Trump’s Preferred Potential Candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Morgan Ortagus, Had History of Bashing Him Before Joining His Administration

President Trump is strongly encouraging Morgan Ortagus to run for Congress in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District but the former state department spokesman has had strong words for him in the past.

When she was a spokeman for the Jeb Bush campaign, Morgan Ortagus referred to President Trump’s words as disgusting and expressed on MSNBC that she was unsure if she would vote for him if he was to become the Republican nominee.

Those previous comments appear to be water under the bridge for President Trump and Ortagus’ relationship. It was previously reported that President Trump issued the following statement on Morgan Ortagus’ potential candidacy:

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Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe Announce New Fiberon Manufacturing and Distribution Operations in Columbia

On Wednesday in a press release, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Fiberon officials announced the company, Fiberon, will establish new manufacturing and distribution operations in Columbia, Tennessee.

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Tennessee Legislator Proposes to Relocate Illegal Aliens to Towns Connected to President Biden and Other Democrat Leaders

A Tennessee legislator has proposed the relocation of illegal aliens in Tennessee to towns that are connected to President Joe Biden and other prominent Democrat leaders.

Tennessee Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris-HD75) filed HB1994 on Wednesday.

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Knox County Health Department Officials Announce New COVID-19 Deaths, Some of Which Actually Occurred Last Fall

Knox County Health Department officials announced 39 additional COVID-19 deaths among county residents on Wednesday for the current reporting period of January 16 through January 22. But Knox County Health Department officials also said 10 of those deaths occurred not this month but in previous months. They said they will add those deaths to their charts according to their dates of death.

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Commentary: Biden’s ‘More Inflation’ Economy Could Prove Fatal for Democrats

“No, it’s a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.”

That was President Joe Biden’s hot mic description of Fox News’ Peter Doocy on Jan. 24 after he asked “Will you take questions on inflation then? Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?”

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Reacts to His Brother U.S. Representative Jim Cooper’s Retirement From Congress

Shortly after Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper announced that he was not seeking re-election, his brother, Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave his reaction.

In a tweet, Mayor Cooper said, “This is a loss, both for Nashville and Washington. Jim is a leader with deep expertise and a great heart.”

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Honors Justice Stephen Breyer’s Tenure, Pledges to Oppose Any Biden Nominee ‘Beholden to Progressive Interests’

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Wednesday released a statement honoring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s tenure, who will reportedly retire later this year.

Breyer’s decision will award President Joe Biden the opportunity to nominate his first Supreme Court appointee.

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Outstanding Tennessee Fairs Honored at 100th Annual Convention

Marking the milestone of 100 years of celebration, the Tennessee Association of Fairs is recognizing the state’s outstanding county, regional, and state agricultural fairs, according to a Wednesday press release by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

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Republican Lawmakers Demand Answers from Mayorkas Regarding DHS Documents TSA Allows Migrants to Use as Identification

Republican lawmakers have demanded the Biden administration answer questions regarding alternate forms of identification the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it accepts from migrants traveling throughout the country.

Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, along with 21 other Republican lawmakers, sent a letter Wednesday to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas raising concerns over a number of DHS documents migrants can use as identification, including certain arrest warrants, and the methods through which they are vetted.

The letter, exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, also seeks information on how border patrol agents and others are able to verify a migrant’s identity when issuing the documents in the first place.

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International Monetary Fund Projects Weaker Than Expected 2022 Economic Growth for U.S. and China

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global economic growth forecast for 2022 on Tuesday, citing growing COVID-19 cases, supply chain bottlenecks and soaring inflation.

The IMF now projects global gross domestic (GDP) product to grow 4.4% in 2022, down from 5.9% growth in 2021, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report published Tuesday. The IMF projected global GDP would reach 4.9% in its Fall report.

“The global economy enters 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected,” the report said, blaming “downside surprises,” including soaring COVID-19 cases and turbulent markets.

