Biden Boomerang: Newly Released State Memos Undercut Democrats’ Ukraine Impeachment Story

Just months before Joe Biden forced his firing, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor was told by U.S. State Department officials that they were “impressed” with his anti-corruption plan and fully supportive of his work, according to newly released memos that cast doubt on a key Democrat impeachment narrative.

During former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial two years ago, House Democrats alleged that Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired in March 2016 because State officials were widely displeased with his anti-corruption efforts and not because Shokin’s office was investigating the Ukrainian gas firm that had given then-Vice President Biden’s son Hunter a lucrative job.

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Voting History Claims Made by Starbuck Not Confirmed by Williamson County GOP Chair

Robby Starbuck, a candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District’s claims about his voting history were not confirmed by the Williamson County Republican Chair.

Robby Starbuck previously claimed that he voted in August of 2020 and March of 2020 Tennessee Republican primaries when records provided by Williamson County election officials showed that he did not vote in either. In statements provided to The Tennessee Star, Starbuck referenced conversations with Williamson County GOP Chair, Cheryl Brown, to support his claims.

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Schweizer: Has $31 Million from the Chinese Compromised President Biden?

The investigative journalist whose new book “Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win” exposes Chinese Communist Party influence in the United States told The Star News Network President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his family collected $31 million from the CCP and military-intelligence entities under its control.

“The Biden Family has collected some $31 million from deals in China. You’ve got intelligence officials involved, or at least indirectly involved, which raises very troubling questions about whether the Biden Family is compromised,” said Peter Schweizer, whose new book exposes the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated Capitol Hill, Wall Street, sports, entertainment and higher education.

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Calls on Bordeaux and North Nashville Businesses to Register as Nashville Vendors and Suppliers

John Cooper

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is calling on small business owners in Bordeaux and North Nashville to join the participatory budgeting initiative by registering as Metro Nashville vendors and suppliers.

In a statement, Mayor Cooper also said those small business owners should be “ready for competitive procurement opportunities as these projects take shape.”

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Tennessee Senators Hagerty and Blackburn Join Colleagues in Calling on President Biden to Enforce Sanctions on Iranian Oil Tankers

Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined eight colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that he enforce mandatory sanctions against the growing fleet of oil tankers selling Iranian oil and against the entities purchasing this oil.

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Tennessee Legislators File Bill Requiring Medical Cannabis Commission Report by Jan 1, 2023

Two Tennessee legislators have filed a bill requiring the Medical Cannabis Commission issue to issue its report by Jan 1, 2023.

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixon-SD11) filed SB2072 on January 27. 2022. State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro-HD48) filed the companion bill, HB2192, on January 31st, 2022.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: Joe Biden and the Uses of Nihilism

Chaos is the new, the intentional, normal. A pandemic of nihilism has been unleashed upon the land. As in Lord of the Flies, when laws, rules, protocols, traditions, and customs are mocked and dismantled, primitive human nature in the raw is unleashed. 

Madness now reigns in every quarter, from the iconic to the irrelevant to the fundamental. Statues of Lincoln, Douglass, and Jefferson are toppled or defaced. The rules of capitalization have been altered. We are told that 1619, not 1776, was our founding date—and this by a “civil rights” activist-journalist who had no idea of the date that the Civil War began.

Quite quickly after the revolutionary boilerplate, America began reverting to its natural Hobbesian or Thucydidean essence. If you dispute that, look at looted packages along the Union Pacific tracks in Los Angeles. Try walking the nocturnal streets of Chicago or Baltimore. Visit the sidewalk homeless of San Francisco. Fly over our constipated ports. Drive into our empty new car dealerships. Pull up to our European-priced gas pumps. Shop in the emptying shelves of our Sovietizing food and discount stores. The common theme of the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show, apparently, is that the entertainers must have written lyrics threatening the police, denigrating women, using the N-word . . . and be worth $100 million.

