Leahy and Carmichael Discuss Government Overreach of EPA, Likely Stance of Liberal Supreme Court Justices

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss federal government overreach and liberal Supreme Court justices in juxtaposition to the case of Sackett v EPA.

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Crom’s Crommentary: First Amendment Rights Must Not Be Used to Deprive Others of Same Freedoms

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

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Knoxville GOP State Rep Jason Zachary Holds Conversation with Vanderbilt on Genital Mutilation of Minor Children, Response Expected October 8

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed (R) TN State Representative Jason Zachary to the newsmakers line to discuss his letter and conversations with Vanderbilt Medical Center to stop the genital mutilation of minor children and expects a response by the week’s end.

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Author William Doyle on New Book Spotlighting Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Standout Nonpartisan Legislation

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed author William Doyle to the newsmaker line to give details about his new book, Titan of the Senate: Orrin Hatch and the Once and Future Golden Age of Bipartisanship where he highlights legislative accomplishments and how political parties can work together.

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Poll: Trust in Federal Courts Plummets in 2022

Trust in the judicial branch of the federal government has fallen by 20% since 2021, according to a new poll released by Gallup on Thursday.

The poll showed that only 47 % of respondents expressed “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the judicial branch, which includes the Supreme Court, 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal and 94 U.S. District Courts. It is the lowest trust score in the judiciary since Gallup began polling the question in 1972.

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Kamala Harris Says Disaster Relief Should Be ‘Based on Equity’

Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday that aid distributed in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Ian should be “based on equity.”

“It is our lowest-income communities and communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues not of their own making—” Harris said before being interrupted by Priyanka Chopra Jonas at a Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum.

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Commentary: Dems Inexplicably Block Demand for FBI to Cough Up Ray Epps Documents

For those who do not know who Ray Epps is and why he matters—and this includes most Democrats and many journalists—U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) served up a handy reference guide last week. Gosar did this in the form of a resolution of inquiry (ROI) directing Attorney General Merrick Garland to hand over all documents relevant to the Epps case within 14 days. 

“Multiple videos show Ray Epps repeatedly urging crowds of people in Washington, D.C. on January 5 and January 6, 2021, to go to the United States Capitol and breach the building,“ Gosar explained. “Epps is the one person seen on video directing people towards the Capitol seconds before violence broke out, yet he has never been arrested or charged with any crime while more than 800 others have and countless more remained jailed.”

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Tennessee AG Skrmetti: Ticketholders, Vendors of Canceled ‘Walker Stalker’ Events Are Eligible for Refunds

Fans of AMC’s popular television show “The Walking Dead” who bought a ticket in hopes of attending a “Fan Fest” event in Nashville a few years ago are finally able to receive refunds thanks to Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.

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Murfreesboro’s Annual Fall Leaf Pickup Service Underway

The City of Murfreesboro’s fall leaf collection season began on Saturday and will run through January 31, 2023. During this time, loose leaves can be piled curbside free of charge and will be picked up by the Murfreesboro Street and Solid Waste departments – collectively known as the city’s Public Works Department.

“As we have for years now, the goal is to cover the City twice as fast. As previously, the City will be divided in half by U.S. Highway 41 (Broad Street) with the Street Department serving residents on the north and east side of Broad and the Solid Waste Department servicing the south and west side,” Public Works Division Executive Director Raymond Hillis said in a statement.

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Biden Appoints First-Ever Envoy for Plants and Animals

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is appointing a special diplomat to oversee international animal and plant habitats for the first time in U.S. history.

The State Department appointed Monica Medina as the U.S. Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources to solve the world’s intertwined biodiversity and water crises, according to a department media note. Medina will adopt an “all-of-government effort” to represent the interests of plants and animals abroad because the administration believes that such species are currently threatened by the “climate crisis.”

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Fed-Backed Censorship Machine Targeted 20 News Sites: Report

The private consortium that reported election “misinformation” to tech platforms during the 2020 election season, in “consultation” with federal agencies, targeted several news organizations in its dragnet.

Websites for Just the News, New York Post, Fox News, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Epoch Times and Breitbart were identified among the 20 “most prominent domains across election integrity incidents” that were cited in tweets flagged by the Election Integrity Partnership and its collaborators.

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House Republicans Demand DOJ Investigate $637 Million COVID Deal Between New York Governor, Major Donor

House Republicans are demanding that the Department of Justice investigate New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office over a massive deal the governor struck between the state and one of her wealthy campaign donors. 

Hochul’s office came under scrutiny earlier this month following the revelation that the governor organized a $637 million deal to buy COVID tests from a company owned by one of her largest campaign donors.

