Tennessee Gas Prices Soar Fifty Cents Per Gallon in One Month

Bruce Griffey

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), gas prices in Tennessee – and in other states around the country – have increased by a stunning amount in the past month alone. 

In Tennessee, the number is 54 cents per gallon.

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Commentary: John Kerry Is Putin’s Useful Climate Idiot

Vladimir Putin and John Kerry shaking hands

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine marks the end of the West’s Era of Illusions. It was an era in which Western elites obsessed about solving climate change because the climate crisis was far more dangerous than issues of war and peace and the stability of the international system. They even convinced themselves that climate change causes war, so climate change policy could double as national security policy; and, for many years, the annual round of kumbaya UN climate talks was the apogee of international relations.

In a BBC World Service interview, presidential climate envoy John Kerry expressed concern about the amount of greenhouse gas being emitted from the war in Ukraine. Kerry was just getting warmed up with a string of platitudes that show him as a deluded climate relic, unable to come to terms with the reality that Putin has imposed on the world. “Equally importantly,” Kerry complained, “you’re going to lose people’s focus,” as if the first invasion of a sovereign European country since the Second World War is an annoying distraction. Hopefully, Kerry continued, Putin would realize that Russia’s land is thawing, and the people of Russia are at risk.  

Kerry concluded with an expression of pure self-deception, saying he hopes Putin “will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.” Stay on track? Russia has never hidden its intention to avoid cutting its emissions. Russia’s second Nationally Determined Contribution, submitted in November 2020 under the Paris climate agreement, is to limit its 2030 emissions to “no more than 70% of 1990 levels.” The document is careful to avoid pledging to cut or reduce emissions. The 1990 baseline year was the last one before the collapse of the highly inefficient and heavily polluting centrally planned Soviet economy. Thus, the 70% limit actually enables Russia to increase its emissions by 34% – and that’s before taking account of any changes in forestry and land use that would allow Russia to claim credit for negative emissions. 

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Fundraises on Expanding Supreme Court

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a Saturday fundraising touting the idea of expanding the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) while praising President Joe Biden’s recent SCOTUS nominee.

“Congress has expanded the Supreme Court seven times before,” the subject line of the email said. “It’s now time for the eighth.”

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Host Christopher Blank of WKNO News Talks to Political Analyst Otis Sanford on Bill That Mandates Three-Year Residency Requirement for Tennessee Congressional Candidates

Otis Sanford

Live Friday morning on NPR for the Midsouth’s WKNO-91.9 FM News, host Christopher Blank talks to Political Analyst Otis Sanford about the Republican push for a three-year residency requirement to run for Congress in Tennessee. Blank: Let’s take a look at another state law. Republicans are pushing for a three-year…

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Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation Announces New Manufacturing Facility in Oak Ridge

On Wednesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) officials announced the company will establish new manufacturing operations in Oak Ridge.

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Carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus Dodges Questions from The Tennessee Star: ‘You Need to Stop Being Mean to Me’

The former State Department spokesman and candidate in the GOP primary for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional district is clearly feeling the pressure of and takes issue with The Tennessee Star’s reporting on her parachute candidacy, telling The Star, “You need to stop being mean to me.” Ortagus did not take questions from The Star about her campaign.

Carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus made her unprompted remark to The Star as several people were milling about the room after a local Republican meeting of the Bellevue Breakfast Club, which took place Saturday morning at Plantation Pub. On several occasions prior to the unprompted remark, Ortagus campaign staff told The Star that she didn’t have time for questions about her campaign. Campaign staff made it clear that they would not allow The Star to ask Ortagus questions about the campaign. If allowed, The Star would have asked if Ortagus has attained residency in the district or not.