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Advocacy Group Poll Shows Tennessee Voters Support Right-to-Work Amendment

The committee advocating for a right-to-work constitutional amendment said a recent poll shows 64% of Tennesseans will vote “yes” to add the amendment to the state constitution.

The Vote Yes on 1 poll, conducted by Cygnal between Jan. 24-26, surveyed 500 likely general election voters. The poll had a margin of error of 4.34%.

Eighteen percent of those polled said they would vote against the amendment.

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North Korea Reports Having Launched Missile Capable of Hitting U.S. Territory Guam

North Korea's ballistic missile

North Korea acknowledged Monday having test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. territory Guam.

South Korea and Japan first reported Sunday that the Hwasong-12 missile had been launched – making it the seventh nuclear-capable missile having been launched since 2017 by the rogue nation.

The North Korean state news said the missile was fired as a test and took a high trajectory to avoid flying over neighboring countries. The projectile flew just under 500 miles before landing in the sea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Thoughts on Bill Lee’s State of the State on Education

States are where policymaking magic happens because they can experiment with innovative policy ideas. Tennessee citizens are unsurpassed in courage, passion, determination, and kindness reflected in our diversity; that is actually why Tennessee is America at Its Best. As a state, we must set our agenda with relentless optimism and resolve toward our future. In education, we understand that there must be needed changes in school funding, including additional monies. Governor Lee’s proposal in the State of the State tonight needs much deeper review, study, and time. In Tennessee, we do not “pass the bill so people can find out what’s in it.”

The Tennessee Constitution requires the General Assembly to provide for the maintenance, support, and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. There are many key policy levers needed to improve public education and many are interlinked. Teachers are the critical element in improving education. It’s not about more programs, more standards, or more tests. It’s about that relationship between an adult and a child. Students need an adult who believes in them and their ability to succeed in life. Moving education policy is a lot like the game Jenga. If you remove the wrong piece the structure collapses. This is especially true in education funding. Without skilled personnel, education cannot succeed.

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Selmer Man, Already a Felon, Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Tennessee announced recently that Revosea Richardson was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for the intent to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine. Richardson, who is a Selmer, Tennessee resident, was also found guilty of “conspiring with others to distribute” and being in possession of a firearm as a felon.

According to information presented in court, Richardson was taken into custody when he admitted to an officer during a traffic stop that he had outstanding warrants.

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Year-end Review of the University of Tennessee Shows Increases in Enrollment and Graduation Rates

According to a news release by The University of Tennessee, the university Board of Trustees Executive Committee met last week and received a year-end review of significant achievements from UT System President Randy Boyd.

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Pipeline Rupture Causes Massive Oil Spray Into Amazon Rainforest

A South American energy company was forced to halt operations of a pipeline traveling through the Amazon rainforest after a rupture caused a large leak of crude oil, multiple sources reported.

OCP Ecuador, which generates about $133 million in annual revenue transporting oil in the region, had immediately started a clean up and mitigation effort when the leak was discovered, the company said in a statement Saturday. The rupture was likely caused by a rock fall in the area which damaged the pipeline infrastructure, NBC News reported.

Roberto Grijalva, OCP Ecuador’s Operations Manager, said the company was committed to taking all measures necessary to prevent further damage to the environment. The Ecuadorian government, meanwhile, added that it was closely monitoring the rupture.

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Federal Study Pays Minors to Report Sexual Behavior Without Permission from Parents

A federal study asks underage boys to report their sexual behavior to a mobile app in exchange for up to $275 all without requiring permission from their parents, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Researchers at Columbia University funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have spent more than eight million dollars of taxpayer money on a study that pays gay and transgender minors as young as 13 to track their sexual behavior on an app called MyPEEPS without parental permission, the Free Beacon reported. Questions such as whether or not they have “condomless anal sex” are asked as part of the study.

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Amazon Whistleblower Who Was Imprisoned and Beaten in China Asks Company for Apology

A Chinese man alleging that he was imprisoned and tortured after he revealed substandard working conditions in factories making Amazon products is asking the company for an apology.