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Tennessee State Senate Approves House Legislative District Maps

In their final vote on redistricting, the Tennessee State Senate has approved the state house legislative district maps by a vote of 23-6.

The new district map proposal for the State House was the remaining item on the Senate’s redistricting agenda. The new maps now head to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature.

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If Feds End Soybean Tax, Missouri Bill Would Hike Tax by Same Amount

If the federal government’s .25% assessment on each bushel of soybeans is halted, a bill in the Missouri legislature would capture that amount and add it to the state’s current collection of .25%, giving additional millions to the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

“If the federal goes away and this (bill) were to go into effect, we would continue to collect at a rate of one-half of 1% like we are now,” Rep. Curtis Gregory, R-Marshall, told the House Agriculture Policy Committee on Tuesday during testimony on HB2387. “If the bill doesn’t go into effect and the federal is done away with, we’d revert back…to one-half a penny per bushel…That would not bring in the amount of funds necessary to fund the checkoff mission.”

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Federal Reserve Indicates Interest Rate Hike Arriving in March

With both volatile markets and significant inflation in the mix, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday indicated that it may soon raise interest rates for the first time in more than three years.

“With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” the body said n a highly anticipated statement following its meeting.

The Federal Open Market Committee added that the central bank’s monthly bond-buying will proceed at just $30 billion in February, signaling that the program could come to an end in March as the interest rate increases.

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State Representative Bruce Griffey: ‘I Will Consider’ Introducing a Bill That Tells the Federal Government the State of Tennessee Will Refuse Their K-12 Public Education Money

Wednesday moring on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Represenative Bruce Griffey in studio host Leahy welcomed State Representative Bruce Griffey in studio to answer tough questions on federal funding for K12 public education in Tennessee.

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Iowa Governor Requests DHS Staff Salary Increases, ‘Status Quo’ on Medicaid Funding

For the first time in at least 15 years, an Iowa governor has not recommended funding changes for Medicaid.

The announcement was made by Legislative Service Agency Analyst Jess Benson as he presented Gov. Kim Reynolds’ fiscal year 2023 Department of Health and Human Services budget recommendations Tuesday.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Announces Construction on SR 155/Briley Parkway

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced construction would begin Wednesday, January 26 to repair a section of SR 155/Briley Parkway at mile marker 14 near Gallatin Pike. Alternating lane closures will be conducted while the work takes place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day, depending on the weather. 

The project is expected to last five days; the Rogers Group will begin milling in the fast lane and work their way across all five lanes. Motorists are advised to plan for extra travel time and slow down while in a work zone.

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Commentary: Sen. Hawley Pushes Stepped-Up Human Trafficking Reforms

In a press conference last week that lasted nearly two hours, President Biden expressed frustration with efforts by the opposition party to thwart the more ambitious aspects of his policy agenda.

“Think about this: What are Republicans for?” Biden said defiantly. “What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.” For instance, the president then asked, “What do you think their position on human rights is?”

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Teacher Shortages Nationwide Causing Public Education Crisis

Schools throughout the country are experiencing teacher shortages due to several factors. In some states, legislatures have responded by lowering substitute teaching standards. In others, schools are calling on parents to fill the gap or are simply closing schools because they don’t have enough staff.

School choice advocates say it’s time to start funding students instead of government-run public school systems.

Nationwide, according to Burbio.com’s school closure tracker, 7,164 schools were “actively disrupted (not offering in-person learning) on one or more days during the week beginning January 10th.” Accompanying the tracker is a map, which shows which schools nationwide are closed or are providing no in-person instruction by day and week. The site, an industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and community information, tracks school closures and mask policies.

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Memphis Carjacker Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison

A man from Memphis, Tennessee was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Tennessee announced on Tuesday. Kristopher Harris was sentenced to a total of 8 years plus one month to be served in a federal facility, followed by three years of supervised release.

According to information provided during court, in July of 2019, the victim of the carjacking was sitting in his car at Memphis-area gas station when Harris and his co-defendant, Kalonji Warren drove Warren’s Jeep alongside the victim’s vehicle. Harris then pointed a handgun at the victim and fired a single shot into the front passenger side window.

