Haywood County Financial Issues Flagged Again by Tennessee Comptroller

A Tennessee Comptroller Office’s annual financial report of Haywood County had nine findings of deficiency for the second consecutive year.

Four of the findings in the report were a repeat of last year’s audit, which had found five of the nine findings were repeated from the previous year.

Read More

TN-5 Congressional Candidate Robby Starbuck Posts Profanity-Laced Video After The Tennessee Star Questioned Him About His Primary Voting Record

Less than 24 hours after The Tennessee Star asked TN-5 Congressional candidate Robby Starbuck to address questions about his voting record raised by documents obtained from Williamson County election officials, Starbuck released a video taken from a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street where the criminal defends himself before his employees.

In his version, Starbuck superimposed his own face on the face of Jordan Belfort, played Leonardo DiCaprio, using the audio from the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. In 1999, Belfort pled guilt to fraud and other crimes in connection to stock market manipulation and a penny stock scam. He spent 22 months in prison as part of a plea agreement where he testified against partners and subordinates. The Wolf of Wall Street also depicted numerous incidents of drug use, sex, and an instance where a male high on drugs sexually gratified himself.

Read More

Records Show Robby Starbuck Has Never Voted in a Tennessee GOP Primary, Making TN-5 Candidate Vulnerable to Ballot Challenge

Robby Starbuck, who formally declared his run for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District in June 2021, just two years after moving to Tennessee from California, told The Tennessee Star on Saturday “I don’t feel it’s necessary” to explain why he claimed in a January 21 radio interview with The Tennessee Star Report that he voted in two Tennessee GOP primaries in 2020, when voting records provided to The Tennessee Star by Williamson County officials show that he did not vote in either 2020 Tennessee GOP primary.

Tennessee Republican Party bylaws require active Republicans to have either (1) voted in three of the last four GOP primaries or (2) to have their “bona fide” status vouched for by Republicans in the district they seek to represent and then approved in a majority vote by a specially assembled committee of the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee in order qualify to be on the August 2022 GOP primary ballot.

Read More

Congressman Mark Green Urges Diplomatic Solution to Ukraine-Russia Conflict, Issues Stark Warning to Putin

Congressman Mark Green, who traveled to Ukraine with other members of Congress, urged a diplomatic resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has included Russia threatening an invasion.

While speaking at a meeting in Kyiv, the Tennessee lawmaker issued a stark warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin, if he opts to engage in military action.

Read More

Commentary: Woke Capital Won’t Save the Planet – but It Will Crash the Economy

Judged by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s latest letter, January 2022 might turn out to be the highwater mark of woke capitalism. Stakeholder capitalism is not “woke,” Fink says, because capitalism is driven by mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and their stakeholders. He’s right. What Fink describes is capitalism pure and simple, the stakeholder modifier adding nothing to the uniqueness of capitalism in harnessing competition and innovation for the benefit of all.

Fink’s shift is more than rhetorical. Just three years ago, in his 2019 “Profit and Purpose” letter, Fink told CEOs that the $24 trillion of wealth Millennials expect to inherit from their Boomer parents meant that ESG (environment, social, governance) issues “will be increasingly material to corporate valuations.” Now Fink tells them that “long-term profitability” is the measure by which markets will determine their companies’ success, dumping the ESG valuation metrics he’d previously championed.

Read More

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Warns Tennesseans of Identity Theft

silhouette of person with hoodie on

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) warned Tennesseans of identity theft during their Identity Theft Awareness Week. The week (Jan. 31 – Feb. 4, 2022) will include events to help spread awareness on the various forms of online theft, and how to protect personal information. 

According to the statement, the Federal Trade Commission’s Sentinel Network identified over 15,000 instances of identity theft across Tennessee in 2021.

Read More

Eight States Sue Biden Administration over Reinstated Obama-Era Immigration Policy

Eight states are suing the Biden administration claiming it is abusing an Obama-era immigration program that allows minors who entered the U.S. illegally to seek to bring in family members from their home countries.

