Liz Peek: Biden Has Played His Cards Very Poorly by Resisting Negotiations on the National Debt

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Aaron Gulbransen welcomed Fox contributor and finance guru Liz Peek to the newsmaker line to give her take on the debt ceiling debacle and Janet Yellen’s job.

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Chelsey Youman of the Human Coalition: Our Goal Is to Make Abortion Unthinkable and Unnecessary

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Aaron Gulbransen welcomed Chelsey Youman, Texas state director and national legislative advisor for the Human Coalition Action, to the newsmaker line to describe the pro-life services Human Coalition Action offers to pregnant women.

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Democrat State Sen. Heidi Campbell Condemns GOP Legislators’ Call to Cancel Red Flag Special Session

Tennessee State Senator Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) is condemning a group of Republican state lawmakers for signing onto an open letter urging Governor Bill Lee to cancel the special legislative session that the governor called earlier this month.

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No Response From Gov. Lee on Far-Left Riots Planned During August Special Session

After The Tennessee Star exposed the far-left’s plan to disrupt and commit acts of violence during the August special session of the Tennessee General Assembly, Gov. Bill Lee’s office could not even be reached for comment. 

The Star followed up with Lee’s office on its series of exclusive reporting of audio obtained from inside a far-left gathering hosted by Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood, but the phone number for Lee’s spokesperson goes directly to a voicemail box that is full, and cannot take new messages. 

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COVID Vaccine Injury Victims Sue Biden Officials, Alleging They’ve Been Victimized by Censorship

The Biden administration is using “threats, pressure, inducement, and coercion” to censor social media groups for COVID-19 vaccine injuries and prevent them from raising money, according to a new First Amendment lawsuit based in part on legal discovery from ongoing state-led litigation.

Plaintiffs Brianne Dressen, Shaun Barcavage, Kristi Dobbs, Nikki Holland and Suzanna Newell allege they “suffered –and continue to experience – serious and debilitating medical injuries within days (and, in many cases, hours)” of COVID vaccination. And plaintiff Ernest Ramirez says his 16-year-old son died of cardiac arrest five days after the boy’s first Pfizer dose. 

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State Freedom Caucus Network Expresses Support for Tennessee Legislators Rejecting Governor’s Special Called Session

Representatives from the State Freedom Caucus Network issued a statement of support Wednesday for the Tennessee House members who publicly rejected Governor Bill Lee’s call for a special session to pass gun control and red flag laws.

Earlier Wednesday, Tennessee State Representatives Bryan Richey (R-Maryville) issued an open letter to the governor, signed on to by Representatives Ed Butler (R-Rickman) and Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill), urging the abandonment of the special session scheduled for August 21.

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Senators Want to Know Why Former FBI Officials Refused to Cooperate With Durham Investigation

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) want Special Counsel John Durham to explain why former high-level government officials refused to cooperate with his investigation exposing the FBI for its many failures in the bogus Trump-Russia collusion probe. 

Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Johnson, ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent Durham a letter Tuesday asking why former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok declined to fully cooperate.

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NATO Countries Talk Big About Beefing Up Defense Spending, But Most Haven’t Backed Up Pledges

Most NATO countries have failed to meet pledges to inflate defense spending made in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite voicing concerns about the intense security environment in Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal.

NATO countries on the eastern flank, most notably Poland, are girding for war as the conflict in Ukraine shows no sign of abating in the near term, prompting renewed commitments to beefing up their own and Ukraine’s militaries in line with the U.S., according to the WSJ. Others believe that Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine, illustrated in recent days by an incursion of pro-Ukrainian partisans into a Russian border territory with little initial resistance, means there is less urgency to increase spending on weapons and military equipment than previously imagined, according to the outlet.

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Tax Documents Show Black Lives Matter Lost Millions in 2022

The official Black Lives Matter organization lost millions of dollars in 2022, according to recently unearthed tax returns.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Black Lives Matter Global Foundation Network saw a deficit of $8.5 million in 2022, and also lost $10 million from its investment accounts. In addition, the group recorded a loss of $961,000 on a securities sale of $172,000, amounting to a roughly 85 percent loss as a result of the transaction.

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South Carolina Lawmakers Send Heartbeat Bill to Governor’s Desk

The South Carolina Legislature gave final approval to its heartbeat bill Tuesday, one that would ban abortions from the time a fetal heartbeat is detected and a move that will continue the trend in the southern states to restrict abortion.

