Memphis Police Mourn Officer Who Died in Crash While on Duty

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) Friday is mourning the loss of an officer who died in a car crash while on duty.

“Memphis police officers and a citizen collided in this intersection, and at this particular time, we’ve got the Tennessee Highway Patrol that’s out here that is taking control of this investigation,”  Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said in a press conference from the scene of the crash Thursday.

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Trump White House Alums Launch Jefferson Society PAC to Back America First House Candidates

Veterans of President Donald J. Trump’s White House and their supporters gathered Tuesday to launch The Jefferson Society political action committee at Washington’s Capitol Hill Club, a PAC dedicated to backing House candidates aligned with their once-and-future boss’s agenda.

One of the new political action committee organizers told The Star News Network the Jefferson Society was born from the lessons learned from the White House Personnel Office, especially the last year of the Trump administration when John D. McEntee II led that office.

The organizer said that the right personnel is vital to getting the right policy, which was confirmed in the Trump administration and is true in the House of Representatives.

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Gopher State’s ‘The Bible in a Year’ Host Father Mike Headlines 49th March for Life

  WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Minnesota priest, who hosts the No. 1 podcast in the country “The Bible in a Year,” headlined the 49th March for Life rally Friday joined by tens of thousands of abortion opponents gathered at Washington’s National Mall, along with religious leaders, members of Congress and…

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Congressman Chuck Fleischmann Describes Biden’s First Year in Office as ‘Disappointing’

Chuck Fleischmann

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03) commemorated President Joe Biden’s first year in office, labeling his tenure up to this point as “disappointing.”

According to the Tennessee congressman, Biden pledged to be a moderate throughout the campaign—only to advocate for progressive policies once he was sworn in.

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Commentary: The Pathetic and Political Sedition Case Against the Oath Keepers

protestors in a large crowd at the Capitol

Facing intensifying criticism from Democratic lawmakers, journalists, and even some federal judges for not seeking harsher punishment against January 6 protesters, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally produced charges to appease his detractors. Last week, more than a year after the so-called insurrection, Garland charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.

The star of the new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on January 12, is Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the alleged militia group. (His co-defendants were charged with several other offenses months ago.)

Rhodes, described only as “person one” for nearly a year in numerous criminal indictments related to his organization, has been a free man since January 6, 2021, raising plausible suspicions that he may have been a government informant at the time. After all, the FBI has a longstanding pattern of infiltrating fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and moving them to commit indictable crimes.

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GOP Candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck, Energized by Redistricting

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed GOP Republican candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck to the newsmakers line to discuss district changes, candidate validity, and how he’ll fight for Middle Tennesseans.

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Texas Abortion Law Still in Effect as Supreme Court Sends It Back to State Court

The Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans most abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy, is still in effect after the Supreme Court rejected a request to remand the law.

The justices sent the case back to a state court for procedural determinations, according to Fox News. Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor dissented.

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Commentary: $800 Billion Stimulus Program Failed Terribly and Mostly Benefited the Wealthy, MIT Economist Finds

Close up of federal check

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably.

At least, that’s the finding of a new study from MIT economist David Autor and nine coauthors. They examined the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which gave “loans,” most of which won’t have to be paid back, to businesses. It was created by Republicans and Democrats in Congress alike in hopes of helping businesses preserve their employees’ jobs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The study tracks the money to see where it ended up and what it achieved. The results… aren’t pretty. 

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Judge Denies Missouri AG Request to Stop St. Louis County Mask Requirement

Eric Schmitt

A Circuit Court Judge on Wednesday denied Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a mask requirement approved by the St. Louis County Council on Jan. 5.

Democrat Rita Heard Days, chair of the Council, didn’t know what to expect from the court.

“At this particular point, I’m not surprised about anything,” Days told The Center Square after an event in Hazelwood on Thursday. “This thing has taken a life of its own. People are trying to cope with all of this. We just hope we can get over this and move on.”

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Home Sales Surged to 15-Year High in 2021

U.S. existing home sales soared to a 15-year high in 2021 fueled by low interest rates and remote work, which boosted a competitive housing market, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced Thursday.