The lawsuit alleges President Joe Biden challenging the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee and Parole Program was filed by the state of Texas and includes as plaintiffs the states of Arkansas, Alaska, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma.

Read More

Ortagus Wrote in September 2016 ‘Marie Claire’ Article Trump ‘Has Demeaning Words for Women He Doesn’t Like’

  The former spokeswoman for Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, who President Donald J. Trump endorsed for her possible run for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, co-wrote  a September 7, 2016 “Marie Claire” article, “In Defense of Melania Trump,” that criticized how Trump treats women and referred to Melania Trump’s…

Read More

Commentary: The Road to Vengeance

In Fall 2017, the president of Wesleyan University, Michael Roth, invited me to speak as part of a “difficult conversations” initiative. Wesleyan is a determinedly left-wing campus, and Roth saw the occasional conservative visitor as good for the intellectual climate. We were eight months into the Trump Administration, and I’d written pieces for Vox, CNN, the New York Times, and other liberal outlets that suggested I might praise President Trump in a way that would rise above naked partisanship.

I decided on a presentation of Donald Trump as a traditional American rogue figure, a model of Emersonian nonconformity, an outlandish character in a lineage of comic renegades. No other individual in my lifetime mobilized the entirety of respectable opinion in America against himself, I would tell them, and that very fact deserved analysis. Everybody in the elite denounced him—a strange uniformity for a social group that professes its admiration for thinking outside the box. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the swamp, the art world, the media, academia . . . they hated him with a passion that revealed more about themselves than it did about the object of their enmity. He had to have something going for him to evoke such a monolithic pageant of slurs.

I laid this out before an audience of 200, and the faculty in the room more or less got the tongue-in-cheek element (though they asked some tough questions about Trump’s sexism).

Read More

Special Counsel Durham Says Just Learning About Justice Watchdog Horowitz, Sussmann’s 2017 Meeting

Special counsel John Durham and his legal team say they’re just learning about a March 2017 meeting between Justice Department watchdog Michael Horowitz and former Hillary Clinton campaign Michael Sussmann – indicted last year for allegedly lying to the FBI while pushing now-discredited claims about the Trump Organization.

Durham’s team said Tuesday in a court filing they learned only a week ago about the meeting between Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Sussmann, who made the claims in 2016 about communications between a Russia bank and the Trump organization.

“The OIG had not previously informed the Special Counsel’s Office of this meeting with the defendant,” the filing by Durham’s legal team states.

Read More

Federal Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Leases in Gulf of Mexico

On Thursday, a federal judge ruled against a planned sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, claiming, without evidence, that the leases would be damaging to the environment.

As reported by CNN, the Biden Administration made an effort to shut down all oil and gas leases across the country shortly after Biden came to power, with an executive order on January 27th indefinitely halting all new permits for such leases, pending a “rigorous review” of fossil fuel development programs. However, a lawsuit filed by 13 states ultimately led to a federal court in Louisiana blocking Biden’s order, allowing the sale of 80 million acres to move forward in November.

Read More

Ukraine Warns West’s ‘Panic’ over Russian Invasion Could Sink Its Economy

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the West that its “panic” over Russia potentially invading his country risked hurting its economy, BBC News reported.

“There are signals even from respected leaders of states, they just say that tomorrow there will be war,” Zelensky told reporters at a press conference, BBC News reported. “This is panic – how much does it cost for our state?”

The Ukrainian criticized Western countries choosing to withdraw diplomats from Ukraine, calling the move a mistake, BBC News reported. “The destabilisation of the situation inside the country” is the biggest threat to Ukraine, he said.

Read More

Jobless Claims Decrease as Labor Market Recovers Despite Surging COVID-19 Cases

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

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 260,000 in the week ending Jan. 22 as the tight labor market continues to show signs of strength despite surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The Labor Department figure shows a 30,000 claim decrease compared to the week ending. Jan 15 when claims increased to 286,000. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimated that new jobless claims would fall by just 21,000 to 265,000.

Read More

Another Inflation Marker Hits Nearly 40-Year High

Yet another key inflation marker has hit its highest rate in decades, newly released federal economic data show.