Tang Mingfang spent two years in prison after he shed a light on working conditions inside Foxconn factories manufacturing Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Kindle devices, he told The Guardian. Tang said he was beaten and tortured by Chinese authorities during his internment.

“I think Amazon should give me an explanation, tell me if I really deserve to be sent to jail?” Tang said. “If not, Amazon should give me an apology, along with its partner, Foxconn, to assist me to appeal for a redress, and provide compensation.”

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26-Year-Old Biological Male Sentenced to Girls’ Juvie For Molesting a Child after Coming out as Trans

An adult biological male child molester will be housed in a juvenile detention facility for girls because he began identifying as a woman after being taken into custody, according to Fox News.

William Tubbs, a 26-year old who now goes by “Hannah,” pled guilty to molesting a 10-year-old girl when he was two weeks shy of 18, Fox News reported. Prosecutors said that Tubbs grabbed the 10-year-old victim by the throat, locked her in a bathroom stall and put his hands down her pants, Fox News reported.

Tubbs did not claim to be a woman until after he was taken into custody for the attack, prosecutors told Fox News. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon refused to prosecute Tubbs as an adult.

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Republicans Staunchly Opposed to House Democrats’ China Bill, Potentially Delaying Its Passage

US Capitol Infrastructure

House Republicans are staunchly opposed to Democrats’ proposed bill to bolster American competitiveness against China, potentially complicating their goal of passing legislation by the beginning of March.

White House officials have said that passing the bill before President Joe Biden’s March 1 State of the Union is a top priority, but the House bill is a stark departure from the Senate’s legislation that sailed through on a bipartisan vote in June 2021. And while House Democrats can pass their version without Republican support if nearly all of them vote in favor, there is no guarantee that their bill would reach the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate.

Further, any House-passed bill would likely head to a conference, where House and Senate leaders would privately meet in an attempt to work out their differences and compromise on a bill that can pass both chambers. Not only would that process require additional time, but Senate Republicans would have great leverage given the chamber’s 60-vote threshold.

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University Diversity Training Uses Same Redacted Slur It Punished Professor for Putting in Exam

A public university forced a law professor to take “sensitivity training” that used the very “expurgated slur” he was punished for including in a law exam question, according to a First Amendment lawsuit seeking $100,000 in damages.

The University of Illinois Chicago allegedly violated its agreement with Jason Kilborn not to require such training after the Rev. Jesse Jackson joined black student protests demanding his firing last fall.

Kilborn’s employment discrimination question of 10 years, which the lawsuit claims prompted “one or two” complaints for the first time in 2020, referred to a hypothetical plaintiff whose managers “expressed their anger” at her by “calling her a ‘n___’ and ‘b___’ [sic].”

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Dr. Carol Swain and Crom Carmichael Discuss the Candidates for the Hotly Contested Fifth Congressional District of Tennessee

Tennessee Capitol Building as viewed from Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Downtown Nashville.

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelists Carol Swain and Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss identity politics and the candidates for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District.

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Dozens of Firearms Stolen from Trains in Los Angeles

handgun with ammo

In the latest train robbery in the city of Los Angeles, dozens of firearms, including handguns and shotguns, were stolen from a cargo train in a massive raid.

As reported by ABC News, three suspects arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) last summer were found to be in possession of some of the new .22-caliber handguns from the stolen cache. The guns were found to match the larger batch of 36 handguns stolen from the train that had been bound for Tennessee, according to police.

One of the suspects admitted that the guns were stolen while the train was in the Lincoln Heights rail yard, which has become a prime target for train robberies in recent months. Later, two more suspects were arrested with shotguns that were found to have come from a larger batch of 46 shotguns that had also been stolen from the train.

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REPORT: More than 18 Christian Universities Actively Promote Abortion Providers

Person sitting down. Praying hands on a Bible

Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) recently documented dozens of Christian-affiliated schools that maintain ties with or reference to Planned Parenthood.