The state senate passed the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act (S. 474) Tuesday by a vote of 27-19 and sent the measure to the desk of Governor Henry McMaster (R), who said he “look[s] forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Skrmetti Joins Lawsuit Against Avid Telecom for Initiating and Facilitating Billions of Illegal Robocalls

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has joined a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general in suing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider accused of initiating and facilitating millions of Americans with billions of illegal robocalls.

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State Rep. Bryan Richey Issues Open Letter Calling on Governor Bill Lee to Cancel Special Legislative Session

Richey and his colleagues urge the governor to abandon the special session proposed for August 21 in response to The Covenant School tragedy, because the General Assembly can discuss and consider legitimate measures to improve public safety when it reconvenes in January 2024.

While acknowledging that the governor has the constitutional authority to call a special session, the letters states that it “will be a political event to put pressure on conservative Republicans to grow government and ignore the will of their constituents in service to the national woke mob that will descend on the Capitol.”

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Metro Nashville Lead Attorney Admits Trying to Slow Down Court Proceedings to Let School, Parents Intervene in Covenant Killer Records Lawsuit

We learned this week that Metro Nashville’s lawyers deliberately attempted to slow down court proceedings on the lawsuit seeking the release of the Covenant Killer’s manifesto and related documents.

Such delay tactics raise an important question: Is the city government colluding with the Covenant Presbyterian School and families of the private Christian elementary school to keep the records from the public?  

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Minnesota Lawmakers End Session with $2.6 Billion Bonding and ‘Cash Only’ Capital Investment Package

It’s not a bonding year at the legislature, but that didn’t stop lawmakers — every Democrat and a number of Republicans — at the Minnesota Capitol from giving the green light to about $2.6 billion worth of bonding and “cash-only” capital investment projects across the state before time ran out on the 2023 session.

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Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Limits of Warrantless Drone Surveillance

The Michigan Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the government can use drones to surveil private property without a warrant and then use that evidence in court for zoning violations. 

For two years, Long Lake Township zoning officials flew a drone over Todd and Heather Maxon’s property in northern Michigan, taking photographs and videos as part of a zoning dispute.

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Voter Data-Sharing System Issues Dominate Schmidt’s Pennsylvania Senate Confirmation Hearing

At Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt’s initial confirmation hearing on Wednesday, many senators inquired about the commonwealth’s participation in a controversial voter data-sharing program. 

Schmidt, a moderate Republican former Philadelphia city commissioner who subsequently was president of the left-leaning nonprofit Committee of Seventy, will sit for a second hearing covering non-electoral issues his department oversees (e.g., professional licensure). But Senate State Government Committee Chair Cris Dush (R-Bellefonte) suggested discussion of Pennsylvania’s participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) will come up then as well. 

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Virginia Records the Largest Job Increase in Nearly a Decade

Virginia’s labor participation rate rose to the highest recorded in nearly a decade, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

April’s labor force participation rate increased by 0.3% to 66.2%, the highest since June 2014. The labor force in the commonwealth has risen by 21,687 this month. The BLS recorded more than 25,000 Virginians were employed in April than in March – leading the decline in unemployment to 3.1%.

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New Tennessee Law Forbids Colleges to Require Agreement with ‘Antiracist’ Concepts

A new Tennessee law forbids public higher education from requiring allegiance to “divisive concepts,” including some tenets of “antiracism” and diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI.

The legislation becomes binding July 1, according to the Tennessee General Assembly. The bill passed the Tennessee House and Senate in late April, and Gov. Bill Lee signed it April 28.

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New Arizona Law Gives More Power to Property Owners

While Governor Katie Hobbs has been busy vetoing bills this legislative session, some Republican-backed measures have been able to become law. Most recently, the House Majority Caucus announced Tuesday that one of those bills was HB 2607, sponsored by Representative Barbara Parker (R-Mesa), which aims to give more power to property owners.

Under the law, members of a condominium owner’s or planned community association can call for removing a board member if they feel that member is not serving them well. Community members must submit a petition that contains a certain percentage of members. An association of 1,000 requires 25 percent of members to approve, while larger associations only require ten percent.

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Governor DeWine Wants Additional Funding for Ohio Prisons Re-Entry Support

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine included additional millions of dollars in the 2024-2025 state budget presented to the Ohio General Assembly so that even more can be done to help individuals coming out of prison to reintegrate into society.

For fiscal year 2024, DeWine requested $2.3 billion in funds to operate the Ohio Department of Corrections, a 7.9 percent increase from 2023.

