House Oversight Panel to Probe China Money to University Where Biden Worked, Classified Memos Found

The chairman of the main House investigative committee announced Thursday he is expanding his probe of the Biden family to examine the University of Pennsylvania’s reliance on Chinese donations during the time it employed President Joe Biden and hosted his think tank where classified documents were recently found improperly stored.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James announced the decision after Just the News reported Wednesday night that the Ivy League university affectionately known as Penn collected $67.6 million in donations from Chinese sources between 2013 and 2019, two-thirds of it while it employed Joe Biden as a guest professor and hosted his Penn Biden Center.

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Academy Award Nominated Screenwriter Roger Simon Recommends Movies to Watch Ahead of Awards

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Academy award-nominated screenwriter, Roger Simon in studio to discuss the art of screenwriting, woke Hollywood, and some of his recommended picks.

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Biden’s Classified Documents Scandal Raises Questions About Penn Biden Center’s Foreign Donations

As a second batch of classified government documents pops up in the garage of President Joe Biden’s Delaware home, Republican lawmakers want answers for the kind of records handling that got former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home raided. 

Meanwhile, the Biden Center, a think tank funded by the University of Pennsylvania, is coming under increased scrutiny as a “dark-money, revolving-door nightmare” where foreign competitors like China are suspected of currying favor with high-ranking officials, according to a government watchdog. 

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The Epoch Times Editor Nanette Holt Discusses Conservative Students’ Fears at Florida Colleges

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Florida-based editor and reporter for The Epoch Times, Nanette Holt to the newsmaker line to talk about her recent article which addresses the fears of conservative students as Florida colleges continue woke curriculum.

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Epoch Times Columnist Roger Simon Talks Congressman Ogles Interview and Transparency in Congress

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed columnist for The Epoch Times, Roger Simon in studio to talk about his recent article with Congressman Andy Ogles and Speaker McCarthy allowing CSPAN cameras to roam about Congress.

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All-Star Panelists Brewer and Simon Question Intelligence Agency Indifference Towards Biden’s Top Secret Documents Being Discovered

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelists Clint Brewer and Roger Simon in studio to speculate on why the American intelligence agencies are looking to the other way in Biden top secret doc leak.

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Recovering Journalist Clint Brewer Talks About Shrinking the Metro Council

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in studio to discuss the proposed reduction of Metro Council members from 40 to 20 and how a support staff would make it more efficient.

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Hunter Biden Accessed Garage Where Dad Kept His Corvette (And Classified Material)

Shortly after the White House announced that a second set of classified documents from the Obama administration was discovered in the Delaware home of the president – and immediately before Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a second special prosecutor into misplaced classified presidential papers – Joe Biden tried to reassure the country by telling reporters that the sensitive documents were behind locked doors. 

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New Twitter File Dump Shows Democratic Lawmakers Knowingly Pushed Fake Russia Narrative About Nunes Report

Journalist Matt Taibbi on Thursday released part 14 of the “Twitter Files,” showing how congressional Democrats tried to discredit a report by then-California Rep. Devin Nunes regarding the federal government’s Trump-Russia investigation. 

Emails show how the lawmakers crafted and pushed a narrative claiming Russian bots were responsible for bolstering claims in the report by Nunes, who at the time was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. 

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Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Investigate Classified Biden Documents

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president.

He said he initially appointed U.S. Attorney John Lausch, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, to conduct the initial investigation, but because Lausch is retiring, a different special counsel needed to be appointed.

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White House Confirms Classified Documents Found at Biden’s Delaware Home

The White House on Thursday confirmed that a second set of classified documents Joe Biden was vice president had been discovered in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

“During the review, the lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden administration records with classified markings,” special counsel Richard Sauber said, The New York Times reported. 

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Tennessee State Board of Education Considers Rule Change That Would Result in Change to Value of Education Savings Accounts

On January 30th the Tennessee State Board of Education will hold a rulemaking hearing on BEP to TISA transition rules. Included is a provision that could serve to increase the value of state Education Saving Accounts (ESA), potentially even doubling that value. This could ultimately lead to increased investment by state lawmakers. 

Item number 7 under proposed rule 0520-01-16 governing ESAs reads as follows:

“The maximum annual amount to which a participating student is entitled under the Program shall be equal to the amount representing the per-pupil state and local funds generated and required through the state’s K-12 education funding formula Basic Education Program (“BEP”) for the LEA in which the participating student resides, or the statewide per pupil average of required state and local funds as determined through the state’s K-12 education funding formulaBEP funds, whichever amount is less.”