Campus Reform found many of these schools are also tied to abortion in other ways. Below is a sampling of Christian-affiliated universities and colleges that promote abortion advocacy and providers. 

Texas Christian University

Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

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Suspended Professor Who Was Forced to Take Diversity Training Sues University

A professor who was targeted and suspended after using censored language in a test question to make an example of employment discrimination just filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

The controversy began in 2020 when Jason Kilborn, a law professor at UIC, posed a hypothetical question in an exam surrounding illegal discrimination in the workplace. The question referenced anti-black and anti-women slurs, but were not fully spelled out. Instead, they were simply displayed by their first letters, “n” and “b.”

Despite keeping the words censored, a petition was launched against Kilborn condemning him for the contents in question. A short time after, UIC suspended Kilborn and announced he would be forced to take a five-week diversity training course in order to return to teaching.

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Commentary: The GOP Can Reclaim the Child Tax Credit – And Use it to Win in 2022

family of three eating pizza

As part of his Contract with America, House Speaker (and my former boss) Newt Gingrich helped first introduce the Child Tax Credit (CTC), passing it in 1997. Originally the idea of President Ronald Reagan, the CTC was founded on the conservative principles that raising children is God’s work, and parents should not be punished or held back for choosing family in a country that is always moving forward. President Trump continued this tradition by doubling the CTC in 2017. As Speaker Gingrich said during a 1995 speech, “We believe that parents ought to have the first claim on money to take care of their children rather than bureaucrats.”

Democrats reformed the CTC in 2021, as part of their wildly overdone American Rescue Plan. They’ve sought to continue their changes to the CTC in the even-more-overdone Build Back Better Act (BBB), a hulking Frankenstein of bad Democratic ideas. But the new version of the CTC may be an exception. It continues fulfilling Speaker Gingrich’s contract, empowering families to work and earn, and to raise their children with their own values. The spirit and core of that policy is even better reflected by flat, poverty-busting monthly disbursement of the credit. It’s the only salvageable ship in the sinking BBB fleet.

The CTC – in its 2021 form – does not stray too far from the $500-per-child tax cut that was initially passed in 1997. The payments, which provided eligible families with up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child aged 6 to 17, stimulated regional economies, protected families from rising costs, provided direct cash relief, and removed bureaucratic hurdles.

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Professor Carol M. Swain Discusses Her Qualifications and the Potential of a Supreme Court Justice Nomination

Carol M. Swain, PhD.

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Dr. Carol M. Swain in studio to discuss her qualifications for a US Supreme Court Justice position.

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Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Ends State Sen. Obenshain’s Efforts to Reverse Collective Bargaining Law in Virginia

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee killed two bills from Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) aiming rollbacks at Virginia’s collective bargaining laws. SB 374 would have removed locality authority to enter into collective bargaining agreements with public employees, and would have removed locality authority to require contracts to be performed at prevailing wage.

“The effect of these legislative changes that I’m seeking to undo is that, really, we’ve thrown open the doors for large out-of-state union contractors to come in and take jobs and opportunities away from Virginia contractors, Virginia employees. It deprives us of the benefit of our right to work status,” Obenshain said to the committee chaired by Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax). “This is a pro-jobs, pro-Virginia, pro-individual liberty, pro-Virginian piece of legislation.”

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Ohio State University Adjusts COVID-19 Protocols for Students, Faculty, Staff, and Visitors

Aerial view of Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is adjusting some COVID-19 health and safety protocols for students, faculty, staff and visitors, according to a Monday press release by the university.

In a message from Senior Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers and Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith, Buckeyes are asked to follow “local and university mask mandates, appropriate physical distancing, availability of PPE and hand sanitizer, limited distribution of literature and other items, and any other recommendations event planners, coordinators and public health advisors may have” when it comes to in-person gathering.