The personal consumer index, a key marker of inflation, rose about half a percent in December, adding to a total 5.8% increase in the previous 12 months, according to the Department of Commerce.

Read More

Google Kicks Dan Bongino Off Ads Platform Days After YouTube Ban

Google temporarily suspended conservative talk show host Dan Bongino’s website, Bongino.com, from its ads service, a company spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday.

“We have strict publisher policies in place that explicitly prohibit misleading and harmful content around the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrably false claims about our elections,” the spokesperson said. “When publishers persistently breach our policies we stop serving Google ads on their sites. Publishers can always appeal a decision once they have addressed any violating content.”

The spokesperson added that while Google would not disclose the specific offending content on Bongino.com, the website had been subject to frequent reviews and Google had flagged content in violation of its policies.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Brooklyn Summer

The first time I saw Brooklyn Summer was on Instagram. Something about her made me stop to find out more about her. When I heard a few songs and found it she was just 11, I was blown away.

Even though she is from Los Angeles and has quite a different accent, the energy that Summer puts in her performances reminds me of a mix between a young Brenda Lee and today’s Calista Clark.

Read More

Gubernatorial Candidate Benson Proposes Changes to Minnesota’s Substitute Teacher Licensure

blonde woman in floral blouse

Many Minnesota schools are struggling to find substitute teachers.

State Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, on Friday posted on her campaign website her proposed changes to substitute teacher license regulations, which she claims would increase the pool of short-call substitute teachers and help schools stay open.

Currently, substitute teachers in Minnesota must have a bachelor’s degree (or U.S equivalent as verified by a foreign evaluation) in any field; be enrolled in a teacher preparation program; have completed student teaching, or, for candidates in career and technical education (CTE) fields, have professional certification, associate’s degree, or at least five years of relevant work experience in the CTE field, according to the state application. If they meet those qualifications, they can teach up to 15 consecutive days per teaching assignment. Their license is valid for three years. Currently tiered licensure teachers can use their teaching license.

Read More

Minnesota DFL Rep Pushes Citizen Panels for Disciplining Police Officers

Cedrick Frazier

A Democrat Farm-Labor Party (DFL) member of the Minnesota House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would give private citizens power to oversee the police, and punish them for wrongdoing. 

“[Police Officer Standards and Training Board] (POST) directed to amend portable recording systems policy to require showing and releasing video; civilian oversight councils permitted by local governments to impose discipline on peace officers; citizen oversight councils required to provide information to POST,” says HF 2724, introduced by Rep. Cedric Frazier (DFL-District 45A). 

Read More

Arizona Judge Blocks Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been running into trouble in the courts, with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the mandate for large businesses, and several judges stopping his mandate for federal contractors. The latest one to do so is Judge Michael Liburdi of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix, who ruled on Jan. 27 that the Biden administration lacked authority to implement the mandate.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich brought the lawsuit against the Biden administration over that mandate and others. He told The Arizona Sun Times, “If left unchecked, these unlawful and unconstitutional mandates would essentially override the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to our Constitution, and eviscerate the most basic health care freedoms of millions of Americans. It’s federal overreach at its worst. I will continue to stand up for Arizona. I’m proud to have led the fight against the Biden Administration’s unprecedented power grab. The government shouldn’t be your nanny, and it doesn’t get to be your doctor either.”

Read More

Connecticut Guns Sales Reach Five-Year High During Pandemic

woman in a white dress holding an AR in a gun shop

Gun sales reached a five-year high in Connecticut in 2021, the year that the FBI saw the second-highest number of recorded background checks.

According to Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were 21 million background checks for gun sales in 2020 and 18.5 million in 2021, nationwide. Those figures are the top two highest on record.

“Background checks skyrocketed in March 2020, when there were 2.3 million background checks recorded,” Oliva told The Center Square. “That was the most ever recorded in a single month. That, of course, was the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns. People became concerned for their safety when police were warning they would not be able to respond to all emergency calls because they were seeing COVID infections rise.”

