House Adjourns After 11th Failed Vote to Elect McCarthy Speaker, Deal Reportedly in the Works

The House of Representatives has adjourned for the evening after California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to win the speaker’s gavel for the 11th time.

The speaker election started Tuesday but McCarthy has fallen short of reaching the simple majority threshold needed to win in the 222-212 GOP-led House.

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All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Talks with Caller Carl About Political Transparency and His New Book American Refugee

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to talk about his new book, American Refugee, and the Republican Party’s Speaker election transparency with frequent Caller Carl.

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Recovering Journalist Clint Brewer Weighs in on Kevin McCarthy, House Speakership Debacle

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in studio to weigh in on the Speakership election and Kevin McCarthy debacle.

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All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on Conservative Action Projects’ Call for New House Leadership

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to comment upon the recent letter by the Conservative Action Project calling for a new US House of Representatives leadership.

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The Epoch Times Columnist Roger Simon Discusses Why Elon Musk Should Be the Next Speaker of the House

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss his recent article at The Epoch Times where he suggests Elon Musk for Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

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Legislative Session Finds Tennessee Lawmakers Poised to Expand and Amend Existing Education Policies

The 113th Tennessee State General Assembly is set to convene at noon on Tuesday, January 10, and preliminary indications are that the state’s Department of Education (TDOE) will not be supporting any new initiatives this year. The official position of the TDOE is that the administration sets the legislative agenda for state agencies, but in the past, the department has led the charge on several occasions – including, but not limited to, literacy, high-quality materials, and school funding.

For their part, legislators appear to be looking to amend – and in some cases expand – past efforts to improve student educational opportunities. This year’s legislative agenda forsakes the bold initiatives of the recent past in order to tweak and expand existing laws. Education Savings Accounts (ESA), TISA, and the 3rd-grade retention policy are all on the table for modification this year.

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Kevin McCarthy in Animated Conversation with TN-5 GOP Congressman Andy Ogles, Who Has Voted Against Him, During 8th Ballot for Speaker

California Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) was seen speaking to newly-elected Tennessee Congressman Andy Ogles (R-TN-05) during the eighth round of speakership voting in the House of Representatives.

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Damar Hamlin Doctors: ‘Appears His Neurological Condition and Function Is Intact’

Doctors treating Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said Thursday his neurological condition and function appears “intact” and that he’s made “remarkable improvement” after having gone into cardiac arrest three days earlier on the football field after making a tackle.

The doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin was taken Monday night after being injured in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, gave an update early Thursday through the Bills, then in a news conference.

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Latest Twitter Files Reveal Adam Schiff’s Collusion with Platform to Censor Opponents

On Tuesday, the eleventh and twelfth installments of the Twitter Files highlighted the role that Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) played in censoring conservative accounts on the platform.

As reported by Fox News, the two back-to-back threads posted by journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter “received an astonishing variety of requests from officials asking for individuals they didn’t like to be banned.” One example was in November of 2020, when Schiff’s office emailed Twitter demanding the banning of several “QAnon conspiracists” on Twitter, which they claimed were responsible for “harassment” against Schiff aide Sean Misko.

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Grassroots Parents Organization Files Complaints Claiming Discrimination in Schools Separating Students Based on Race

Parents Defending Education (PDE), a grassroots parental rights organization, filed three complaints Tuesday with the Biden Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that allege discrimination in schools that formed “racial affinity” groups or “community circles” to separate students based on their race.

The complaints allege that discrimination occurred in schools in Oregon, Maine, and Vermont where students were organized according to their race, which, the complaints argue, is in violation of the 14th Amendment.

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Left-Wing Tech Group Doles Out $500K in Grants to Jurisdictions for Future Elections

Although about half the states ban private dollars from funding local governing of elections as a response to Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial grants in 2020, a tech-aligned group will dole out individual $500,000 grants to jurisdictions for future elections. 

The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, established in April,  will award individual grants of $500,000 to at least two local jurisdictions out of 10 that the organization accepted into the program.

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Tennessee Drops to Sixth in U-Haul’s Annual Growth Rankings

Tennessee ranked sixth as a growth state in U-Haul’s annual index, moving down from its No. 3 ranking a year ago.

The index looks at one-way moves using U-Haul from state to state. The 2022 numbers showed that move-ins dropped by 7% while one-way trucks out of South Carolina decreased 6%.

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State Representative Merrin Loses Ohio Speakership to Moderate Stephens

As the 135th General Assembly gets underway, lawmakers elected moderate Republican Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as the new Speaker of the Ohio House on Tuesday to succeed State Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima).

The choice comes despite the Republican Caucus’ previous selection in November of State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Moncolva) as the new Speaker.

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Another Record: Nearly 314,000 Apprehensions, Gotaways at Southern Border in December

December was another record month for Border Patrol agents tasked with apprehending foreign nationals illegally entering the U.S. through the southwest border.