Home sales totaled 6.12 million in 2021, representing an 8.5% increase from 2020 and the highest level since 2006, according to the NAR. The inventory of unsold homes as of December 2021, 910,000, the lowest figure since January 1999.

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Pelosi Lays Out Dems’ Agenda After Failures on Build Back Better, Voting Bills

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats would shift their focus to passing a government funding bill and legislation aimed at boosting competitiveness with China after their Build Back Better and voting bills stalled in the Senate.

Top appropriations members have already started meeting in hopes of passing a broader funding agreement before the Feb. 18 deadline. Legislators have already been forced to pass two continuing resolutions in lieu of a longer bill, essentially keeping most funding levels as they were during former President Donald Trump’s final year in office.

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MidAmerican Energy Files $3.9B Renewable Energy Project with Iowa Utilities Board

Field of wind turbines

MidAmerican Energy announced Wednesday it filed plans with the Iowa Utilities Board to build a $3.9 billion renewable energy project in Iowa.

Wind PRIME would add 2,042 megawatts of wind generation and 50 megawatts of solar generation, a news release from the Des Moines-headquartered company claims.

MidAmerican estimates the project will create more than 1,100 full-time jobs during construction and another 125 ongoing full-time positions for operations and maintenance, along with $24 million in local property tax payments on wind turbines and solar facilities and $21 million in annual landowner easement payments. The company plans to complete construction by the end of 2024, if it receives IUB approval.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: COVID-19 Totalitarianism on the March

sign that says "NO FORCED VACCINE"

It is hard to know which is more frightening: the Australian radicalism about COVID-19, the Austrian effort to coerce its citizens, or the attitudes of American Democrats who regard extreme sanctions as reasonable behavior toward the supposedly bad people who don’t get vaccinated or wear masks.

Let’s consider each one.

In Australia, the government felt so threatened by the best tennis player in the world that it intervened decisively to block him from entering the country and competing in the Australian Open.

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State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Comments on Education Funding and Giving Surpluses Back to the Taxpayers

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the newsmakers line to discuss education focus and appropriating fiscal surplus back to the taxpayers.

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Documentary Filmmaker Amanda Milius: New Project Based on Lee Smith’s ‘Thirty Tyrants’

Friday on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed documentary filmmaker of the trending Plot Against President Amanda Milius to the newsmakers line to discuss her new project slated for release next year.

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Crom’s Crommentary: Going Forward, Carmichael Will Offer an Examination of the Democrataic Party’s Essence and Nature

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Border Patrol Crews Flying Aircraft from Texas, Florida Seized 4.7 Tons of Cocaine in Two Months

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations crews operating P-3 aircraft from Texas and Florida participated in multi-agency counter narcotics operations that led to the seizure of 4.7 tons (9,475 pounds) of cocaine worth $179.2 million in a two-month timeframe, according to CBP.

Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents operating along U.S. borders, coastlines and territorial waters are especially trained to combat maritime smuggling. They’re tasked with interdicting unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders and investigating criminal networks, providing domain awareness in air and maritime environments and responding to a range of contingencies.

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Gov. Newsom Calls LA Area ‘Third World Country’ Because of ‘Gangs,’ Then Apologizes

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the Union Pacific railroad in Los Angeles on Thursday to help clean up the site following a spate of railcar thefts, bemoaning the state of the area.

“I’m asking myself, what the hell is going on? We look like a third-world country,” Newsom said to reporters, according to Politico.

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FBI Raids Home and Office of Texas Democrat Rep. Cuellar, a Vocal Critic of Biden

The Laredo, Texas, home and campaign office of Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a vocal critic of the president, was raided by the FBI on Wednesday.

More than a dozen federal agents were seen entering and leaving Cuellar’s Laredo residence removing bags, bins and at least one computer, The Monitor of McAllen first reported. Local news reports also show agents at his campaign office.

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Prince William School Board Chairman Defends Ignoring Father’s Concern About Sex Abuse During Meeting

The Prince William County School Board (PWCSB) member is defending himself against claims that he ignored the concern of a father who said at a Thursday school board meeting that his daughter had been sexually assaulted in one of the county’s schools. 

