New TN-5 Hopeful Ortagus Brings Star Power, National Media to Race for GOP Nomination in District That Now Leans Republican

A newly announced TN-5 candidate is receiving a lot of national attention.

Former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus’ first week as a candidate in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat included several national interviews.

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Quincy McKnight Drops Out of TN-5 Republican Primary, Endorses Ortagus, and Announces Run for Nashville Mayor

The candidate field in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat has shrunk, with one candidate dropping out.

In a statement given to The Tennessee Star, Nashville businessman Quincy McKnight announced that he is dropping out of the race and is endorsing former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus.

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School District in Washington State Holding Racially Segregated Superintendent Search Meetings for Parents

A Washington school district plans to hold racially segregated meetings for parents and guardians who wish to participate in the search for a new superintendent.

As afternoon radio host Jason Rantz reported at MYNorthwest Wednesday, the Issaquah School District’s (ISD) weekly bulletin for February 7 listed its “upcoming events,” including separate meetings for “Parents/Guardians of Color.”

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Secretary of State’s Office Warns of New ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ Scam Targeting Tennessee Businesses

Secretary of State Tre Hargett warned Tennessee business owners in a video message about a new scam targeting businesses with a deceptive mailer from a company called Business Document Center incorrectly implying that businesses need a Certificate of Good Standing.

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Senator Bill Hagerty Bashes Biden over Continued Inflation

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Thursday bashed President Joe Biden’s agenda due to continued inflation felt throughout the country.

The remarks from Hagerty follow a report from the U.S. Department of Labor, which detailed that consumer prices were up 7.5% compared to last year. The staggering number is the highest level since 1982.

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License Plate Reader Use and Grant Approvals Highlight Metro Council’s Next Meeting Agenda

Metro Nashville Council has published the agenda for its February 15, 2022 meeting.

License plate reader (LPR) use, mental health professionals and the Metro Nashville Police Department, zoning, easements, contracts, and grant approvals are issues that dominate the Metro Council’s meeting agenda.

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Tennessee Representative Diana Harshbarger Joins Colleagues in Demanding President Joe Biden Immediately Undergo a Cognitive Test

Tennessee Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) joined Texas Representative Ronny Jackson, M.D. (R-TX-13) and colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden, his physician, and his chief medical advisor, renewing calls for the president to immediately undergo a cognitive test and share the results with the American people.

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Commentary: The Mystery of the Migrant Kids the Feds Are Spiriting into the U.S.

After months of delay, the Department of Homeland Security replied late last month to a Congressional demand for information about the number of illegal migrants the department has flown from border towns to communities around the country. In 2021, it said, 71,617 were dropped off in nearly 20 cities including locales as far from the Mexican border as Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

Immigration experts critical of the Biden administration’s permissive immigration policies believe those numbers are incomplete, especially regarding the most vulnerable migrants, those under 18, whom DHS classifies as “unaccompanied children.” The agency says some 40,000 of the total transported are such minors, but that number is only a fraction of the 147,000 “encounters” the agency reports having with unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border between January and October 2021.

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All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on Iran Letter That 34 Republican Senators Sent to the Biden Administration

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to comment upon the recent letter signed by 34 Republican Senators regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

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Dems Pivot on COVID Response, Attempt to Rewrite History

With the midterm elections in sight, President Biden and fellow Democrats in Congress and governors’ mansions nationwide are completing a 180 on their COVID-19 response, abandoning the president’s promise to “shut down” the virus as Americans say they want to “get on with their lives.”

In the process, Democrats have begun to lift key COVID-19 restrictions and return to normal life — the same approach, long embraced by red states, that they once rebuked as cruel and dangerous. Yet Biden and his Democratic allies are now taking credit for ending the pandemic while adopting these same policies.

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Report: Federal Unemployment Benefits Kept Millions from Returning to Work

Increased federal benefits last year perpetuated unemployment and kept millions of Americans from returning to the workforce, a new study released Wednesday reports.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation published the report, which evaluated the impact of federal handouts, particularly the controversial federal unemployment payments of $300 per week. More than two dozen states opted out of the federal program before it was set to  expire last year, citing the elevated joblessness, while blue states largely continued to take the federal money.

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Commentary: The Department of Homeland Security Is Becoming the American Thought Police

The Department of Homeland Security, which under the Biden Administration routinely lets watch-listed terrorists cross the southern border unmolested, and which approved entry to the United States for Colleyville Synagogue hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram despite his being known to British authorities as a terror risk, has taken upon its broad bureaucratic shoulders an even more challenging job.