Agents apprehended at least 226,050 people and reported at least 87,631 who evaded capture by law enforcement last month. Combined, they total at least 313,681 – an increase from November’s record breaking number of 306,069.

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Undisclosed Amounts from Special Interests Sponsor Katie Hobbs’ Inauguration Event

Democrat Katie Hobbs was sworn in as Arizona’s governor on Monday, in the first of two inaugural events this week. A third related event is raising eyebrows, a ball which is funded by special interests, including lobbyists, companies that do business with the state, developers, and builders. Hobbs refuses to disclose how much they are contributing.

Michele Swinick of the Save my Freedom Movement told The Arizona Sun Times she believes it is inappropriate for Hobbs not to disclose the amounts contributed by special interests. “The public has a right to know who is putting the most money into bribing their taxpayer-funded government,” she said. “This is a continuing pattern Hobbs has so it’s not a surprise that she would start out her very first fraudulent day of office with this move protecting her friends. She hid herself from the Arizona Voters during her campaign and now she’s showing you, yet again, how she operates. At least you can give her credit for one thing, she’s been consistent.”

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Kemp Announces $234 Million in Grants to Expand Broadband Access

Governor Brian Kemp announced $234 million in 29 grants for broadband expansion using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds; the money will go to 12 internet service providers in 28 counties and will be matched with other funds for a total $455 million to support 76,000 locations.

“Georgia is again leading the nation in identifying where the digital divide is the deepest and acting on that knowledge to improve service for hardworking people all the way from Seminole County to Gordon County and beyond,” Kemp said in a Wednesday press release.

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Abe Hamadeh Files for a New Trial While Kris Mayes Seeks Attorney’s Fees

Despite the swearing-in of Kris Mayes as Attorney General (D), Republican Abe Hamadeh is not giving up his election contest just yet, filing a Motion for a New Trial Tuesday night in the Mohave County Superior Court.

“Today, I am filing a ‘Motion for New Trial’ after the shocking revelations from the recount. It’s simple, if the judge allows us to inspect and count the ballots – we win. Kris Mayes will either resign or be removed from office. Count the votes accurately,” said Hamadeh.

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Miyares Launches Two-Pronged Investigation into Thomas Jefferson High School

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Wednesday a civil rights investigation into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology amid allegations that school officials suppressed student merit awards until after college early application periods.

“My office will investigate whether the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology administration’s withholding of National Merit Scholarship honors from students violated the Virginia Human Rights Act,” he wrote in a letter to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid and TJ Principal Ann Bonitatibus, warning that he planned to issue subpoenas if the officials don’t cooperate.

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Commentary: With Schools Ditching Merit for Diversity, Families of High Achievers Head for the Door

Alex Shilkrut has deep roots in Manhattan, where he has lived for 16 years, works as a physician, and sends his daughter to a public elementary school for gifted students in coveted District 2. 

It’s a good life. But Shilkrut regretfully says he may leave the city, as well as a job he likes in a Manhattan hospital, because of sweeping changes in October that ended selective admissions in most New York City middle schools. 

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More than 500 People Apprehended off Key West Since New Year’s Eve

More than 500 foreign nationals were apprehended after attempting to illegally enter Florida on the first two days of the year, an unpreceded number, officials say. They arrived by boat mostly off the coast of the Florida Keys, prompting multiple agencies to issue warnings to Floridians and a national park was forced to close to the public.

The record number of apprehensions in first two days of the year was after the Miami Border Patrol Sector reported a more than a 500% increase in apprehensions in fiscal year 2022.

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Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Announces Retirement After Not Being Retained by Hobbs Administration

Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Director Colonel Heston Silbert announced Tuesday that he would retire from his position effective Friday.

“I am announcing my retirement from the Department of Public Safety effective Friday, January 6, 2023. It has been an honor of a lifetime to have served the men and women of the Department of Public Safety, and the citizens of this great state. As Director I observed firsthand the selflessness, dedication, and bravery of our Arizona State Troopers and professional staff,” Silbert said. “I would like to thank Governor Ducey for his support and faith in me.”

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Minnesota DFL Announces Session Priorities Including Paid Family Leave, Clean Energy

With more than a $17 billion projected surplus, the Democrats released their priorities at a capitol news conference Wednesday.

“We are moving swiftly because that’s what Minnesotans expect and deserve,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said. “Although there were bipartisan wins over the last four years, many of Minnesotans’ priorities were blocked by the Republican Senate majority. With unified DFL control of state government, we now have an opportunity to work quickly to improve people’s lives. The DFL-led House and Senate are going to work hard and work together to meet the needs of Minnesotans and build a state that works better for everyone.”

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Wisconsin Indigenous Activist Exposed as Appropriating Native American Ethnicity

Kay LeClaire, the far-left Madison, Wisconsin-based activist who claimed an American-Indian heritage and clamored for radical causes she said benefitted the indigenous community, is facing public denunciation after being exposed as entirely white.