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Commentary: The Union Card

Until a few years ago, corporate political influence in the United States was balanced between those promoting a progressive, green agenda, and those maintaining a distance from social equity issues while continuing to lobby for conventional energy policies. But the incredible wealth amassed by high-tech companies over the past few years—all of them progressive and “green”—has completely overwhelmed that balance. America’s corporate establishment has now joined with the financial, academic, and media establishments, along with government bureaucracies, to unequivocally support progressive politics.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Selects Redistricting Maps Proposed by Governor Evers

Tony Evers

The Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted a redistricting proposal offered by Governor Tony Evers, a move less favorable to Republicans.

The ruling was issued on a razor-thin margin, as swing Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote the opinion in the 4 to 3 decision. According to the decision, the justices selected the map by Evers because it proposed “the map with the least change.”

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The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy Taking Back the GOP in Arizona

Dan Schultz

Arizona conservative activist and lawyer Dan Schultz has been informing people for years about the importance of becoming a precinct committeeman (PC), something many political activists overlook, swept up instead by major political campaigns and national issues. Considered a national expert on the topic, Shultz authored the book “Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy.” In the book, which got him an award from legendary Republican Party influencer Richard Viguerie, he explains how the best way for patriots to take back their government is to take back control of the Republican Party — through precinct committeemen. 

He calls it the Precinct Strategy. Its focus is on influencing the policies of the Republican Party and who gets nominated and wins elections. He said PCs are actually the “elite” of the party, noting that fewer than one in one hundred political party members can be a voting member of the party. He pointed out that “the office of precinct committeeman has been called ‘the most powerful office in the world’ because the PC is the closest structured political officeholder to the registered voter.”

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Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk Grills Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell About Inflation

Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) this week reminded Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell about Loudermilk’s warnings from one year ago about inflation — a prediction that proved correct. Loudermilk discussed the matter at a U.S. House Committee on Financial Services hearing.

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Nonpartisan Audit Reveals Michigan Campaign Irregularities

Michigan voting rolls were not properly updated prior to the November 2020 election, according to an audit released Friday by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General.

The audit of the Bureau of Elections concludes Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office did not adhere to state election law by properly updating and reconciling Michigan’s qualified voter roll. This oversight, according to the audit, increased the risk of ineligible voters casting ballots. Additionally, the audit identified discrepancies and inconsistencies in Benson’s statements in defense of her department’s internal post-election audits.

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Virginia Supreme Court Grants Appeal in Lawsuit By Teacher Fired for not Using Preferred Pronouns

The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lawsuit from former West Point High School French teacher Peter Vlaming, who was fired from the district in 2018 for not using a student’s preferred pronouns. The Court granted the appeal Thursday, according to announcement from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

“Peter wasn’t fired for something he said; he was fired for something he couldn’t say,” ADF Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel said in the release. “As a teacher, Peter was passionate about the subject he taught, he was well-liked by his students, and he did his best to accommodate their needs and requests. But Peter could not in good conscience speak messages that he does not believe to be true.”

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Connecticut School District Moves to Optional Masking After Relaxed, Statewide Restrictions

Waterbury Public Schools will shift to optional mask requirements on March 7, according to a letter distributed to students, parents, and staff.

The district, which had previously remained hesitant, will allow students to continue to wear a mask, if they do not feel comfortable.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Responds to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Label of Parental Rights Bill

On Friday, Governor DeSantis pushed back on the media for labeling the Parental Rights in Education legislation the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

During a press conference a reporter asked DeSantis if he had any comments  “on the protests against the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?” DeSantis took the opportunity to address the use of the “Don’t Say Gay” label by the reporter.

“You call it that. I’ve not seen that in any of these bills. Where is that coming from? You’re in the news business. Does the truth matter or not? Is that in any of the bills?”, asked DeSantis.

The actual language in the Parental Rights in Education bill  “prohibits a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

However LGBTQ advocates and the legacy media have used the “Don’t Say Gay” label to repeatedly characterize the legislation.

For example, Equality Florida recently released a television advertisement “blasting” Governor DeSantis over the legislation, which the group describes as “LGBTQ censorship.”

