New Laws Go Into Effect in Virginia, Including Online Service Opt-Out, Penalty for Non-Consensual Sexting, Repeal of Switchblade Ban, and Anti-Hazing Bill

New laws took effect in Virginia on Friday, including high-profile legislation like the FY 2023-2024 budget, bills aimed at preventing animal cruelty, a bill requiring schools to notify parents about sexually explicit instructional material, and a bill requiring school principals to report misdemeanors to law enforcement.

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Joe Biden Signs Executive Order Pushing Further Transgender Treatments for Children

Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that directs his Departments of Health and Human Services and Education to further push life-altering, “gender-affirming” treatments in children who claim gender confusion, and increase LGBTQ activism infiltration, under the guise of anti-bullying and anti-suicide programs, in public schools throughout the United States.

The order is specifically aimed at states that have banned transgender medical interventions for minors, promoted parental rights, and that have blocked public schools from teaching concepts related to gender identity and sexuality to young children.

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John Murawski of ‘Real Clear Investigations’ Tackles an Explanation of the Taxpayer-Funded Federal Equity Plan

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed John Murawski of Real Clear Investigations to the newsmaker line to review his recent piece addressing the taxpayer-funded federal equity plans.

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Biden Expected to Sign First Executive Order Regulating Cryptocurrency

Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order that will begin the process of regulating the trading of cryptocurrency, as crypto becomes a viable alternative for Russians seeking to avoid the impact of economic sanctions.

According to ABC News, at least two anonymous Biden Administration officials said that the order will be issued this week, and has allegedly been in the planning stage since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. The order will outline the various steps that government agencies, including the Treasury Department, are to take to begin the process of imposing regulations on the buying and selling of digital currencies.

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Crom’s Crommentary: The Grift of Biden’s Executive Order on Infrastructure Money

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

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Business Owner Jailed for Violating Walz Orders Released from Custody

An Albert Lea woman who was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders was released from custody Saturday morning.

Lisa Hanson, owner of The Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro, refused to close her business when Gov. Walz ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to shut down. She was found guilty of six misdemeanors as a result.

Prosecutors argued for a $500 fine and several days in jail, but Judge Joseph Bueltel wanted to make an example out of Hanson, which he made clear in court. Bueltel reprimanded Hanson for “making money” while “suckers down the street closed.”

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Promises Mask Mandate Opt-Out, If Elected Governor

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci pledged to end mask mandates on his first day as governor, if he were to be elected.

In order to accomplish the goal, the Republican contender explained that he would sign an executive order to give parents the power to opt their students out of school mask mandates.

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State Department to Waive Fees for Immigrants Denied Visas During Travel Ban to Reapply

The State Department will waive fees for immigrants seeking visas to come to the U.S. if they were previously denied one because of the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a Wednesday announcement.

“An IV applicant who is the beneficiary of a valid immigration petition may submit another visa application after being refused and in most circumstances they are required to pay again the relevant application fees,” according to a Federal Register rule published Wednesday. “The Department exempts from such fees only those IV applicants who are applying again after being refused” a visa under the travel ban.

The ban prevented immigration from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing the ban on his first day in office in January 2021.

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Congressman Mark Green Calls on President Biden to End Vaccine Mandate Executive Orders

Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-07) sent a letter to President Joe Biden that called on the president to revoke his vaccine mandate executive orders.

According to Green, the two orders from Biden violate the law and should be removed after action taken by the judicial branch.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Taking on City of Tucson for Firing Employees Who Refuse to Get Vaccinated

The City of Tucson initially backed off of mandating the COVID-19 vaccine after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a legal opinion declaring it was illegal, but Tucson has now reversed itself again with a new 4-3 vote by the Tucson City Council. Any Tucson employee not in compliance by December 1 will be fired. Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted that it was “unfathomable” and had his General Counsel Annie Foster send City Attorney Mike Rankin a stern letter. 

“It’s unfathomable that after a year as tough as last, the Tucson City Council voted to FIRE unvaccinated city employees,” Ducey tweeted. “The state Legislature has spoken on this issue — they want Arizonans and their sincerely held beliefs to be protected from overreaching mandates.”

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Gov. Abbott Bans All COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order late Monday prohibiting all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state of Texas.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a tweet announcing the executive order.

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Governor Bill Lee Extends Executive Order to Allow Parents to Opt Children Out of Mask Mandates

Bill Lee on the State House floor

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) announced on Thursday that he is extending an executive order that allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates in schools.

The decision by Lee follows rulings by multiple judges that blocked the implementation of the order in Knox, Shelby, and Williamson counties.

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Parents Sue Williamson County Schools to Dismiss Mask Mandate Altogether

On Wednesday, September 22nd, a group of parents in Williamson County sued the county school system over its mask mandate that impacts students, staff, and faculty. The lawsuit, which was filed by four parents, asks for the federal court to set aside the mask mandate and declares the policy is unconstitutional.