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Kari Lake Commentary: Ending Homelessness in Arizona

Arizona is a state defined by limitless potential, a spirit of boundless liberty, and exceptional care for our neighbors. But Arizona’s political leadership has failed by plunging our cities into a crisis of unhelpful compassion and false sincerity. Throughout this campaign, and in my previous job as an Arizona journalist , I’ve had the opportunity to explore almost every inch of this beautiful state. And I’ve seen with dawning horror the growing homelessness crisis afflicting our cities. As Governor, I’ll protect our citizens from crime by ending this crisis and restore dignity to the homeless our political class has turned their backs on.

To start, we must empower police to bring order to our streets and protect our citizens from the affliction of homelessness: crime, sexual assaults, human trafficking, and public intoxication. Public spaces like parks and city sidewalks are not taxpayer sponsored reservations for the mentally-ill and drug addicted. We had tent cities in Arizona before, ironically, the left weren’t big fans of those back then. These spaces are a part of our communities and our homes. Commuters should never have to worry they’ll be mugged or carjacked, parents should never fear for their child’s safety at the park, and women should never fear potential sexual assault on our streets. We can quickly restore order by implementing a statewide urban camping ban, enhancing quality-of-life law enforcement, and aggressively arresting, and prosecuting, homeless individuals who break the law. Safety must come first, and Arizona must not be allowed to deteriorate into a dead city like San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

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DeSantis Announces $80 Million for South Florida Infrastructure

Gov. Ron DeSantis talking at a podium

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced $80 million is being warded to multiple South Florida communities to help develop and revitalize storm infrastructure projects. The projects are a part of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

The City of Miami will receive almost $20 million to support flooding and stormwater inlets. Miami will receive an additional $18.4 million to go to the community of East Little Havana to alleviate repeated flooding issues.

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Consumer Confidence Dropped in Arizona in Fourth Quarter of 2021

Arizonans ended the year with lower consumer confidence than there had been in the three months prior.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber released its 2021 fourth quarter Arizona Business Index, a poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights. It showed that consumers have less confidence in the economy fell in the third quarter.

The Economic Optimism Index dropped 4.81 points to 74.5. Notably, 85% of consumers think prices will increase, up 2.6% from the third quarter; and 73% think interest rates will rise, a 5.9% increase over the third quarter.

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Commission Wants New Ohio Legislative Maps to Stay At Least Through General Election

The Ohio Redistricting Commission wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow a second round of state legislative district maps to stand at least through this year’s elections.

The request comes as part of the commission’s response to challenges to the new maps that were forced to be redrawn after the court ruled the original maps illegally favored Republicans.

The commission asked for a decision by Feb. 11 or stay the issue until after the 2022 general election, allowing the revised plan to stay in effect until then.

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Former U.S. Representative Clarence ‘Bud’ Brown Dies at Age 94

Former Congressman Clarence ‘Bud’ Brown passed away at the age of 94 on Wednesday, according to an obituary posted online at a funeral home in his hometown of Urbana.

The Republican lawmaker represented Ohio’s 7th Congressional District for almost two decades and worked in the Reagan administration, including as Acting Secretary of Commerce.

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Georgia Republican Legislator Denies His Bill Gives In-State Tuition to Illegal Immigrants

State Representative Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock) on Monday denied that a new bill he’s sponsoring would grant in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants.

This, even though the website Immigration Politics Georgia has warned about the bill, HB 932.

Cantrell filed the bill this month, according to the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

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Arizona Attorney General Asks Mayorkas to Stop Letting Illegal Migrants Travel Through U.S. Airports Over Policy Allowing Them to Use Arrest Warrants as IDs

Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Jan. 27 demanding that he stop allowing illegal migrants to travel through U.S. airports over a TSA policy permitting them to use arrest warrants as identification.

“Until there is a federal commitment to securing the border and enforcing existing laws, our office requests that you prohibit travel through U.S. airports by any migrant that is illegally here,” Brnovich wrote.

“It is an affront to the most basic common sense to allow anyone to use an ‘arrest warrant’ as acceptable identification to pass through government security,” he said.