“During our School Board meeting on January 19, a concerned father addressed the School Board during Citizen Comment time with questions about the way a situation had been handled by the School Division,” Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman of PWCSB told The Virginia Star in a statement. “Citizen Comment time is not structured to allow for the School Board to address a citizen’s questions immediately.”

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Restaurant and Bar Owners Launch Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Mayor over COVID Vaccine Mandate

Several Minneapolis restaurants initiated a lawsuit on Thursday against the mayor of Minneapolis over the COVID vaccine mandate that took effect last week. According to the complaint, the restaurants are seeking a judgement from the court that the emergency declaration requiring restaurant and bar owners to verify COVID vaccine status from Mayor Jacob Frey be considered null and void.

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Commentary: Get Ready for a New Roaring Twenties

Statue of Liberty

On New Year’s Eve of 2019, revelers gathered around the globe to ring in a new decade. Many jubilantly attended “Roaring Twenties” parties, adorned in elegant evening wear, cloche and Panama hats, and knickerbockers, harkening back to an exciting, culturally vibrant era of economic prosperity. But whatever veiled hopes partygoers had for a booming future soon met jarring realities: a once-in-a-century pandemic, global lockdowns, an economic recession, and widespread civil unrest stemming from an incident of police brutality. The Roaring 2020s were not to be, it seemed.

Take heart: Mark P. Mills, a physicist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, faculty fellow at Northwestern University, and a partner in Montrose Lane, an energy-tech venture fund, is out to rekindle our collectively dashed hopes. In his new book, The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and a Roaring 2020s, Mills convincingly argues with verve, vitality, and – most importantly – evidence, that humanity is about to take a great step forward in the coming decade. And unlike the first Roaring Twenties, these won’t need to end with a Great Depression.

In the opening pages, Mills reminds us that the original Roaring Twenties didn’t start off so auspiciously, either. In fact, separated by a century, our situation seems eerily similar. The 1918 flu pandemic ran well into 1920, triggering a severe U.S. recession that lasted through summer 1921. Violent riots and political instability were also prevalent. Yet from this pit of public despair, Americans pulled themselves out. Propelled by remarkable advancements in mass production, medicine, electrification, communications via telephone and radio, movies, automobiles, and aviation, the United States saw its GDP rise by an astounding 43% between 1921 and 1929.

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Donald Trump Calls Georgia Investigation Against Him ‘a Witch Hunt’ and ‘Not the American Way’

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday and Friday issued a pair of statements commenting on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s attempts to investigate him for alleged election misconduct. On Thursday, Trump emailed supporters and said his phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the November 2020 election “was perfect.”

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Michigan Orders Nursing Homes to Offer on-Site COVID Boosters

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) ordered nursing homes statewide to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccines to residents within 30 days.

“With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across our state and cases of COVID-19 continuing to remain high, we want to make sure our most vulnerable Michiganders are protected from the virus,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “The COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus, and we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get up to date.”

Under the order, nursing homes must offer on-site doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents who are not up to date as of Jan. 20, 2022. The order doesn’t force residents to get vaccinated.

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Minnesota DFL Requiring Proof of Vaccination to Caucus February 1

The Minnesota Democrat Farmer Labor (DFL) party has announced that they will be requiring proof of COVID vaccination during in-person precinct caucusing on February 1. They are offering a contactless caucus for the unvaccinated or others who are uncomfortable caucusing in person, while some entire districts will be utilizing the contactless caucus process.

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Rift Forming in Republican Race for Wisconsin Governor

Kevin Nicholson and Rebecca Kleefisch

It looks like bad blood is forming in the Republican race for governor, and the race hasn’t officially begun yet.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday suggested that Kevin Nicholson not run for governor against Rebecca Kleefisch.

“If Kevin Nicholson is listening, you need to not run for governor,” Vos said at a political lunch meeting in Madison. “You need to be able to focus on something like 2024.”

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VoterGA Presents New Evidence of Election Irregularities Throughout Georgia

VoterGA officials announced this week that nearly 107,000 drop box ballots in the November 2020 election results have improper chain of custody forms, and that calls into question the authenticity of those ballots. This, according to a new chain of custody study that VoterGA members released Thursday.