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Federal Judge Blocks Governor Lee’s Executive Order to Opt-Out of Mask Mandates in Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

On Friday, a federal judge temporarily blocked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order allowing parents to opt their kids out of wearing face coverings at school. Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw ruled Williamson County Schools and the Franklin Special School District can enforce mask mandates in their school systems despite Governor Lee’s executive order.

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Lawsuits Continue to Mount over Governor Lee’s Opt-Out Mask Order for Students

Three similar lawsuits challenging Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order allowing parents to opt students out of mask mandates are proceeding across the state and are at different points.

A preliminary injunction granted last week in Shelby County against Lee’s order applies to only Shelby County.

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Chiefs for Change, a Group Which Lists Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn as a Member, Issues Statement Supporting Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Chiefs for Change, an educational advocacy group, has come out in support of President Joe Biden’s new executive order on vaccine mandates. Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, Penny Schwinn, is a part of the group.

In a statement on Thursday, the group applauded the President’s executive order, saying, “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective – and they are what will finally end this pandemic. We commend the Biden Administration for requiring staff at all Head Start programs, Department of Defense schools, and Bureau of Indian Education-operated schools to get vaccinated, and we echo the president’s request that states require vaccines for their K-12 employees.”

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Crom Carmichael Unwinds Shelby County Lawsuit Against Lee’s Executive Order Citing Sly State Law

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the course events of Shelby County’s mask mandate lawsuit against Governor Lee.

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Gov. Kemp Signs Order Blocking COVID-19 Mandates on Georgia Businesses

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order Thursday that blocks local governments from mandating COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

Private sector businesses and sports teams can follow local COVID-19 requirements if they chose, but Kemp’s order stops them from being required to do so.

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Mayor Andy Ogles Questions Governor Lee’s Emergency and Statutory Powers

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to examine the Tennessee state constitution relating to whether or not Governor Bill Lee has the authority to extend emergency powers.

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Precedent Matters: Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Questions the Slippery Slope of Bill Lee’s Executive Order Regarding Masks in School

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the lack of clarity in Bill Lee’s executive order for K12 mask mandates.

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Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Grassroots Director Grant Henry Discusses the Governed, the Government, and Bill Lee’s Executive Order

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Americans for Prosperity’s Grant Henry in studio to weigh in on the laws and liberties of American citizens, dangerous precedence, and Governor Lee’s disturbing executive order.

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Governor Bill Lee Extends COVID State of Emergency Order

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Friday extended the Limited State of Emergency, which has been in effect for more than a year, allowing a continuation of his emergency powers.

Further, the order from the governor allows National Guard troops to continue to assist in vaccination efforts and other “certain health care” functions throughout the state. The order also allows the state to maintain federal compliance.

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Business Groups Slam Biden’s ‘Flawed’ Competition, Antitrust Executive Order

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden’s competition and antitrust executive order will harm American consumers, groups representing both large and small businesses said.

The leading groups — including the Chamber of Commerce, Job Creators Network (JCN) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) — slammed Biden’s executive order, arguing that it will harm competition and present a host of challenges to small businesses. The business groups said the order is an example of big government attempting to exert control over the free market via onerous rules and regulations.

“This executive order amounts to a bizarre declaration against American businesses, from the largest to the smallest,” Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating said in a statement. “It’s hard to understand why a White House would go down such a path, especially as the economy is digging out from the COVID-19 disaster.”

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Biden’s Executive Order Targets Big Tech, Urges FCC to Restore Net Neutrality

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is taking aim at Big Tech and Big Telecom’s growing power with a new executive order that will add regulations and facilitate competition within the industries.

The order, which Biden is expected to sign Friday, includes over 70 provisions, all aimed at promoting competition within tech and telecom, both of which have become more monopolistic in recent years.

It encourages the Federal Trade Commission to overhaul its rules regarding personal data collection and bans unfair competition practices online, according to a White House fact sheet. It also calls for more scrutiny when examining potential corporate mergers, especially when a larger corporation acquires a smaller one or when it could affect customers’ privacy or competition within the sector.

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Kemp Ends Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency as of July 1

Georgia’s public health state of emergency will end on July 1 under an executive order signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Kemp first declared a public health state of emergency on March 14, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration helps the state easily access supplies and other resources needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. It lifts certain medical and commercial transportation regulations.

Tuesday’s order extends the declaration by one day and one minute.

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Arizona Governor Issues Executive Order Preventing COVID Vaccine Mandates on College Campuses

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday an executive order that will prevent the state’s public colleges and universities from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its students.

The executive order comes in response to Arizona State University informing its students that they “expect” students to return to campus in the fall fully vaccinated. Further, individuals who choose not to receive the coronavirus vaccine would be subjected to a mask requirement and weekly testing.