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Pennsylvania Leaves Local Taxpayers Footing Bill for Stormwater Management

A Pennsylvania state senator is raising the alarm over millions of dollars the commonwealth owes to local municipalities for unpaid stormwater management fees.

The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing to discuss the commonwealth’s refusal to pay required fees to more than 2,500 municipalities to manage stormwater run-off.

Local officials told lawmakers last week state and federal laws require municipalities to manage the runoff, but only the U.S. government covers its portion of the cost.

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Youngkin $300 Tax Refund Bill Advances in House Finance Subcommittee

A House of Delegates Finance subcommittee advanced a bill to provide a $300 income tax refund for individuals and $600 for married persons for the 2021 tax year, a key promise from Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Day One Game Plan.

“Virginia has seen a steady increase in its tax revenues, and it’s far exceeding the forecasted growth, largely due to an increase in non-withholding taxes and a standard deduction below the federal level. Virginians have overpaid on their taxes as evidenced by the state’s surplus, and should have some of their money repaid. The aid given to Virginia from the federal government to facilitate the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Virginia ending its 2021 fiscal year with a surplus of over $2.6 billion,” HB 935 sponsor Delegate Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) said in the Monday subcommittee meeting.

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School Choice Helps Achieve the American Dream, Says Georgia U.S. Senate Candidate Herschel Walker

U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, in an opinion piece for Fox News, detailed that school choice will help individuals achieve the American Dream.

In the piece, the former NFL star detailed his struggles with speaking while he was a child. Because of help from educators and determination, Walker became more confident and improved academically.

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Commentary: The End of America Is Not That Hard to Imagine

Black Lives Matter Protest in DC

Lately, we keep hearing about this or that “threat to the republic,” ironically mostly involving something Republicans are doing or purporting to do, but I’m starting to think maybe (stop me if you’ve heard this before) the real threat is a cabal of powerful people who don’t want to give up power.

My recent column about the parallels between a science fiction novel and the Biden White House raised a couple of key questions: How much of what we know “for certain” is just a reflection of dubious assertions we have been told so often that we take them for granted? Assertions that, if not lies, are untested allegations and assumptions that fit a narrative we have been programmed to accept at face value?

In other words, how much of what we know for sure is just wishful thinking (ours, or someone else’s)? Are we living in some kind of mass psychosis that lets us forget about real and present dangers to our nation and our future while we focus on boogeymen?

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Army Veteran John James Announces Michigan Congressional Run

John James Announces Michigan Congressional Run

Two-time Senate candidate and Army Veteran John James Monday announced that he is jumping into the congressional race in Michigan’s 10th district. 

“I fought on the battlefield for American lives and in business for good-paying jobs that fuel livelihoods. I will continue to fight for the hardworking families in Michigan’s 10th district as today I announce my run for Congress,” James said in a Twitter post. 

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Minnesota Lawmakers Kick Off 2022 Session with $7B, Priorities

The Minnesota Legislature kicked off its first day of the 2022 session with plans to crack down on violent crime and spend down $7.7 billion of taxpayer surplus.

Senate Republicans are targeting tax cuts, reducing crime, and empowering parents in education, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said in a press conference last week.

“We are hearing from folks across the state and people are concerned. Crime is up, kids are falling behind, and record inflation is eating away at family budgets. Things are moving in the wrong direction and Senate Republicans are focused on solutions to get Minnesota back on the Right Track,” Miller, said in a statement. “We will fund more police officers and hold criminals accountable to reduce crime. We’ll empower parents to be partners in their kids’ education so they can catch up and meet expectations after nearly two years of disrupted learning. We will provide permanent, ongoing tax relief so people have more money in their pockets after every paycheck.”

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Democratic Gubernatorial Hopeful Nikki Fried Calls DeSantis ‘a Fraud,’ Promotes Misinformation in Political Attack

Nikki Fried and Ron DeSantis

Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried promoted false information in a political attack related to Governor DeSantis’s support for $80 million in infrastructure funds allocated to South Florida projects.

