting

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting permits private individuals to collect other voters’ ballots and then submit those ballots to various polling stations.

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Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Award Funding to Families Impacted by School Closures, COVID Mandates

Tennessee Senator Mike Bell and Representative Michael G. Curcio

State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) introduced a bill on Monday to award funding to families impacted by school closures or various COVID mandates.

The legislation, SB1647/HB1671, would award vouchers to parents who choose to relocate their child to a different school because of the issues.

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