LeClaire, who went by the alias nibiiwakamigkwe [lower-case in the original] is a co-founder of giige [also lower-case in the original]. The arts-oriented group describes itself as “an Indigenous and queer space for the community in and around Teejop [a Ho-Chunk tribal word for the Great Lakes region].” Though female, LeClaire describes herself as “nonbinary,” denying she belongs to either sex. 

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Truckers Weigh Options on New Connecticut Highway Tax

Truckers are criticizing a new Connecticut law charging them a tax for driving on the state’s roadways, with a trade group weighing a legal challenge. 

The new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires commercial truckers to pay rates ranging from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds to 10 cents per mile for trucks weighing 80,000 pounds. Trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds are slated to pay 17.5 cents per mile under the new regulations. 

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Ohio Attorney General Ties Nonprofit Grant Money to Completion of Charitable University

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Wednesday, the completion of Charitable University, also known as CharitableU, is now mandatory for nonprofits who want to seek grant money from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to promote organizations to be fraud-free this year.

According to Yost, CharitableU is a new training and accountability tool for Ohio charity organizations. The program ensures that they run their companies properly and prevent the squandering of crucial donations due to incompetence, carelessness, or fraud.

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Governor DeWine Says Sports Betting Operations Have Already Crossed the Line in Ohio

A mere two days since the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine is already questioning the legality of some companies’ practices.

In his first remarks on the matter since the state’s legalized sports betting on Sunday, DeWine said he had taken a personal interest in upholding state laws governing gambling organizations’ advertising.

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Pennsylvania House Elects Democrat as Speaker, Who in Turn Changes to Independent

After delays, motions to adjourn, and much uncertainty, the narrowly divided Pennsylvania House of Representatives chose Democrat Mark Rozzi of Berks County as Speaker of the House. 

Rozzi won 115 votes against Republican Carl Metzger of Somerset County, who received 85 votes. 

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Judge Completely Blocks Oregon’s Restrictive Gun Law

A judge on Tuesday placed a hold on a portion of Oregon’s recently passed gun law that enhances background check requirements for firearm purchases, leaving the legislation completely blocked.

The ruling is another setback for the law, Ballot Measure 114, which is now entirely paused as legal challenges to various portions of the law make their way through Oregon’s court system. The judge determined that the law’s heightened background check requirement could not be implemented while the court continues to debate the other portions of the law, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, as plaintiffs argue the law violates the state’s constitution.

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Commentary: The Reason the Pennsylvania GOP Held the State Senate amid a Disappointing Midterm

This past midterm, Pennsylvania state Senate Republicans managed to meet electoral expectations while the remainder of the commonwealth’s GOP suffered stunning losses – many of them unanticipated. Why?

The story begins 99 weeks before Election Day, when state Senate Republicans elected Kim Ward as the legislative chamber’s majority leader.

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Regulator Fines Tech Giant Millions for Showing Targeted Ads Based on User Activity

An Irish data privacy regulator has issued fines totaling €390 million — roughly $410 million — against Facebook and Instagram parent Meta over practices related to its monitoring of users’ behavior on its services in order to create targeted ads, according to a Wednesday press release by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Meta had previously argued to the commission that it had the right to tailor ads to users based on their online activity because the Terms of Service that users agreed to to use the service amounted to a contract, and that gathering this personalized data was a core part of that contract, according to the DPC. Although the DPC originally agreed with this argument, it reversed its position after other European regulators challenged this view during a standard peer review process, finding that Meta was “not entitled” to consider the Terms of Service agreement as sufficient legal basis for its actions.

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Commentary: The Truth Behind George Santos’ Lies

The uproar over George Santos and his crude fabrications has given official Washington an opportunity to do what it does best: moralize and deflect. It is all a little amusing to watch. Who are these scoundrels to hold forth on truth and transparency? Are we meant to be astonished that a politician lied to secure public office? The freshman congressman from New York is distinguished only by the chutzpah of his act. His dishonesty, in an ironic way, is more truthful than the posturing of the preening hypocrites denouncing him.  

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Biden Admin to Hike Fees on Legal Immigrants to Fund Processing of Illegal Migrants Who Claim Asylum

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Biden administration will increase the costs for legal immigrants to apply for permits, visas and green cards to help mitigate the backlog of asylum cases due to record surges of illegal immigration at the southern border, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Tuesday.

The recent surge in illegal immigration has contributed to the years-long asylum backlogs, where applicants wait an average of 4.3 years nationwide to appear in court, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Under the proposed new rules, H-1B application fees for skilled workers will jump from $60 to $780, fees for non-agricultural workers will jump from $460 to $1080 and fees for green card applicants will jump from $1,140 $1,540, USCIS said.

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