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Number of U.S. Millionaires Increased by 41 Percent in 2022

New figures from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) show that the number of American citizens who report more than $1 million in income have jumped by a staggering 41 percent this year alone.

As reported by Politico, the IRS claims to have processed up to 387,840 returns reporting seven-figure incomes by mid-July; at the same time last year, the agency only found 274,879. The increase has been attributed to a strong performance on Wall Street last year, before the inflation crisis hit; in 2022 thus far, millionaires reported a collective total of $252.5 billion in capital gains, 80 percent higher compared to the previous year. In addition, millionaires’ salaries and wages rose by 45 percent.

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Gubernatorial Hopeful Tudor Dixon Pledges to Protect Line 5 from Whitmer’s ‘Attacks’

Although there are many telling differences between Michigan’s 2022 gubernatorial candidates, energy policy may be the most significant from an economic perspective for families.

Democrat incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has led the charge to close the Line 5 dual pipeline that has spanned the Straits of Mackinac since 1953, whereas Republican challenger Tudor Dixon has pledged to keep the hydrocarbons flowing through the five-mile stretch of pipeline positioned on the lakebed of Lake Michigan.

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Blaine First Minnesota City to Criminalize Street Racing

The Twin Cities suburb of Blaine is the first city in Minnesota to criminalize street racing with a specific ordinance.

The ordinance deems street racing and “exhibition driving” an unlawful assembly, which is a misdemeanor offense. Both drivers and spectators are liable to be charged under the ordinance, which took effect Monday, September 19.

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DeWine Calls for Expansion of Medicaid, Other Services for Ohio Families

Governor Mike DeWine (R) on Friday announced a plan to expand a number of social services in Ohio, including an increase in eligibility for Medicaid for pregnant women and children whose families make up to three times the federal poverty level.

The policy enlarges upon his Bold Beginning Initiative, which has already spent about $1 billion on services to expectant families. The broadening of Medicaid would make the program available to single expectant mothers earning up to $54,930 annually and to families of three earning as much as $69,090 per year. Legislative approval would need to occur for this measure to take effect.

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Wisconsin Test Scores Show Slight Bump in Math, Drop-Off in Reading

The latest snapshot of Wisconsin schools shows that kids are still not back to where they were before the coronavirus closed some schools for more than a year.

Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction on Thursday released the scores from the Forward Exam for elementary school kids, the ACT Aspire for freshmen and sophomores, and the ACT for high school juniors.

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Matt Walsh Announces ‘Rally to End Child Mutilation’ at the Tennessee State Capitol

Author and journalist Matt Walsh, who broke the story on how Vanderbilt University Medical Center was caught providing transgender surgeries to minors, announced that he is holding a rally at the Tennessee State Capitol to “end child mutilation, sterilization, and abuse in Tennessee hospitals and beyond.”

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Hundreds of Virginians Have Had Firearms Confiscated Through Red-Flag Laws

Hundreds of Virginians have had their guns confiscated from them through red-flag laws since those rules went into effect more than two years ago, according to data in the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center.

Red-flag laws allow police to seize firearms from a person if a judge deems him or her to be a threat to himself or others, even if that person has not been convicted of a crime, charged with a crime or even accused of a crime. The laws passed the General Assembly when Democrats had control of both chambers and were signed by former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. The legislation received staunch opposition from the Republican minority at the time.

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Pennsylvania State Senator Wants to Force Gun Owners to Carry Liability Insurance

State Senator Amanda Cappelletti (D-PA-Norristown) on Friday proposed legislation that would force Pennsylvania gun owners to carry liability insurance. 

In a memorandum describing her upcoming bill, Cappelletti wrote that gun-related injuries and deaths cost Pennsylvanians an estimated $12 million each year through lost wages, physical and mental healthcare payments, first-responder services and other expenses. She reasoned that some of these burdens should fall on firearm owners via insurance premiums. She added that insurers could then vary the size of those premiums according to whether policyholders take what she considers appropriate precautions. 

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Federal Judge Upholds Georgia Election Integrity Practices, Deals Blow to Stacey Abrams

A federal judge ruled Friday that Georgia’s election integrity practices requiring voter ID and citizenship checks are legal and constitutional, rejecting arguments of racism and voter suppression from the state’s Democrat nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, just weeks before Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, an Obama appointee, issued the ruling, after a lengthy trial, handing a major victory to Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who aggressively defended the state’s election integrity laws from a legal assault by Abrams voter group Fair Fight Inc. and other liberals.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Sues Biden Administration over Student Loan Debt Cancellation Program

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed another lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday, this time challenging the president’s authority to cancel student loan debt. He argued that it goes contrary to several recent Supreme Court decisions striking down federal agencies’ assertion of power never granted to them by Congress. The Biden administration intends to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 of student loan debt for people who make less than $125,000 annually, or $250,000 annually for a married person filing jointly.