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Ohio Republicans Launch Campaign to Shed Light on Importance of Protecting State Constitution Through Issue 1

A group of Republicans have launched a campaign in support of State Issue 1 the proposal aimed at altering the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments.

The campaign group called Protect Our Constitution is co-chaired by State Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and State Representative Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) and is backed by three major business groups in the state including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Restaurant Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business.

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Backs State Issue 1 to Raise the Threshold to Amend the State Constitution

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he intends to vote for Ohio State Issue 1 aimed at altering the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments at the statewide special election in August.

Issue 1, if approved by voters, would mandate a 60 percent approval percentage for any future constitutional amendments, call for signatures from all 88 counties, and do away with the opportunity to “cure” petitions by collecting additional signatures if necessary.

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Ohio Northern University Law School Abruptly Yanks Conservative Professor from Classroom, Refuses to Say Why

A law professor at Ohio Northern University (ONU) said he was recently removed from his classroom by school security officers and banned from campus—and administrators refuse to explain why.

“Armed town police followed me down the hall. My students appeared shocked and frightened. I know I was,” Scott Gerber, a faculty member at the private Methodist university since 2001, described in a May 9 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Tax-Versus-Fee Arguments About Whether RGGI Can Stand

Arguing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday, one state agency alleged another improperly refused to publish an executive action implementing a de facto carbon tax, effectively halting the polcy. 

At issue is a decision made by the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) not to publicize a regulation decreed by then-Governor Tom Wolf (D) entering the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The LRB, which drafts all state legislation upon lawmakers’ requests and provides other policy reference services, declined to promulgate the rule enrolling the commonwealth in the multistate compact, citing a state House of Representatives resolution opposing it.

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Liberal-Led LinkedIn Censors Rising Republican Presidential Candidate Ramaswamy

Lefty-led LinkedIn is censoring anti-woke crusader Vivek Ramaswamy’s account, the GOP presidential candidate says. 

The Ohio entrepreneur and political outsider fired off a tweet Thursday morning declaring, “Big Tech election interference has begun.” 

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Arizona Department of Education Files Response Brief in Case Challenging Arizona Sports Law

PHOENIX, Arizona – The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) held a press conference Wednesday detailing a new filing submitted in the lawsuit surrounding Arizona’s law, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” that prevents biological males from competing against women in school sports.

“This case turns on one crucial fact: can plaintiffs prove that pre-puberty boys have no sports advantage over girls? They cannot,” according to the brief shared with reporters.

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Commentary: Mask Mandates Unmasked

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “There’s no reason for you to be walking around with a mask.” But the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) soon changed his stance. Although not 100 percent effective, Fauci said, wearing masks is “a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”

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Non-Binary Ex-Biden Official Sam Brinton to Be in Men’s Jail over Suitcase Theft Charges: Sheriff

Ex-Energy Department official Sam Brinton, believed to have been the first non-binary person to be a top-level government official, will be placed in a Maryland men’s jail while waiting to be sent to Virginia for charges related to alleged suitcase theft.

Brinton, 35, is in a “pre-placement” hold at the Montgomery County Jail and will be placed with the “general population” in the men’s jail next week, a county sheriff’s deputy told The New York Post on Tuesday.

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House Follows Senate in Voting for Resolution to Halt Tougher EPA Vehicle Emission Standards

The GOP-led House on Tuesday voted in favor of a resolution to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency’s  emissions restrictions for heavy-duty trucks. 

The joint-chamber resolution, which passed the House by a 221-203 vote, was introduced by Republican lawmakers in February via the Congressional Review Act (CRA) – a law that allows Congress to reverse rules made by a federal agency.

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TikTok Sues Montana over Total Statewide Ban

Chinese social media platform TikTok on Monday filed suit against a Montana law barring the platform from operating within the state and forbidding app marketplaces from offering it for download.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts,” the company wrote in a complaint filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, per Politico.

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BlackRock’s Board Fends Off Climate Proposals from Left-Wing Shareholders at Annual Meeting

Investing giant BlackRock’s board of directors recommended voting against two climate report proposals at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, and investors followed the firm’s advice.

Each proposal demanded reports from BlackRock; left-wing activist organization CODEPINK requested a report from BlackRock concerning the climate-related risks of its aerospace fund. Paul Rissman, co-founder of Rights CoLab and a fellow for the George Soros-founded Open Society Foundations, requested a report on engineering decarbonization and its impact on pension fund returns; BlackRock’s board of directors recommended voting against both because the firm argued they do not provide the best results for shareholders.

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