Special Report: Latino Youth Vote Comes into Focus after Democrats Sweep Gen Z

by Gelet Martínez Fragela   As Republicans continue to grapple with a devastating loss among young adults from the 2022 midterm elections, some statistics suggest the GOP has an opportunity to pick up some traction with the Latino youth vote as their concerns could grow with age about crime, inflation…

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Author Samuel Gregg Discusses His New Book, ‘The New American Economy’

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Action Insitute Fellow and author of the new book, The New American Economy, Samuel Gregg to the newsmaker line to talk about how to improve the American economy.

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Attorney Cam Norris Talks Clerking for Justice Thomas and the Tennessee Supreme Court Selection Process

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Senior Attorney Cam Norris of Consovoy McCarthy Park Cam Norris and East Tennessean to the newsmaker line to discuss clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas and the Tennessee Supreme Court candidate process.

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Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Approves $27.3 Million in Grants for 64 Communities

Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Stuart McWhorter recently approved $27.3 million in grants that will be distributed across 64 Tennessee counties.

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Chinese Solar Giants Snuck Around U.S. Trade Barriers, Investigation Finds

The Commerce Department found on Friday that four large Chinese solar panel manufacturers are avoiding longstanding U.S. tariffs by assembling their products in Southeast Asia before importing them to the country.

BYD Co., Canadian Solar International, Trina Solar Science & Technology and Vina Solar Technology violated U.S. trade laws by finishing their products in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia, according to a department press release. The probe was launched in March after California-based solar company Auxin Solar alleged that some solar firms were circumventing tariffs on China by completing manufacturing in Southeast Asia.

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Chattanooga Man Known as ‘MoneyMaal’ Sentenced to 24 Years for Cocaine, Crack Trafficking

A man from Chattanooga known as ‘MoneyMaal’ has been sentenced to 290 months in jail, which is just over 24 years, for drug trafficking.

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EPA Quietly Quadruples Regulatory Cost of Carbon Emissions in New War on Fossil Fuels

With the price of everything from gasoline to food soaring in America, nobody is surprised by inflated price tags these days. But even by Washington standards, an action taken earlier this month by the Environmental Protection Agency is creating sticker shock: a nearly fourfold increase in the government calculation of damages from carbon emissions.

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Commentary: The New England Journal of Medicine Joins the Ranks of Science-Deniers to Promote Transgender Ideology

The New England Journal of Medicine has published an article called “Protecting Transgender Health and Challenging Science Denialism in Policy.” It is the latest example of using denialism to denigrate any opinion contrary to that of the latest set of experts to claim sovereignty over a controversial subject. The technique is to stifle debate and force discussion from the subject to defense of an unrelated issue. This is what the NEJM paper does to perfection.

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After School Satan Club Launching in Chesapeake Schools

The Satanic Temple is launching an After School Satan Club (ASSC) in Chesapeake, a reaction to a Good News Club launched on school property earlier this year. That’s led to concerns from some community members and prompted the Chesapeake Public School Board to schedule a discussion on the club, but the district said in a statement that while it doesn’t sanction the club, neither can it discriminate against it on the basis of belief.

“The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure who represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and championing the human mind and spirit. After School Satan Club does not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology. Instead, The Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves,” a flyer for the club states.

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TDOE Announces Partnership to Deliver Foundational Reading Books to Young Children Through the Christmas Season

The Tennessee Department of Education announced a partnership with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) on Wednesday aimed to deliver books to the parents of young elementary school-aged children this winter. The books are offered at no cost and are for kindergarten through second grade children. The effort is part of the state’s increased commitment to early childhood literacy under Governor Lee.

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Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Calls for Federal Investigation Over Emails from Arizona Sec State Hobbs to Twitter

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) wants a federal investigation in Arizona where Kari Lake is disputing results of the gubernatorial election against Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, whose office reports preliminary results that Hobbs has won 50.3 percent to 49.6 percent. Greene’s call was also a reaction to a post of emails showing that Hobbs’ office reported misinformation tweets to Twitter on January 7, 2021.

“The SOS of AZ and Gov candidate, Katie Hobbs, used the power of the AZ SOS to collude w/ Twitter to unconstitutionally violate 1st Amendment rights of Americans for her own political gain. This is communism and Hobbs can not be governor. I’m calling for a Federal investigation,” Greene tweeted Sunday morning.

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Florida’s Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative Lands 50,000 Signatures

Florida could see future changes to its marijuana laws if a petition that has already gathered almost 50,000 validated signatures is put on the ballot in 2024 to legalize the use of marijuana products for adults.

The Smart & Safe Florida political committee and the state’s leading marijuana company, Trulieve, are the driving forces behind the initiative, and thus far, the group has managed to total 49,692 valid signatures.

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Policy Constraints Force Electric Bills Up in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians’ electric bills rose by an average of nearly three-quarters over the last two years and policymakers have only made the problem worse, according to the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation (CF). 

State residents served by Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) have seen their rates go up by just over half since December 2020. Customers of the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) have meanwhile experienced a doubling of their power costs during that time. All other providers have also risen their rates considerably. 