Stopping the flow of MDM.

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ICE Deportations Decrease by 70 Percent Under Biden in 2021

An annual report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reveals that the agency deported fewer illegal aliens in 2021 than in the preceding five years, with a staggering 70 percent drop from the number of deportations in 2020.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, ICE’s report showed that just under 55,600 illegals were deported in 2021. In 2020, by contrast, over 185,000 illegals were deported, while over 267,000 were deported in 2019.

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Inflation Surges Far Above Projections

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.6% in January, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 7.5%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

The CPI remained at its near four-decade high throughout January, growing 7.5% on a year-over-year basis, the BLS reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the index would rise around 7.2%.

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Biden’s Average Approval Rating Drops Below 40 Percent

President Joe Biden’s nationwide average job approval rating fell below 40% for the first time Thursday, multiple sources reported.

Biden’s mean approval rating sunk to 39.8% as of early Thursday, according to the Real Clear Politics average of major nationwide job performance polls. The figure is just 2.7 points above former President Donald Trump’s all-time low approval rating of 37.1% in December 2017, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

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Commentary: Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds

Now that it’s easier than ever to trade stocks and crypto thanks to apps like Robinhood and Etrade, it’s time to think about other options. People were quick to jump on the crypto bandwagon when Doge went to the moon in early to mid-2021, but the crypto crash later that year reminded everyone what an unsafe investment it really is. For those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, there are options beyond the new-school cryptocurrencies, or the traditional stocks and bonds. Keep reading to learn about exchange-traded funds or ETFs.

To put it as simply as possible, an exchange-traded fund is like taking a specific type of investment, say a commodity like gold, and collecting it together in a single group. Instead of buying gold on your own, you can invest in shares of a gold ETF. But why would you want to do that? Well, gold is expensive. To buy a meaningful amount you’d need to invest thousands of dollars. Not to mention you’d now have giant bars of gold lying around your house. You need far less capital to invest in an ETF. (And you don’t have a hoard of gold in your basement like some kind of dragon.)

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All-Star Panelist Clint Brewer Gives His Take on Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District GOP Race

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and lifelong Tennessean, Clint Brewer in studio to give his take on the Fifth Congressional GOP primary race.

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Fox Business Contributor and Finance Guru Liz Peek Talks Stock Market, the Fed, Inflation, and Future Outlooks

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Fox contributor and finance Wall Street expert Liz Peek to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the economic outlook for America.

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Net Metering Politics: Many Florida Municipal Electric Utilities Pay Less for Customer-Generated Solar Electricity

As a proposal (SB 1024) moves through the Florida Legislature that would allow investor-owned utilities to pay less for electricity generated by residential rooftop solar, critics of the legislation and of investor-owned utilities have ignored the fact that many Florida municipal-managed electric utilities are already paying residential customers less for solar generated electricity.

Under current law, solar panel owners who have excess energy generated can sell it back to investor-owned utilities at the retail rate the utilities charge other customers. However, the proposal sponsored by Fleming Island Republican Sen. Jennifer Bradley, would allow investor-owned utilities to pay a cheaper price for roof-top solar generated electricity.

The bill’s supporters claim solar customers are being subsidized by other utility customers because they rely on the underlying electric grid — and its lines, maintenance and other infrastructure costs — when the panels don’t generate enough electricity.

The issue has become partisan as Democrats attack the bill and investor-owned utilities, who are frequent campaign donors to Republican candidates.

U.S. Representative and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist said the anti-solar legislation is just another example of how utilities rig the system against the people of Florida in favor of corporations, and “Tallahassee is marching on.” He said as governor would fight utility companies to prevent them from getting unfair rate increases and make it easier to install solar power for homeowners.

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Largest Owner of Spotify Stock Also Largest Owner of Moderna Stock

Amid the controversy over world-famous Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan hosting guest Dr. Robert Malone, credited with inventing mRNA vaccine technology that is used in COVID-19 vaccines, Malone revealed information about a massive conflict of interest. 

On an episode of Tucker Carlson Today that aired Wednesday, Malone revealed that the largest stakeholder in Spotify, which has been under pressure to censor Rogan for spreading “misinformation” about COVID-19, is also the largest stakeholder in Moderna, one of the two companies distributing mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.

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Wisconsin Assembly Committee to Hear Parents Bill of Rights Proposal

A plan that would spell out what Wisconsin parents can do or expect from their kids’ schools is coming up before lawmakers.