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Gov. Kemp Bans Vaccine Passports in Georgia

Passport

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order on Tuesday banning the use of vaccine passports throughout the state. 

The order explicitly states that no state agency, provider of state services, or state property is allowed to implement any vaccine passport program or require proof of vaccination in order to enter the premises of a location or conduct business. Additionally, vaccination will not be required to enter the state of Georgia.

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Georgia Suspends Gas Tax Amid Shortage

Gov. Brian Kemp (R) Tuesday signed an executive order temporarily eliminating the Peach State’s gas tax, among other measures, after a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline has halted gas flow to much of the southeast. 

“Today I signed an executive order suspending the gas tax in Georgia to help with higher prices as a result of the Colonial cyber attack. We are working closely with Colonial and expect for them to recover by the end of the week,” Kemp said on Twitter, attaching an official statement from his office. 

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Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Scrapping All of Florida’s Covid Restrictions

Gov. DeSantis discussing COVID-19 bill.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.

“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”

DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Vows to Run State-Owned Facilities 100 Percent on Renewable Energy by 2025; Critics Describe as ‘Accounting Gimmick’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will increase state-owned facility renewable energy by 85% by 2025, up from the current 15%, but didn’t explain how.

The governor announced the goal on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day.

Whitmer cited a partnership between the state and energy providers DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light. Energy purchased from the utilities will expand those companies’ renewable energy portfolio in Michigan.

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Chincoteague Church Tries Again with Lawsuit Against Northam for 2020 Capacity Limits

Chincoteague-Island-based Lighthouse Fellowship Church (LFC) has filed a second opening brief in a lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam over 10-person capacity limits instituted in Spring 2020. Although Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that the church couldn’t sue the governor and that the case was moot since Northam had ended the capacity restriction, Liberty Counsel argues on behalf of the church that Wright was mistaken.

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Commentary: Left is Using Supreme Court Commission to Change Court’s Decisions, Not to Improve It

U.S. Supreme Court

Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order creating the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The White House announcement and the members chosen for this commission raise serious questions about its real purpose and concerns about its impact on the independence of the judiciary.

The most obvious question is why the Supreme Court needs to be examined at all. The simple answer is that the left wants a judiciary in general, and a Supreme Court in particular, that is likely to decide cases that will further a leftist political agenda.

Results that are politically correct—not judicially correct—are what matter to the left, and the left is not satisfied with the current Supreme Court’s decisions of late. Therefore, it wants to create one in its own image.

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Tennessee Firearms Association’s John Harris Weighs in on Biden Gun Control EO and How Tennessee Will React

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Association to the newsmakers line to weigh in on Joe Biden’s gun control executive order and whether or not Tennessee legislators will respond.

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Disney to Launch a New ‘National Treasure’ TV Series Starring an Illegal Immigrant

Disney Plus Shows

Disney has announced that the beloved “National Treasure” film franchise will be rebooted into a TV series that will feature a young female DREAMer as its main character, as reported by Breitbart.

The new series will premiere on Disney’s exclusive streaming platform Disney+, with the show’s description declaring that the story will be told “from the point of view of Jess Morales, a twenty-year-old DREAMer who, with her diverse group of friends, sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover her mysterious family history and recover lost treasure.”

“DREAMer” refers to the failed amnesty bill known as the DREAM Act, which Barack Obama tried to get passed through Congress while he was in office. When the bill could not garner bipartisan support to pass, he took the highly unconstitutional action of implementing most of the DREAM Act via executive order, which came to be known as the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA order. This order pledged to give blanket amnesty to illegal aliens who arrived in the United States as minors, and since the signing of the executive order, has become a legal and political football that has bounced from one court to another trying to determine its legality.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration over Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Ban

A coalition of 13 states sued President Joe Biden’s administration Wednesday over its January ban of new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

The 13-state coalition argued that President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order banning new oil and gas leases on federal lands was unlawful, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced the lawsuit alongside state lawmakers and energy officials.

“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up — costing the American people where it hurts most, in their pocketbooks,” Landry said during a press conference Wednesday. “Biden’s Executive Orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”

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Bill Lee Among the 17 Republican Governors Calling on President Biden to Rescind Executive Order Halting New Oil and Gas Leases on Federal Land

A group of Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday asking him to rescind an executive order that halts new leases for oil and gas development on federal land, arguing that it will have a negative impact on their economies and will cost consumers. 

Biden signed the lease moratorium Jan. 27 as part of a broader series of executive actions seeking to curb climate change. The executive order, which applies to offshore leases, does not apply to existing leases for development on federal lands or leases on tribal land.