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Department of Energy to Release Millions of Barrels of Oil From Reserve to Combat Surging Gas Prices

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday the release of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to combat soaring gas prices.

The DOE approved the release of 13.4 million barrels from its SPR, marking the second-largest exchange from the reserve and bringing the total amount of oil released from the cache to almost 40 million barrels.

Exchange contracts for the released oil have were awarded to seven companies. President Joe Biden authorized a plan in November 2021 to release 50 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR in a coordinated effort with China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. to combat surging gas prices and assist in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

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Tennessee Law Enforcement Veteran Chip Kain Will Serve in Dual Role as Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy Exec. Dir. and Exec. Sec. of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) announced this week the appointment of law enforcement veteran leader William “Chip” Kain to serve in a dual role as the new executive director of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) and as the new executive secretary of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST).

“For over 50 years, TLETA has provided training that has been critical to the success of thousands of Tennessee law enforcement officers and the millions of Tennesseans they serve and protect,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “Through an extensive nationwide search, Chip distinguished himself from the many qualified candidates with his experience, expertise, and customer-focused vision. I am confident that he will help lead TLETA into another 50 successful years because of his passion for training law enforcement officers and his proven commitment to serving Tennessee.”

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Biden’s FCC Pick Gigi Sohn Cut Sweetheart Deal with Broadcasters One Day After Nomination

President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn, cut a favorable deal with broadcasters shortly after she was nominated to the regulatory agency.

Sohn previously worked as a director of Locast, a streaming service that transmitted local television broadcasts on the internet. The company was shut down in October 2021 after broadcasters sued and a judge ruled the service was in violation of copyright law. Locast entered into a settlement agreement with broadcasters requiring the service to pay $32 million in damages.

Biden nominated Sohn to an empty commissioner position at the FCC, which is tasked with regulating the broadcast industry, in late October; however, one day after she was nominated, Sohn signed a confidential agreement with broadcasters cutting the amount of damages Locast would pay to around $700,000, according to a copy of the agreement seen by Bloomberg Law.

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Neil W. McCabe Reviews Speaker Pelosi’s Plans, Retirement of Jim Cooper, and Trump’s Nod to Morgan Ortagus

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss Nancy Pelosi’s decision to seek re-election, the retirement announcement of Jim Cooper, and Donald Trump’s recent endorsement of Morgan Ortagus.

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Griffey Says Wife Rebecca Will Run for His Seat in the 75th State House District

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Representative Bruce Griffey of District 75 in studio to discuss his future plans, Kyle’s Law, and breaking news that his wife Rebecca Griffey will pull papers this week to run for his vacant seat.

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State Representative Johnny Garrett Talks BEP, ESAs, and Top Priorties This Session

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Represenative Johnny Garrett (R-TN-45) to discuss top priorities for this session of the Tennessee General Assembly, the potential for adjustment to the Basic Education Program, and the implementation of ESA’s.

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Poll Shows Floridians Like State’s Direction

A new statewide Florida poll shows most Floridians feel the state is heading in the right direction. The poll was conducted at the tail end of 2021, lasting from November 30 through December 9 and was facilitated by TargetSmart.

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Advocacy Group Asks Virginia Senate to Reconsider Ivermectin as COVID-19 Treatment

After Virginia’s Senate Health and Education Committee voted to push discussions on SB 73 indefinitely, one advocacy group is asking the committee to reconsider the vote.

“Senate Bill 73 provides licensed health care providers with prescriptive authority to prescribe, administer, or dispense Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin to a patient with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19,” Joshua Daniel Pratt, MDiv., the Executive Director for Virginia-based Alliance For Free Citizens wrote to the committee. 

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Gov. Evers Announces Distribution of over 5 Million PPE to ‘Fight COVID’

Governor Tony Evers

The governor of Wisconsin has announced that he has distributed over 5 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight COVID so far in 2022. In a press release obtained by The Wisconsin Daily Star, Governor Tony Evers said, “Keeping Wisconsinites healthy and safe continues to be my top priority as the landscape of this pandemic continues to shift and evolve.”