The Assembly’s Committee on Education has a hearing scheduled for Thursday morning on the Parental Bill of Rights.

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‘Easier to Vote, Harder to Cheat Act’ Seeks to Get on Ballot in Arizona

Over 70 election integrity-related bills have been proposed in the Arizona Legislature since the highly questioned 2020 election, as well as ballot initiatives. Lee Miller, a former attorney for the Arizona Republican Party, recently filed paperwork launching a petition drive to get the “Easier to Vote, Harder to Cheat Act” as an initiative on the ballot this fall. The initiative makes it easier to vote in four ways and harder to cheat in five ways. One of the provisions would shorten the time allowed for tabulating ballots.

Valerie Grosso-Turley, founder of the grassroots Arizona-based America Pack, looked at the initiative and told the Arizona Sun Times, “With the continued skepticism of the 2020 election still top of mind of many voters, Arizona’s extended ballot-counting process adds to the distrust and suspicion of voters. Every voter must have confidence in our elections regardless of party affiliation. Polling has consistently shown that a majority of Republicans believe Biden won through fraud. I don’t know if the ‘easier to vote, harder to cheat act’ is the solution, but I do support the ongoing conversation to find a solution.” 

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Proclaiming Justice to the Nations Schedules Training Session in Orlando

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) members have scheduled an event in Orlando on Saturday and Sunday, and organizers say they will train parents how to flip their local school boards. Organizers call the event Taking Back America’s Children, Florida Summit.

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Freedom Convoy Backs Up Traffic on Ambassador Bridge, Jams Shipping Route to Canada

A bridge linking a major international shipping route between the U.S. and Canada is blocked, thanks to a a weeks-long protest by truckers in that country who are against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“Cameras over the highway on I-94 depicted a massive traffic jam building up near Port Huron, where the only bridge port of entry linking Canada to the U.S. that remained open became overwhelmed with diverted truck traffic,” according to WJBK.

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PJTN’s Laurie Cardoza Moore Talks to John Fredericks and Puts School Board Members on Notice

Thursday morning on Outside the Beltway with John Fredericks, host Fredricks welcomed Proclaiming Justice to the Nation’s Laurie Cardoza-Moore to the program to discuss how parents can take over local school boards and her Taking Back America’s Children’s Summit this weekend in Orlando, Florida.

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Michigan Governor Whitmer’s 2023 Budget Focuses on Education, Infrastructure, Economic Development

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pitched a $74.1 billion budget that would increase state spending by $4.1 billion over the prior year.

Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said Michigan’s 2009 budget was $48 billion and has grown in 13 years by $26.1 billion.

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Wisconsin Democratic Lawmaker Deletes Tweet Claiming Parents Should Not ‘Have a Say’ in Public Education

Wisconsin State Representative Lee Snodgrass (D-Appleton) on Thursday echoed claims expressed by many Democrats that parents should not “have a say” in their child’s public education.

“If parents want to ‘have a say’ in their child’s education, they should home school or pay for private school tuition out of their pocket,” she wrote in a tweet that she later deleted.

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Minneapolis, St. Paul Lift Vaccine Mandates on Bars and Restaurants

Minneapolis and St. Paul rescinded their vaccine-or-test mandates on bars and restaurants Thursday, effective immediately.

The cities cited a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In Ramsey County, where St. Paul is located, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped by 57.8% and 37.8% in the last seven days, respectively.

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Arizona Senator Mark Kelly Introduces Bill to Suspend Federal Gas Tax amid Surging Prices

Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) on Thursday introduced a bill to suspend the federal gas tax through the end of the year, amid surging prices due to inflation.

The legislation, known as the Gas Prices Relief Act, would terminate the 18 cents per gallon gas tax that individuals pay, temporarily lowering the prices for consumers.

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Florida Constitutional Carry Bill Likely Dead

Florida’s constitutional carry bill, HB 103, is likely dead, as the Florida legislature is over halfway through its 2022 Legislative Session, which concludes the first week of March. The bill has yet to be heard by its first committee stop or received companion Senate legislation. Rarely do bills get fast-tracked through the legislature if they have not even reached committee.

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University of Minnesota Looks to Hire Professor with ‘Knowledge of’ and ‘Commitment to’ Critical Race Theory

The University of Minnesota is looking to hire an assistant professor of elementary literacy education with “knowledge of” and “commitment to” critical race theory (CRT), climate literacy, and other related areas.