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Democrats Mischaracterize Bill Protecting Babies Born Alive After Botched Abortions

Democratic politicians are portraying the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care professionals to provide necessary care to infants born alive after failed abortions, as an attack on women’s rights.

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark and Democratic California Reps. Judy Chu and Norma Torres characterized the legislation as an assault on women’s freedom and bodily autonomy. Certain tweets also appeared to refer to a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning violent attacks on pro-life groups.

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Major Conservative Donor Bernie Marcus Ditches McDaniel, Endorses Harmeet Dhillon for RNC Boss

One of the country’s foremost conservative donors on Wednesday endorsed former Trump campaign adviser Harmeet Dhillon to lead the Republican National Committee.

“I am supporting Harmeet Dhillon to become the next chairwoman of the RNC because America’s path forward is at stake,” Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus wrote in a letter to RNC members obtained by Just the News.

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Secretary of State’s Office Urging Vulnerable Tennesseans to Utilize Its ‘Safe at Home’ Address Confidentiality Program

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging vulnerable Tennesseans to protect their address by taking advantage of his office’s Safe at Home address confidentiality program.

Hargett’s call for Tennesseans to take advantage of the program comes during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which was observed on Wednesday.

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House Republicans Call for Ban on Big Tech Private Funding of Election Administration

Some House Republicans are urging federal action to bar private money from bankrolling election administration after a Big Tech-aligned group that made controversial grants in 2020 is issuing another round of grants aimed at the 2024 elections. 

“Private money has no place in public election infrastructure,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told The Daily Signal in a statement. 

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Group Sues Mainstream Media Outlets over Alleged Antitrust, First Amendment Violations

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced Tuesday night that he and several other plaintiffs had filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against several major news organizations, accusing them of antitrust and constitutional violations.

During a live interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Kennedy, chairman and chief litigation counsel for Children’s Health Defense (CHD), said the lawsuit targets the Trusted News Initiative (TNI), a self-described “industry partnership” launched by several of the world’s largest news outlets—including the BBC, The Associated Press (AP), Reuters, The Washington Post, Google Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter—in March of 2020.  The lawsuit argues that the TNI was launched, in part, because the corporate media organizations believed that smaller independent news outlets were threatening their business models.

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Pentagon Officially Overturns Military Vaccine Mandate

The Department of Defense (DOD) officially scrapped the requirement that all members of the armed forces be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin introduced the mandate in August 2021 as Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines were expected to become available, citing the impact of rising case numbers on the military’s readiness. However, after more than a year of legal challenges to the mandate and at least 8,400 discharges for refusing the vaccine, Congress instructed Austin to reverse course in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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‘Chiefs for Change’ Names Newest Member Cohort, Includes Two Candidates from Tennessee

A national education policy advocacy group founded by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has named its newest cohort of future members. Among them are Tennesseans, Eve Carney of the Tennessee Department of Education and Hamilton County’s Deputy Superintendent, Sonia Stewart. The two are part of the Chiefs for Change seventh cohort of its Future Chiefs ​leadership development program.

Eve Carney, per the Tennessee Department of Education’s organizational chart, serves as the Chief of Districts and Schools, despite the Chiefs for Change press release identifying her as Deputy Commissioner. Carney, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, has served with the TDOE since 2014. 

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Ohio Attorney General Asks Supreme Court to Lift Order Blocking ‘Heartbeat Law’

Attorney General Dave Yost is requesting that the Ohio Supreme Court reinstates the heartbeat law as readily as possible, which blocks the majority of abortions once a fetal heartbeat is found.

In accordance with the 2019 Ohio law, doctors are not permitted to perform abortions once heart activity has been identified, or around six weeks into a pregnancy. The law went into effect the same day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24th, 2022.

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New Arizona AG Kris Mayes Hires Colleague of Progressive Lawyer Marc Elias as Chief Deputy

Arizona’s new Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes hired progressive attorney Dan Barr as her chief deputy, according to AZ Law and Barr’s LinkedIn profile. However, insiders say the longtime attorney for mainstream media did not resign from the Democratic firm Perkins Coie, where he worked with progressive attorney Marc Elias, until after he started in the position, which would be a conflict of interest, especially if he was involved with any litigation involving the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AAGO).