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Virginia Senate Fast-Tracking Ban on ‘Carolina Squat’

squated red truck

Virginia legislators are fast-tracking Senator Mark Peake’s (R-Lynchburg) new bill to ban a type of vehicle modification called the “Carolina Squat.” Trucks with the modification have their front end dramatically higher than the back. In February, a driver in a similarly-modified truck allegedly killed a man in Mecklenberg County, according to ABC8.

“He was coming up a hill, he couldn’t see the double-yellow line,” Peake told The Virginia Star on Wednesday. “He crosses over and smashes into another vehicle head-on, destroyed it, and killed the guy.”

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Connecticut Gas Crosses Four Dollars Per Gallon Threshold

Gas prices in Connecticut have reached a decade-plus high after jumping 10 cents per gallon in a single day, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Friday, a gallon of gas in Connecticut averaged $4.07, a jump from $3.97 on Thursday. The last time gas prices reached four dollars per gallon was in August of 2008. The record high for gas prices in the state is $4.39 per gallon, just 32 cents higher than the current price. 

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Ohio Awards $25 Million in Grants for School-Based Health Centers

Governor Mike DeWine on Friday announced more than $25 million in funding for “School-Based Health Centers” throughout the state.

The money, which is from the federal government and available through the American Rescue Plan, will fund 136 new or expanded centers.

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Joe Biden Says He ‘Will Not Stand for’ a Florida 15-Week Abortion Ban

President Joe Biden took to Twitter Friday to state he “will not stand for” the 15-week abortion ban approved by the Republican-led Florida legislature Thursday night.

“Last night, the Republican-controlled Florida legislature passed a dangerous bill that will severely restrict women’s access to reproductive health care,” Biden posted. “My Administration will not stand for the continued erosion of women’s constitutional rights.”

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Lead Poisoning Mitigation Legislation Proposed by Connecticut Governor

Getting the lead out is the focus of legislation proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday.

The governor announced the filing of a legislative proposal that would utilize $70 million for Home Remediation Projects throughout Connecticut, alleviating the lead poisoning risks in children and put the state in line with federal guidance. Dollars from the American Rescue Plant Act would be utilized to fund the program.

“For too long, Connecticut has failed to address the problem of lead poisoning in our children, a problem that impacts most deeply minority families and disadvantaged communities of our state,” Lamont said in the release.

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Ohio Employers Not Struggling as Much to Fill Jobs as Rest of Nation

While filling jobs continues to be a source of struggle for businesses across the nation, Ohio employers seem to be dealing with it better than most, according to a recently released study.

A WalletHub report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings for the latest month and the past 12 months.

“Lots of businesses are struggling to hire enough workers, which has sometimes led to delays in services and reduced business hours,” the report read. “In fact, the labor force participation rate has experienced the slowest recovery of any recession since World War II. Some businesses aren’t even able to keep the employees they already have – as Americans are quitting their jobs at record rates in what’s been dubbed the ‘Great Resignation.’ ”

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U.S. Added 678K Jobs in February, While Unemployment Decreased Slightly

The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), beating economists’ expectations.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, according to the BLS report, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, a pandemic low. Job gains were most pronounced in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which added a total 179,000 jobs.

“The labor market continues to be quite hot,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like the labor market is still primed for lots of strong employment growth.”

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14 States Sue Biden to Divulge Secret Contacts About School Board ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Letter

The Biden administration is stonewalling 14 states seeking documents preceding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s controversial Oct. 4 memo directing the FBI to prosecute threats against school boards, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed Friday.

Garland acted in response to a Sept. 29 letter to President Biden from the National School Boards Association (NSBA), widely perceived as equating parental activism with “domestic terrorism.”

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Commentary: America’s Emerging Energy Crisis

The warning signs are everywhere.  We are stumbling toward an energy crisis that is likely to be far more severe and long-lasting than the upheavals of the 1970s.  And no, this isn’t about Russia or Ukraine. This is about the perilous state of the U.S. electricity grid. 

If action isn’t taken soon to address the unraveling reliability of the grid, the United States will face the specter of rolling blackouts, factory shutdowns, loss of jobs and soaring electricity bills. Our organization CASE recently released a policy brief highlighting just how dire the situation is. 