The job posting appears in the U of M’s “Career” database, with the Center of the American Experiment first reporting on it Tuesday.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost to Hold Forum on Elder Abuse After Esther’s Law Passed

Attorney General Dave Yost (R) is holding a series of forums to spread awareness about elder abuse in the state. 

In a press release announcing the next event in the series of forums, called  “Responding to Financial Exploitation, Scams and Fraud in Facility Settings,” Yost told the following story of an Ohio senior who was bilked out of his own money:

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Lieutenant Governor Earle-Sears Breaks First Tie of Her Term

RICHMOND, Virginia – Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears cast her first tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Thursday. Senator Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William) voted with Republicans against SB 137, a bill that would allow defendants in most felony cases to appeal a judge’s discretionary sentence if the judge does not provide a “written explanation that adequately explains the sentence imposed[.]” When the 20-20 vote result was clear, Earle-Sears asked bill patron Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and opponent Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) to come to the dais, where they discussed the bill. Then, Earle-Sears voted against the bill.

“What I wanted to do was to give the patron an opportunity to talk to me about the bill in a way that I may not have, you know, heard before. And then I also wanted to hear the opposing view. I always want to give people the opportunity so that they can make their case. And as I was listening to all sides, what appeared to me was that the bill unfortunately is poorly written,”she told The Virginia Star.

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Opposing Greenhouse Gas Initiative Offer Alternative Policy

Lawmakers who have attempted to stop Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are proposing alternative measures to mitigate carbon emissions in the Keystone State.

Representative Jim Struzzi has amended the anti-RGGI legislation he introduced last year to authorize spending $250 million from Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Response Restricted Account on carbon-dioxide-reduction technologies and related items. Funded projects would include methane abatement, hydrogen-based infrastructure and stormwater mitigation as well as assistance to communities weathering electric-generation plant closures.

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Virginia House of Delegates Passes Seven Elections Reform Bills

The House of Delegates passed seven election reforms bills on Thursday, including a bill to require photo identification to vote, a bill shortening early voting from 45 days to 14 days, and a bill requiring voters to submit absentee ballot requests for each election.

Delegate Phillip Scott (R-Spotsylvania) introduced HB 39 to shorten early voting. He said on the House floor on Wednesday, “There’s been a lot of information out there about those who participate in early voting, there’s a lot of information about the strain that puts on the localities having to staff these locations, find places to host the early voting.”

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VoterGA Refutes Recent Brad Raffensperger Letter to Congress

Members of VoterGA this week released a 42-point report refuting Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s recent 10-page letter that said former President Donald Trump made false statements about the integrity of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election. Raffensperger sent the letter to members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and to members of the Georgia General Assembly.

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Commentary: Middlemen Who Control the Prescription Drug Market Are Responsible for Rising Insulin and Drug Prices

Why is insulin, invented more than 100 years ago, still unaffordable for many of America’s 10 million diabetics who rely on it?

Politicians reflexively blame pharmaceutical manufacturers. Sen. Bernie Sanders asked rhetorically in November, “What possible reason, other than greed, could there be for the pharmaceutical industry to raise the price of insulin by more than 1,400%?”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently announced plans to investigate rising insulin prices as a pretext for increased government regulation of the market. “While drug companies profit off of people’s health, they also benefit from a current market in which they control the pricing,” she proclaimed. “Enough is enough.”

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Peloton Plans for Ohio Plant Scrapped

Peloton’s plan to build the company’s first U.S. factory in the Toledo area has been scrapped, and the company’s CEO is stepping down, the company announced in a news release.

Peloton also announced it was cutting 2,800 jobs, with the bulk of those coming at its headquarters in New York City. The announcements are part of a cost-saving effort the company expects will save around $800 million.

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Records Released in Amir Locke Shooting Show He Wasn’t Named on Arrest Warrant

According to warrants released in the shooting of Amir Locke, he was not the target of the police raid that led to his death. 

Instead the warrant was for 17-year-old Mekhi Speed, Locke’s cousin, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a St. Paul man last month, according to WCCO. The warrants were unsealed days ago, but needed a judge’s stamp of approval to be released to the public because Speed is a minor. 

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New Bill Would Require Three-Year State Residency Before Running to Represent Tennesseans in Congress

State Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) has introduced a bill that would, if enacted into law, restrict people who haven’t lived in Tennessee for a certain period from running for Congress.

Specifically, the bill prohibits someone from accepting a nomination as a candidate for U.S. senator or as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives unless he or she voted in the state’s three previous elections.

Niceley told The Tennessee Star on Thursday that he has an amendment that will rewrite the measure, SB 2616.

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