Fried, who recently compared DeSantis to Adolf Hitler, is currently facing fundraising challenges in her race against U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

DeSantis recently announced more than $80 million in awards to South Florida communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. DeSantis noted that the funding received through the grant program will enhance community infrastructure, support the environment, and mitigate against damage from future storms.

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Virginia Senate Committee Advances Parole Board Transparency Bill

David Suetterlein

A Virginia Senate committee advanced legislation that would increase parole board transparency by making their votes on whether someone receives parole available to the public upon request.

Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke, advanced through the General Laws and Technology Committee on a 14-1 vote with substantial bipartisan support. Current law does not prohibit the parole board from disclosing information regarding parole votes, but does not give them any obligation to do so.

Speaking to the committee, Suetterlein said his legislation would simply make the votes public, which is similar to almost every other action undertaken by the state government.

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Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Push for Public-School Funding Increase

Pennsylvania Senate Minority Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) announced Monday he aims to achieve the largest public-school funding boost in state history this year.

Basic education funding has already seen a record-setting four-percent spending increase for the current fiscal year, with $7.07 billion in state-taxpayer dollars now going to public schools. (About twice that amount also gets allotted to schools annually from local property-tax revenues.)

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Georgia Lawmakers Ban State Contracts with Business Boycotting Israel

State agencies would be barred from doing business with any company or contractor unless they vow not to boycott Israel under a bill approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

The House voted, 146-9, to approve the Senate’s changes to House Bill 383. The amended bill was approved by the Senate, 47-2, last March, but it did not make it back to the House for a final vote before the end of the 2021 legislation session.

“Trade with Israel is a compelling state interest for the state of Georgia, I would argue, and this bill preserves free speech rights for individuals and sole proprietorships,” said Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, who presented the bill Thursday on the House floor. “But it also says we as a state are not going to contract – we’re updating our statute to say we are not going to contract with groups that embrace boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.”

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Sports Betting Ballot Initiative Misses Deadline

The sports betting areas inside the casinos are like trading floors.

A proposed ballot initiative seeking to become a Florida Constitutional amendment backed by sports betting giants DraftKings and FanDuel fell short of a petition gathering deadline. The ballot measure is now dead in the water after receiving only 502,903 verified petitions. Constitutional ballot measures require 891,589 verified petitions by February 1 to move forward in Florida’s constitutional process.

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Prominent Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Josh Shapiro Cites ‘Scheduling Conflict’ During Biden Pennsylvania Visit

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and a prominent candidate for the state’s governor, did not attend President Joe Biden’s appearance in the state, citing an unexplained “scheduling conflict.”

The scheduling issue comes as President Biden’s poll numbers continue to drop. According to the latest numbers, compiled by Reuters, only 45 percent of individuals approve of his job performance.

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Minnesota Republicans Plan to Address Forced Masking in School

Young girl with brown hair wearing black mask

Republican lawmakers in Minnesota have set out their priorities for the upcoming legislative session beginning Monday.

One of them is to address the issue of forced masking in classrooms across the state.

At a Wednesday press conference announcing the Senate GOP’s priorities, Sen. Roger Chamberlain stated that in the educational sphere they will focus on getting “back to basics.”

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Sen. Darling: Break Up Milwaukee Schools, Allow for Choice

Senator Alberta Darling

The latest school choice plan in Wisconsin would break up Milwaukee’s public schools.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, introduced the plan.

“Wisconsin was the first state to give parents more say in their children’s education and future. We have an opportunity to build on our reputation and reclaim our status as a national model for reforming K-12 education,” Darling said in a statement.

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Tennessee Public School Students Required to Praise School Board Members for School Board Appreciation Week

Public school students throughout Tennessee last week celebrated School Board Appreciation Week, where students were encouraged to praise their local school board members. Staff, students, and parents at public schools were asked to adopt a board member. They sent cards and artwork to board members. They were also asked to create school board appreciation posters or ask students to draw posters of them.

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