In his lawsuit, Brnovich said, “This loan cancellation … is a naked handout by one administration and one party to favored political classes (college graduates and those employed by the higher education industry) at the expense of taxpayers everywhere.”

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Commentary: Democrats’ 8-Point Lead in Generic Congressional Ballot Evaporated

Don’t look now, but Democrats’ 8-point lead in the generic Congressional ballot question from a month ago has evaporated in the latest Economist-YouGov poll of registered voters, which now shows the race for Congress tied, 44 percent to 44 percent on Sept. 24-27.

On Aug. 28-30, Democrats were leading Economist-YouGov’s generic ballot 46 percent to 38 percent. Leading the change in the state of the race is largely an apparent collapse of support for Democrats among younger adults, and a strengthening of support for Republicans among older adults.

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Many School Buses in Northeast Ohio Amass Violations, State Inspectors Report

According to state reports, many Northeast Ohio school district buses are not passing their state inspections.

The Ohio Star viewed numerous reports of state bus inspections from Northeast Ohio school districts from June 2021 through August 2022. These reports update monthly, and the reports obtained only reflect percentages from June 2021 to last month.

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Virginia Congressional Delegation Splits on Party Lines over Continuing Resolution

All four of Virginia’s Republican congressmen voted against a continuing resolution to continue funding the government through December 16, 2022; the bill passed Friday with just 10 votes from Republicans nationally, sending the bill to President Joe Biden who signed the legislation the same day. In press releases, three of the Virginia Republicans criticized the bill for continuing Democratic spending. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), both in competitive elections in swing districts, criticized Congress’ use of continuing resolutions but said the bill is necessary to keep government open.

Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) cited similar good-governance concerns as his reason for voting against the bill.

He said Friday, “Today’s passage of a Continuing Resolution – an irresponsible stop-gap measure – is an unfortunate reminder of Washington’s ‘budget by crisis’ mentality.

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Commentary: A Fetterman Victory in November Would Be Bad News for Pennsylvanians

From banning fracking to destroying small businesses, Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s economic policies would be a disaster for the Keystone State.

Fetterman previously pledged to ban Pennsylvania fracking and nationally ban new fossil fuel leasing. Now that he won his primary, Fetterman is trying to backpedal and said he now opposes such a ban if there were enough taxes in place. But the truth is, Fetterman said he and socialist Senator Bernie Sanders “agree on virtually every issue,” and Sanders introduced a bill with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to ban fracking.

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University of Florida History Course Requires an ‘Examination of Privilege’ for a Grade

Over the summer, the University of Florida (UF) College of Education offered a history course titled “History of Education in the U.S.” that required students to create a positionality statement on their “personal and educational experiences.”

The statement was worth 10% of students’ grades, The New Guard reported.

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Homeless People Sue Liberal City for Taking Their Belongings, Kicking Them Out of Public Spaces

Multiple homeless individuals and the Coalition on Homelessness sued the city of San Francisco, California, Tuesday for allegedly arresting people lacking available shelter and destroying belongings, without providing affordable housing options.

The city has subjected homeless people to “ongoing criminalization and property destruction practices,” according to the lawsuit. It contends San Francisco has violated Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment protections by threatening, citing, arresting and removing homeless individuals from public spaces and infringed on Fourth Amendment rights by illegally confiscating and destroying possessions.

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Bill Clinton Warns Democrats Not to Let ‘Defund the Police and Socialism’ Hurt Them This Election

Former President Bill Clinton warned the Democratic Party that it shouldn’t let “defund the police and socialism” damage their chances of winning the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton was asked how the U.S. should handle existing threats to its democracy.

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‘Parents Bill of Rights’ Introduced in Ohio House

Ohio school districts would not be able to discourage or prohibit parental involvement in decisions about their child’s mental health if the General Assembly passes a recently-introduced Parents Bill of Rights Act.

House Bill 722 would require schools to draft a policy that promotes parental involvement in their child’s education in honor of that policy.

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Iowa Joins Coalition of States Including Minnesota, Wisconsin, to Sue China-Owned Subsidiary Syngenta and Indiana-Based Corteva

The State of Iowa is suing pesticide manufacturers Syngenta and Corteva.

Ten states and the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint Thursday in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina.

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Researchers Say Better Data Is Needed to Verify Claims, Extent of Teacher Shortages

New research on the demand for teachers highlights the lack of information about teacher shortages at all levels of government.

A working paper from Brown University found that “teacher shortages are still poorly understood, and it remains unclear whether there is a shortfall of teachers on the national scale or if shortages are localized – a key component of the current debate around teacher shortages.”

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