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FEC Records Show Tight Financial Contest Between Democrat Incumbent and Republican Challenger in Race for Maine’s Second Congressional District

Bruce Poliquin and Jared Golden

Federal Elections Commission (FEC) records show a tight financial contest between incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Jared Golden and the nearest Republican challenger, former U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin, in the race for Maine’s Second Congressional district.

As of the December 31, 2021 filing deadline, Golden has raised $2,136,842.68 for the 2022 election cycle and has $1,426,268.38 on hand. Republican challenger Poliquin has raised $1,482,065.91 and has $1,397,129.24 cash on hand in the bank. That’s a cash on hand edge for Golden of less than $30,000, a paltry sum in a highly competitive congressional race.

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Massive Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Legislation Banning Russian Oil Imports

Senator Joe Manchin speaking at a press conference

A group of bicameral Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would prohibit the U.S. from importing Russian oil and petroleum products.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin unveiled the Banning Russian Energy Imports Act which would ban the import of Russian oil and petroleum to the U.S. amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. More than a dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers announced their support for the bill.

The U.S. imported more than 670,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia in 2021, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed. That figure represented a 24% year-over-year uptick compared to 2020.

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Durham Says Clinton Lawyer Engaged in a ‘Political Deceit’ When Giving Trump Dirt to FBI

Former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann engaged in “political deceit” during his contacts with the FBI and deprived agents of critical information that could have influenced the course of the Russia probe, Special Counsel John Durham declared in a new filing asking a court not to dismiss his criminal case.

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Minnesota Department of Human Services Sued over ‘Discriminatory’ Behavior Toward Anti-Critical Race Theory Employee

A civil liberties legal group is suing the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) over ostensibly “discriminatory” behavior toward an employee who objected to mandatory trainings saturated with critical race theory (CRT) and “gender identity” politics.

Last Friday the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota DHS and Commissioner Jodi Harpstead on behalf of former employee Joseph Norgren, who worked as a security counselor at the Minnesota Security Hospital.

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Biden Approval Gets Big Bump After State of the Union, Russia Invasion: Poll

President Joe Biden’s approval rating received a significant bump after his State of the Union address and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National poll released Friday.

The poll, conducted March 1-2, showed Biden’s approval rating increase to 47%, an eight point jump compared to the last poll released in February. The change is mostly due to gains among Democrats and independents, rising to 90% and 39% approval, respectively.

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ExxonMobil Joins Other Big Oil Companies in Withdrawing from Russia

U.S. Big Oil corporation ExxonMobil joined multiple other multinational energy firms in announcing that it would distance itself from Russian business ventures Tuesday.

The American energy giant announced that it would begin the process of exiting the Sakhalin-1 drilling project, a major oil and gas development located off the far east coast of Russia. The Houston-based corporation currently owns a 30% stake in the offshore oil drilling project, Barron’s reported.

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Penn Swimming Has ‘Fallen Apart’ as School Breaks Records with Biological Male on Women’s Team

man doing a butterfly stroke in swimming pool

Conflict and distrust between athletes has shaken the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team as transgender swimmer Lia Thomas dominates the sport at the national level, according to Sports Illustrated.

Several people affiliated with the team spoke to Sports Illustrated under the condition that their names not be used, the outlet said. “I’m not about to be labeled as transphobic,” one swimmer reportedly said.

Team leadership has supported Thomas competing against women, and the school’s athletic director told female swimmers who were upset about competing against a biological male to consider going to therapy through the campus counseling program, according to Sports Illustrated.

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Tennessee Legislators to Debate Bills on State Textbook Standards

Members of the Tennessee House Government Operations Committee are scheduled to discuss and debate two bills this week that address legislative approval of school textbooks. Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) sponsors one bill, HB 2666. If enacted into law, members of the State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission would have to provide a copy of the commission’s proposed textbook and instructional materials list to legislators.

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