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The City of Minneapolis Reaches $600,000 Settlement with BLM Protesters Who Sustained Injuries During the 2020 George Floyd Riots

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to a settlement involving a dozen people who were allegedly injured during the protests and riots after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

In a Wednesday press release, the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that Minneapolis will pay $600,000 to be split among the 12 plaintiffs, meaning they each will get $50,000. ACLU was one of three firms who banded together in a class action lawsuit on behalf of the demonstrators. The case stems from two separate lawsuits that were consolidated.

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Ohio Senator Portman, in Final Policy Effort in Senate, Calls for More Global Trade

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) retires at the end of the year, but before he does, he hopes to have a hand in reenergizing openness toward global trade, a policy perspective that hasn’t been ascendant in the Biden administration or the preceding Trump administration. 

In a guest column for the D.C.-based Hill newspaper, Portman and his Democratic Delaware colleague Chris Coons called on Congress to pass a legislative package facilitating foreign trade agreements. The lawmakers particularly urged enactment of their Trading System Preservation Act. The act would enable the president to iron out industry-specific trade deals with other nations that are part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and would allow negotiation of comprehensive agreements with Ecuador, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Kenya. 

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Wisconsin State Representative Dan Knodl Announces Run for State Senate Seat

The race for Wisconsin’s newly open 8th District Senate seat is coming into focus.

Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, on Thursday announced he is running to replace Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, who is retiring.

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Commentary: Don’t Give an Inch on the Debt Ceiling

The dust has barely settled from the contentious midterms, and the battle lines are already being drawn for the next legislative fight in Washington: the debt ceiling. With the nation at unprecedented levels of indebtedness, the choice in this fight is a stark one: a path toward stability or fiscal Armageddon.

If that sounds hyperbolic, consider the following facts about America’s finances.

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Governor Lee Announces $26 Billion Transportation Proposal

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently announced a $26 billion proposal to address transportation needs across the state. Lee’s infrastructure proposal, “Build With Us,” comes as the state’s growth is outpacing roadway capacity investments.

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Commentary: ‘Reasonable’ Concessions to Climate Hysteria Lack Any Reason at All

First, there is no climate emergency. Claims to the contrary are based on exaggerations of carbon dioxide’s warming effect and computer models that have proven unreliable.

As Republicans settle into the leadership of the new House of Representatives, we are hoping for clearer congressional thinking about the climate issue. However, there is work to do on the Conservative Climate Caucus.

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Georgia’s Most Dangerous Roads are All in Atlanta: Study

A new analysis has identified the most dangerous roads in Georgia, all in the metro Atlanta area.

Moreover, a fifth of deadly crashes involved drunken driving, while a similar amount (19%) were connected to speeding, the analysis from MoneyGeek, a personal finance technology company, revealed.

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Virginia Student Loan Holders Wait as Biden Relief Plan Stuck in Courts

As President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan remains tied up in the courts, many Virginia student loan holders are still unsure whether they will have some of their debt forgiven.

About 12.5 percent of Virginians, which is more than 1.08 million people, owe some money on student loans. The average amount of debt per borrower is the fourth highest in the country at more than $39,000 per person, according to the Education Data Initiative. More than 85 percent of borrowers currently owe more than $5,000 in loans and the total amount of money owed on student loans in the commonwealth is about $42.4 billion.

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Credit Rating Agency Warns Recession Could Trigger Property Tax Hikes

Fitch Ratings said Friday that the outlook for state and local governments was “deteriorating” and an expected recession could put pressure on state and local governments to raise property taxes.

“Local governments may face slowed growth or possibly contraction in tax revenues associated with real property valuations, which may trigger expenditure controls or revenue-raising measures to preserve budgetary stability,” Fitch Ratings Senior Director Michael Rinaldi said.

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Vermont Backs Down on Religion-Free School Choice after SCOTUS Knocks Down Maine Policy

Vermont families that want to send their children to religious schools will no longer be excluded from the state’s tuition benefit program, as a result of legal settlements in two cases brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The plaintiffs who were denied funding under the Town Tuition Program, which provides tuition for students who live in areas without local public schools, will get reimbursement for money spent out of pocket on tuition. Other families denied funding can apply as well.

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Commentary: The Promise of Habit-Based Learning

Something has gone awry in American education. For example, over the past decades, the U.S. has dropped to the bottom of international rankings for developed countries in math. This decline has coincided with education reform, a shift that has emphasized understanding and downplayed practice. Could something that sounds so sensible have possibly been responsible for the drop?

The brain has two major learning systems. One is based on practice, and leads to fast, automatic behavior. This system is not accessible by conscious thought and is the source of intuition. The second system is based on deliberate thought—it is slow but flexible. You are consciously aware and can verbalize what you have learned. These two systems are roughly analogous to Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s “thinking, fast and slow.”

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Chinese Operatives Ran a Massive TikTok Campaign to Help Dems in the Midterm Elections: Report

TikTok accounts operating as voices of Chinese state media promoted messages that appeared to denigrate Republican candidates and favor Democratic ones ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, according to a Forbes investigation.

While the Chinese-owned social media app has verbally affirmed the need to crack down on election disinformation and foreign interference, several news-oriented accounts failed to disclose their affiliation with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state-owned media on the platform, Forbes found. The accounts racked up tens of millions views on posts that covered divisive topics, such as abortion and race, as well as critical clips that mostly targeted Republican candidates ahead of the 2022 midterms.

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