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Senator Ted Cruz Endorses, Campaigns with Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania Senate Race

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorsed Dave McCormick in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, joining the candidate on the campaign trail throughout Pennsylvania.

In his original endorsement, Cruz labeled the army veteran as someone who “will fight back against the woke, liberal agenda.”

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New Ad Blasts Michigan Democratic Party over Controversial Social Media Post

A new ad campaign from the Michigan Freedom Fund blasts the Michigan Democratic Party over a now-deleted, controversial social media post.

Earlier this year, the political party published a Facebook post that contended parents should not have an input on what their children are taught in school.

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Wisconsin Senate Approves Constitutional Amendment to Grant Legislature Power over Dispersement of Federal Funds

Lawmakers in the Wisconsin State Senate on Tuesday approved a measure that would alter the state’s constitution to award the legislature more power when distributing federal funds awarded to the state.

Under current provisions, the governor of the state has the authority to disperse the funds without legislative approval.

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Ohio Department of Transportation ‘Concerned’ About Snow Plow Crashes

After a report saying that 17 Ohio Department of Transportation (OHOT) snow plows have been involved in accidents this winter, ODOT says it is concerned. 

“As for the 17 ODOT plows struck, certainly we’re concerned about that,” Matt Bruning, ODOT’s Press Secretary told The Ohio Star.

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Federal Government Appealing Seminole Gaming Compact Decision

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino entrance

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) filed a notice last week that they intend to appeal a previous judicial ruling that shut down the Seminole Gaming Compact, the News Service of Florida reported Monday. The notice did not clarify details of the arguments the DOI plans to make.

The Seminole Gaming Compact was a multi-billion-dollar agreement between the tribe and the State of Florida where the state recognized the tribe as the sole controller of sports betting in the state. In turn, the state would net billions in revenue from tribal payments.

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Youngkin’s Sec. Natural Resources Designee Andrew Wheeler Faces Tough House, Mild Senate Committee Interviews

Two General Assembly committees grilled former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Youngkin’s pick for Secretary of Natural Resources. Senate Democrats may use their 21 to 19 majority to block his confirmation, a rare move in Virginia politics, but potential swing vote Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) may be open minded. On Wednesday, House Democrats hammered Wheeler in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee.

Before the meeting, House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said she hoped Youngkin would rescind the nomination.

“Mr. Wheeler’s tenure as Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator set back our national climate policy by a generation. We cannot afford more of the same in Virginia,” Filler-Corn said in a press release.

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Youngkin’s Education Tip Line Attracts Democratic Anger; Del. Scott Questions Youngkin’s Faith

Governor Glenn Youngkin’s tip line for parents with concerns about in-school practices is triggering outrage on social media, CNN, and the floor of the House of Delegates.

In a Monday appearance on The John Fredericks Show, Youngkin said the email hotline is “for parents to send us any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools.”

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Another Florida School Board Sued over Concealing Gender Identity Counseling from Parents

The Clay County School Board is being sued by parents that allege school officials hid their 12-year-old daughter’s mental health and gender identity issues for months – only informing them after the child attempted suicide in the school bathroom on two separate occasions. Clay County is located just southwest of Jacksonville.

The father said he was alerted on Jan. 5 that his daughter attempted to commit suicide on campus.

The complaint states that when the child’s parents had arrived at the school, the child was being placed into the back of a police car to be transported to a hospital for involuntary examination under Florida’s “Baker Act” law. The Baker Act allows law enforcement and certain health officials to initiate a mental health examination in the event a person is an imminent risk to herself or others based on apparent mental illness.

School officials allegedly defended their actions by invoking “confidentiality rules” to justify not including the parents in the counseling sessions.