Read More

State Senate Committee Kills Bill That Would Have Expanded Virginia Attorney General Miyares’ Prosecuting Power

The Senate Judiciary Committee killed a bill that would have expanded the power of the Office of the Attorney General to conduct its own criminal prosecutions if requested by local law enforcement. The bill was on Attorney General Jason Miyares’ wishlist and would have allowed Miyares to intervene in cases where Miyares and the chief local law enforcement officer don’t like the way the local Commonwealth’s attorney handles a case.

Under Virginia law, the governor can already ask the attorney general to conduct criminal prosecutions, but otherwise the attorney general’s local prosecutorial power is limited to some specific types of cases. Progressive prosecutors in some jurisdictions have pushed for more lenient sentences, or declined to prosecute certain kinds of cases; that’s frustrated conservatives who say prosecutors should represent the interest of the state, not the accused person.

Read More

Measure Directs $225 Million to Recruit, Retain Pennsylvania Health Care Workers

Pennsylvania Republicans highlighted legislation Wednesday that is moving through the General Assembly to direct $225 million to recruit and retain health care workers for hospitals and behavioral service providers.

Leaders of the House and Senate gathered on the lieutenant governor’s balcony between the two chambers for a news conference on House Bill 253, sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga.

The legislation allocates $225 million to hospitals and behavioral and psychiatric service providers for retention and recruitment programs for staff. The bill is targeted specifically at nurses and other hospital employees, and it excludes hospital executives, administration, contracted staff and physicians.

Read More

Michigan Conservative Group Files for Declaratory Ruling on Gov. Whitmer Recall Fundraising

Gretchen Whitmer

The Michigan Freedom Fund is seeking answers from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson related to her decision to allow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to disburse questionable campaign donations to other Democratic candidates.

The conservative MFF filed a formal request Friday for a declaratory judgment from Benson – who, like Whitmer, is a Democrat – over $3.4 million collected from 119 large donors. Michigan Campaign Finance law limits individual donations to $7,150, but allows an exemption to accept unlimited contributions if a governor is facing a recall attempt.

At the time Whitmer accepted the contributions, there was no active recall effort.

Read More

Gwinnett County Schools Admit to Teaching Marxism and Critical Race Theory

Young male with glasses, sitting in hallway going through paper

Staff at the Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) are teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Marxism to their Advanced Placement language and research combination classes. This, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Action, a right-of-center grassroots network.

Read More

Republicans Pitch Medical Marijuana Plan, Pot Supporters Balk

The latest pitch for legalized marijuana in Wisconsin is getting a sour reception from marijuana supporters at the State Capitol.

Republican Sen. Mary Felzkowski, R-Tomahawk, and Rep. Patrick Snyder, R- Schofield, on Wednesday introduced legislation that would create a new medical marijuana program.

Read More

Ohio Offers $2 Billion in Incentives to Land Intel Facility

Ohio government leaders say nearly $2 billion in incentives and tax breaks given to Intel to build a $20 billion manufacturing facility outside of Columbus will come back to benefit the state.

Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik said Friday that Intel will receive a $600 million grant for building its two plants, plus another $691 million in infrastructure development. The company also will be eligible for another $650 million in job creation tax credits over 30 years.

Read More

Florida Bill Legalizing Food Theft Amended, Passes Committee

Florida State Sen. Jim Boyd (R-FL-21) sponsored legislation that would crack down on organized retail theft, but included a provision that would have legalized theft of food items so long as the thief consumed the food.

Critics of the legislation quickly pointed out that the provision in the bill resembled Proposition 47 in California, which was adopted in 2014. The proposition made thefts of $950 or less a misdemeanor.

Read More

Members of Tennessee Committee Overseeing Refugee Issues Say Feds Trample All over Tennessee and Other Red States

Chris Todd and Richard Briggs

Two members of Tennessee’s Joint Study Committee on Refugee Issues said this week that, try as they might, state officials can’t do much to regulate or control how the federal government handles refugees within the state. “The conservatives on the committee are frustrated over how little it appears we have control of this. We have no information,” said Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County).

Read More