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Mark Green Commentary: Biden’s Radically Divisive Executive Order Will Destroy Women’s Sports

Months after we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, one of President Biden’s first actions marks a drastic setback for women across this country. The President’s Executive Order instructs the Department of Education to allow transgender women – biological men who identify as women – to compete in women’s sports. Federally funded institutions are now being forced to allow biological men access to women’s sports and scholarships meant for women in sports. This move erodes the foundations of Title IX, is unfair to women, and is a massive overreach by the Federal government. 

Congress passed Title IX in 1972 to help break the glass ceiling for women, but President Biden’s Executive Order reinstates that very glass ceiling. Title IX was predicated on the fact that the biological makeup of males and females differ dramatically. That’s the reason Congress passed this important legislation – to grant women fair access to federal funding for sports and academics. Prior to Title IX, only 1 in 27 women played varsity sports, but today nearly half of girls participate in varsity sports. Before Title IX only 32,000 women competed in college sports, now 150,000 women do. Prior to Title IX athletic scholarships were virtually non-existent, now there are nearly 10,000 athletic scholarships for women.

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Northam Extends Virginia’s COVID-19 Restrictions

Virginia’s public gathering limits, daily curfews, face mask requirements and other COVID-19 restrictions will stay in place until the end of February, drawing concern from some members of the business community.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday he issued Executive Order 72, which extends and slightly modifies the state restrictions. Under the new restrictions, face masks will be required in not only indoor settings but also in any outdoor setting when a person cannot remain 6 feet away from other people.

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Virginia House Public Safety Subcommittee Killing Bills Limiting Executive Order Power

  Delegate Kirk Cox’s House bill limiting the length of executive orders will likely die in committee after a Public Safety subcommittee recommended tabling the bill. HB 2087, if passed, would limit the length of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders to just 45 days unless the General Assembly passes an…

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Proposed Legislation Gives School Boards Decision-Making Authority Over School Closures During Public Emergencies

A bill filed Monday will give Tennessee school boards the ultimate decision-making authority about whether their schools should be open or closed during a public emergency. 

The filing of the legislation was accompanied by an announcement from the bill’s sponsors, Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville).

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Delegate Cox Still Calling for Cash for Virginia Families Affected by Virtual Learning

President Trump issued an executive order on Monday allowing states to use COVID-19 funds to be provided as emergency learning scholarships for students who don’t have access to in-person learning. The funds are directed at families, not schools, and can also be used by homeschooling students. Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox’s staff (R-Colonial Heights) said the program is similar to one that he introduced in the General Assembly.

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MTS Nutrition CEO Marc Lobliner Floats 2022 Run Against Governor Bill Lee, Discovers He’s Not Eligible

Marc Lobliner announced that he would run in 2022 against Governor Bill Lee – if not for the state’s residency requirement. According to the law, an individual must reside in the state for at least seven years prior to the gubernatorial election. Lobliner moved to Tennessee at the end of last summer.

The massive fitness influencer issued the statement in response Governor Bill Lee’s latest executive order. Since Sunday, in-person gatherings have been limited to 10 or less people. The order didn’t indicate what the punishments were if not followed. The order also “strongly urged” employers to implement remote working, and for individuals to maintain social distancing and practice health department guidelines for weddings, funerals, and worship services. The order ends in about a month, on January 19th. 

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PUSHBACK: 400 Michigan Restaurants Band Together to Fight Whitmer’s COVID-19 Rules

Hundreds of restaurants banded together to push back against Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent coronavirus mandates, Fox Business reported Monday.

Joe Vicari, president of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group in a Monday appearance said a total of 400 eateries in the state have joined the push against Whitmer’s lockdowns, Fox reported. Michigan is nearing the end of a three-week pause that shuttered indoor dining and bar service, but the governor has indicated a willingness to re-extend the restrictions that end on Tuesday, according to Bridge Michigan.

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General Thomas McInerney Says the President Must Take Action Now Against Acts of Treason Through Executive Order and Insurrection Act

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed General Thomas McInerney to the show who gave his advice to the president to exercise his executive power by declaring a state of emergency against acts of treasonous cyberwar.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order to Block Investment in Businesses Benefiting China’s Military

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to block investment in Chinese businesses that the administration says benefit China’s military.

The order prohibits such investments beginning Jan. 11, 2021, but allows divestment from investments that include the Chinese securities through Nov. 11, 2021.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to protect American investors from funding Communist Chinese military companies, including those designated by the Department of Defense in June and August of 2020,” National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in a statement.

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Attorney General Mark Herring Fights Trump’s Order on Diversity Training

Ahead of the election, Attorney General Mark Herring asked President Donald Trump to rescind his executive order on diversity training.

Herring co-signed a letter complaining about the potential limitations imposed on “implicit bias trainings for federal contractors and federal grantees.” Implicit bias refers to the idea that individuals aren’t aware of their attitudes or stereotypes about others.

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