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Catholic Leaders Mourn Death of Cardinal Pell, Victim of Anti-Catholic Hate

A fearless defender of the Catholic faith, Australian Cardinal George Pell is being mourned as a victim of “anti-Catholicism” that drove him to be convicted of sexual abuse in 2018 and sentenced to solitary confinement, until finally he was acquitted by the full bench of the Australian High Court in 2020.

Pell, who died Tuesday at the age of 81, had recently undergone successful hip surgery, but then suffered cardiac arrest.

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Tennessee Lawmakers Consider Adding ‘Health of the Mother’ Exception to Abortion Limit Law

Tennessee lawmakers will reportedly consider whether to add “exceptions” to the state’s abortion ban, including the “health of the mother,” a phrase that pro-life leaders say has been used by abortionists and their supporters for decades to prop up the entire abortion industry.

Tennessee’s “trigger” law that bans abortion, titled the Human Life Protection Act, took effect August 25, two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton Announces New Tool for Public Use to Track State Legislation in Real Time

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) unveiled a new tool the public can use to track floor calendars, legislation, amendments, and video of all House legislative initiatives in real time.

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Pennsylvania Home Construction Down 60 Percent from 2004 Peak

Fayette, Lackawanna and Philadelphia counties weren’t factored into parts of the analysis due to missing or incomplete information, the report clarified.

After the 2008 housing crisis, annual housing permits found a new normal that was much lower than what was seen through the 1990s and early 2000s. As construction declined after the housing crash, demand outstripped supply, leading to higher housing costs across the commonwealth.

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Youngkin Makes Legislative Pitches During State of the Commonwealth Address

RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin continued his call for tax cuts, changes to education policy, and increased funding for law enforcement as part of his Wednesday State of the Commonwealth address; he described his first term as a reversal after his Democratic predecessors, and called on legislators to “press the accelerator.”

“I am here this afternoon to communicate that the state of our Commonwealth is substantially better than it was last year,” he said to applause. “We are still a great distance from our destination. A destination where Virginia truly is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m here this afternoon to urge us to accelerate our efforts to get more done and to get it done faster.”

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DeSantis Wants to ‘Further Advance Protections for Innocent Life’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who signed a 15-week abortion ban into law last year, wants more protections for Florida’s unborn babies.

“The upcoming 2023 Florida legislative session starts in March, and we look forward to working with the Florida Legislature to further advance protections for innocent life,” press secretary Bryan Griffin shared with The Daily Signal on Tuesday afternoon.

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Minnesota’s Secretary of State’s Election Reform ‘Wish List’ Includes Automatic Voter Registration

Those applying for driver’s licenses — or utilizing a plethora of other state agency services — could also automatically be registering to vote at the same time, if newly re-elected Secretary of State Steve Simon’s legislative priority wish list comes to fruition in the coming months at the Capitol.

Simon, a DFLer elected to his third term in November, held a press conference Monday announcing his support for automatic voter registration contained in HF3/SF3 along with a handful of other election-related “Legislative Priorities to Strengthen Our Democracy” that he said would continue to build on “Minnesota’s success story and reputation as a leader in elections and voting” and further expand access to voting.

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Solar Panel Manufacturer Invests $2.5 Billion in Georgia Factories

Governor Brian Kemp announced that solar panel manufacturer Qcells will invest $2.5 billion to build two new factories in Georgia, a significant expansion after the company opened the largest solar panel factory in the western hemisphere in Dalton in 2019.

“I am honored to announce the growth of Qcells in Georgia for a second time in less than a year,” Kemp said in a press release.

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Detroit Charter Schools Tout College Enrollment Numbers

As Michigan Democrats holding a political trifecta aim to regulate charter schools, data from the graduating class of 2021 show that the top eight open-enrollment high schools for college enrollment in Detroit are all charter schools.

Researchers from Grand Valley State University’s Charter Schools Office analyzed which high schools had the most students enrolling in college within six months of graduation.

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Ohio GOP Majority Discusses Next Steps Following Election of Jason Stephens for House Speaker

About a week after 22 Republicans sided with the Democrats to elect moderate State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as Speaker of the Ohio House, State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) invited his 45 supporters to a closed-door meeting Wednesday at the Ohio Statehouse to discuss their next steps.

This follows Merrin losing the vote for speaker over Stephens, who won with 22 Republicans and all 32 Democrats voting for him despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of Merrin as the new speaker.

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Bill Lowers Threshold for Felony Theft in Wisconsin

Losses from retail theft have soared over the past several years, a problem exacerbated by soft-on-crime prosecutors and judges. Wisconsin has a Supreme Court justice candidate who, has suggested that shoplifters who steal from “big box” retailers shouldn’t be aggressively prosecuted.