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Minnesota Principal Directs Teachers to Suspend Maskless Students

The principal of Edina High School has directed teachers to remove maskless students from the classroom and suspend those who accumulate multiple “violations” in the same day.

Principal Andy Beaton warned parents in a Monday email that staff will be “ramping up” enforcement of the school district’s mask mandate.

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FDA Cites Non-Peer Reviewed Study to Revoke Monoclonal Antibody Authorization

As reported Tuesday by The Florida Capital Star, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19, but did not provide the data is cited in making its decision. 

Without the help of the FDA, which did not return a follow up comment request Wednesday, The Star was able to locate what appears to be the data used in the decision-making process. It is on the website for the National Institute of Health (NIH), which is headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

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State Rep. Wilmeth Sponsors Bill to Block Public Entities in Arizona from Contracting with Companies That Used Forced Labor from Uyghurs

State Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) is sponsoring legislation to block state and other public entities in Arizona from contracting for services or products from companies that use forced labor from the ethnic Uyghurs in China. Under HB 2488, companies that do business with the state will be required to certify in writing that they do not use that labor.

“As a student of history, I know what happens when good people remain silent,” said Wilmeth. “The Chinese Communist Party keeping millions of people locked in internment camps, which harkens back to the darkest chapters of the 20th century. HB 2488 sends a strong message that the State of Arizona won’t do business with anyone that turns a blind eye to this horrible human rights abuse.”

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Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Says Minnesota Gov. Walz Trying to ‘Buy Election’ with ‘Walz Checks’

A Minnesota gubernatorial candidate released a statement saying Governor Tim Walz (D) is trying to buy the election with Walz checks. Kendall Qualls said, “Governor Walz is trying to buy the election with ‘Walz checks’ without providing any actual economic relief for Minnesota families.”

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Virginia Gov. Youngkin’s Office Responds to Criticism over Critical Race Theory Tip Line

The office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) responded Wednesday to criticism it has drawn over an email Critical Race Theory (CRT) tip line it has made available to Virginia’s parents.

“The governor’s office set up [email protected] as a resource for parents, teachers, and students to relay any questions or concerns,” Youngkin spokesperson Macauley Porter told The Virginia Star. “Governor Youngkin was elected to serve all Virginians and has utilized a customary constituent service, to hear from Virginians and solicit feedback.”

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New Poll Provides Insight to Contentious Georgia Political Races

A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University demonstrates close competitions in both the Georgia gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

Based on the poll, the GOP primary frontrunners have a slim lead over Democrats in multiple hypothetical matchups ahead of the November 2022 midterms.

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Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Whitmer Kidnapping Case

A federal judge refused to dismiss charges against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said defendants who claim government entrapment “have a heavy burden to carry.”

The accused men must show that the government lured them into the plot and have a “patently clear absence of predisposition as a matter of law,” Jonker wrote. “Defendants fail to carry their burden because the evidence on both issues is decidedly disputed as it almost inevitably is at this stage of the case.”

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Florida Algal Blooms Could Get Worse According to State Report

A report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force has found that Florida’s algal blooms and red tide could get worse in the coming years. The report recommends more research into determining the causes of such water quality issues.

The task force was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and found more Floridians could suffer from respiratory illnesses and sea life could die. Algal blooms are increasing amounts of nutrient rich water build-ups found in algae and lead to harmful effects to humans’ breathing and the life of sea animals. Florida’s coastlines and freshwater ecosystems have been enduring intermittent flare ups for years.

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Crom’s Crommentary: The Three Objectives of Bureaucracy–Exist, Expand, Gain Power

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

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Pennsylvania Bill Prohibiting Municipalities from Banning Natural Gas Passes State House

Legislation disallowing local bans on new buildings’ use of natural gas passed the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives Wednesday by a vote of 118 to 83. 

A number of major U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and New York, have prohibited the supply of natural gas to most new buildings. The sponsor of the Pennsylvania bill, Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) said that while local governments in the Keystone State haven’t yet officially barred the fuel’s use, some climate-action plans generated by state and local governments call for such measures. 

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