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After Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Ivermectin Bill, Capitol Police Direct Upset Supporters to Leave

Virginia Capitol Police directed upset members of the public out of a Senate Education and Health Committee meeting after the committee killed Senator Amanda Chase’s bill aimed at protecting medical providers who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

“This bill is about a patient’s right to life. A patient has a right to life and should not be prohibited from potential life-saving medication by a hospital, a pharmacy, or other administrative agency. Patients should be able to make decisions about their care and treatment in conjunction with the knowledge and expertise of their treating physician,” Chase told the committee on Thursday morning.

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Republicans Take Different Tact to Privatize Pennsylvania Liquor Sales

man standing next to wine bottles, wearing a mask

Lawmakers are set to discuss legislation next week to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania through a constitutional amendment.

State Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny, introduced House Bill 2272 on Friday to privatize Pennsylvania’s state run liquor stores through a constitutional amendment that cannot be vetoed.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2016 to privatize the sale of wine and spirits, but the legislation was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf. Pennsylvania is one of only two states with a government monopoly on liquor sales, and the only state in the nation to shut down sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mihalek wrote in a legislative memo accompanying the bill.

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Intel Officially Announces Chip Factory in Ohio

Computer giant Intel Friday officially announced its intention to build a multi-billion dollar semiconductor factory in Ohio.

“Intel today announced plans for an initial investment of more than $20 billion in the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories in Ohio,” a corporate press release said. “The investment will help boost production to meet the surging demand for advanced semiconductors, powering a new generation of innovative products from Intel and serving the needs of foundry customers as part of the company’s IDM 2.0 strategy. To support the development of the new site, Intel pledged an additional $100 million toward partnerships with educational institutions to build a pipeline of talent and bolster research programs in the region.”

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Clermont County Republican Chair Greg Simpson Rescinds Endorsement of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Greg Simpson, County Executive and Party Chairman of the Clermont County Republican Party, rescinded his endorsement of Governor Mike DeWine in his re-election bid.

According to a statement obtained by The Ohio Star, Simpson mistakenly offered the endorsement to the incumbent. The Clermont GOP previously passed a resolution asking party leaders to not endorse a specific candidate in the GOP primary.

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Arizona and Three Other Red States Have Gained All Jobs Back That Were Lost Due to COVID-19

As the economy turns around with the COVID-19 pandemic receding and lockdowns and restrictions fading, some states are recovering better than others. Only Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Idaho, some of the reddest states in the country, have all returned to pre-pandemic job levels. 

According to Adam Kamins, director of regional economics at Moody’s Analytics, this is largely due to people wanting to move to those states. “Those four states have experienced persistently strong population growth, which really wasn’t dented by the pandemic,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “More and more people keep coming from expensive coastal cities to places like Dallas and Phoenix, which have a relatively lower cost of living and higher quality of life.”

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Virginia Sens. Saslaw, Howell Help Republicans Kill Sen. Morrissey’s Parole Expansion Bill

Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) helped Republicans kill Senator Joe Morrissey’s (D-Richmond) SB 109, which would have expanded parole eligibility from people who were juveniles when sentenced to people under 21. Parole has been a key target of Virginia Republicans and tough-on-crime policy is a priority for them as they try to roll back criminal justice reforms passed by Democrats in previous years. Saslaw’s Thursday vote came the day after a committee meeting where he appeared flexible on instituting some mandatory minimums, also a Republican goal.

“Senate Bill 109 expands juvenile parole. During the 2020 General Assembly session, you all recall Senator Marsden’s bill that was Senate Bill 103 that allowed individuals who were sentenced as juveniles, and who have served 20 or more years, to be eligible for parole. That’s now the law. Senate Bill 109 expands  the definition of juvenile and it changes it to youthful offender, which allows individuals who were 20 years of age or younger and who have served twenty years to become parole eligible,” Morrissey explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 17.

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Florida Lawmakers Considering Bill to Limit Voter Registration Access

A bill in the Florida Legislature sponsored by State Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-FL-17) would move to protect private voter information from being accessed in public view. The intention is to keep third party voter registration groups from obtaining private information.

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