State Sen. Andre Jacque says his bill lowering Wisconsin’s threshold for felony theft is in response to the increasing brazenness of criminals and the kid glove treatment they’ve gotten from some prosecutors and judges like Dane County’s Everett Mitchell.

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Ohio’s Latta Reintroduces Measure Against Automatic Congressional Pay Raises

U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-OH-05) reintroduced a bill this week to end automatic pay raises for members of Congress. 

The congressman has proposed this measure in past sessions to force federal legislators to go on record every time they wish to raise their salaries. All seven cosponsors of the legislation were Republicans. It did not receive a vote in committee. 

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Arizona State Rep. David Cook Shares Successes from Ad Hoc Committee on Wildfires and Hopes for Future Legislation

Arizona State Rep. David Cook (R-Globe) led the House Ad Hoc Committee on Forest and Wildlife Management, and following the committee’s conclusion, Cook shared the successful results and efforts made by the committee in a massive final report Tuesday.

“I want to thank all the members that served on this committee – the final report shows their hard work and commitment to addressing this issue,” said Cook. “As a result of the five hearings we held around the state, we are better informed of the critical issues that can be addressed before Arizona families and communities are impacted by new catastrophic wildfires and post-fire flooding. In Arizona, we unfortunately know all too well that it’s a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if’.”

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State Representative Marilyn John Expresses Outrage over Ohio House Speaker Election

State Representative Marilyn John (R-Shelby) voiced her outrage at the recent selection of the Ohio Speaker of the House of Representatives at a meeting of the Richland County Ohio Republican Party on Monday.

Earlier this month, lawmakers elected moderate Republican Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as the new Speaker of the Ohio House to succeed state Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima). The choice came despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of state Representative Derek Merrin (R-Moncolva) as the new Speaker.

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Gannett to Discontinue Newspaper Chain ThisWeek

Later this month, ThisWeek Community News, a network of publications covering more than a dozen Columbus suburbs, will cease publication.

Gannett which also owns the Columbus Dispatch announced last week that ThisWeek’s final publication date for both print and online will be January 26th.

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Consumers Are Paying Record Credit Card Rates Due to Inflation

Average interest rates for bank-issued credit cards this past November surpassed a record set in 1985, Axios reported Wednesday, citing data from the Federal Reserve.

The previous record rate was 18.9%, set in the first quarter of 1985, with November’s rate of 19.1% comfortably eclipsing it, according to Axios. Credit card interest rates climbed alongside the Federal Reserve’s federal funds rate, which the Fed hiked a historically aggressive pace in 2022 to blunt economic demand and reduce the impact of inflation, NPR reported.

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Commentary: Forgery Cases Give Supreme Court Opportunity to Hold Unions Accountable for Shady Tactics

In its landmark Janus v. AFSCME ruling four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a decades-old precedent that 22 left-leaning states used to justify forcing millions of public employees to join or fund a labor union against their wishes. Despite this decision, several unions have used legal action—and illegal actions—to try to prevent employees and their dues from leaving.

Since the Janus decision, several hundred thousand government workers have parted company with their unions—and kept hundreds of millions of dues dollars in their own pockets—after deciding the association no longer made sense for themselves and their families.

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New Study Claims Trans Patients Unhappy with Their New Bodies Suffer from ‘Internalized Transphobia’

A new study out of the Netherlands claimed “internalized transphobia” caused transgender patients’ mental health issues and argued that their dissatisfaction with medical procedures was the result of outside pressure to conform to gender stereotypes.

The Dec. 28 study investigated an apparent contradiction in the transgender medical field: that despite the common assertion that cross-sex medical procedures improve patients’ mental health, many patients report continued mental struggles after these procedures. Researchers said stress, stigma and “internalized transphobia” caused the issues and examined patients’ different ways of coping.

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U.S. to Bulk Up Pacific Military Presence as China Eyes Taiwan

The U.S. and Japan are set to agree on restructuring the U.S. Marine force stationed in Okinawa, Japan, to give them more firepower and the ability to quickly respond if China attacks Taiwan, according to media reports.

A new strategy will arm the roughly 18,000 Marines deployed to Okinawa with missiles that can reach the Chinese mainland and increase their maneuverability if they are called upon to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, The Washington Post reported, citing two officials familiar with the matter. Japan and the U.S. agreed to the restructuring as China readies for a potential offensive, officials said.

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