Commentary: If Demography Is Destiny, So Are Suburbs and Small Towns

cars parked in front of red brick building

Policy and politics often collide at the intersection of geography and demographics. The non-urban, non-college-educated white voter causing concern among Democrats these days, the suburban voter of 2018, and the heartland voter of 2016 are all profiles built on the common interests of certain people in certain types of places.

After 18 months of domestic migration prompted by a pandemic, another interest in addition to where people live has emerged in this equation: where people wish they lived.

Americans of all stripes, including young people, have long preferred suburban to urban living despite the prevailing (mis)conception in the media, but the twin crises of Covid and urban unrest in 2020 have clearly accentuated Americans’ desire to leave denser places. Not only have Americans continued apace in their usual migration from cities to suburbs, they also now aspire to live in towns and hinterlands more than one might expect.

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George Soros Teams Up with Billionaire Who Backed Liberal Disinformation Efforts to Fund Anti-Disinformation Media Venture

Liberal tech billionaire Reid Hoffman, a funder of numerous disinformation projects, is backing a new media venture launched Tuesday that seeks to combat disinformation, according to a report.

Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, joined ranks with financier George Soros to fund Good Information Inc., which will “fund and scale businesses that cut through eco chambers with fact-based information,” Axios reported.

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Terri Lynn Weaver Commentary: Why I Voted Red for the Blue Oval City

Terri Lynn Weaver

The Mega Site near Memphis has a long history; since FY08-09 to FY21-22, over $200M Tennessee Tax dollars have been appropriated to a 4100 acre piece of real estate in pursuit of a business that would bring jobs to this remote area of West Tennessee. It isn’t unusual that legislators from other parts of the state to partner with the administration to bring businesses to areas other than those they were elected to represent. In fact, Over the years I have voted for the budget and numerous businesses such as, FEDX, Amazon and Beretta which have brought needed revenue and most importantly, good paying jobs that are a blessing to Tennessee families.

During deliberations about the Blue Oval City development, my colleagues predicted that what amounts to a $1.3B investment will bring a “three- fold return that will stabilize West Tennessee, a rural forgotten frontier and give them a voice bringing high paying jobs that will put this town between Memphis and Jackson on the map. Literally changing the local landscape, The Blue Oval City will usher in businesses such as hotels, restaurants, plus the new construction of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (40M) to train the estimated work force (5,800) to build electric trucks and the batteries needed to operate these electric trucks. Who wouldn’t want this in their district? Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, why would anyone vote “red” NO for The Blue Oval City?

After deliberate and thoughtful review of the facts before me alongside with the current challenges facing Tennessee’s citizens, I cast a “red” No vote for the following reasons:

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislature Must Pass Big COVID Test in ‘Special Session’

The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.

Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.

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Commentary: Targeting Citizens for Expressing Traditional Values is a Hallmark of Tyranny

All my life I’ve felt a bond with places and with people.

Growing up in Boonville, North Carolina, population then about 600, I went to elementary school and the Methodist church, knew many of the merchants in town—Harvey Smith, grocer and mayor for many years, Donald the barber, Mr. Weatherwax who owned the pharmacy and was kind enough to let me read comic books on the premises, and a dozen more adults—and relished my friends and their families. Boonville’s red clay and rolling hills are as much a part of me as any genetic code.

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Democrats Cut ‘Human Infrastructure’ Spending Plan, But Compromise Still out of Reach So Far

Senator Joe Manchin speaking

Tense negotiations have continued for months on Democrats’ proposed several trillion dollars in federal spending, leading to major changes for the plan. Notably, Democrats now say the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure”plan will likely end up closer to $2 trillion, though that figure still remains too high for many lawmakers. 

At the same time, President Joe Biden has still been unable to rally Congress around a method to actually pay for the proposal, which Biden claims will add nothing to the national debt.

Democrats’ separate, roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill appeared set to pass in recent weeks, but some progressive Democrats withheld their support fearing that giving up their votes would cost them leverage in making sure the larger reconciliation bill is passed and signed into law.

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‘Hard to Know Where Pandemic Relief Money Went,’ Admits Federal Spending Watchdog

Woman in mask in the dark looking at computer screen

This week’s Golden Horseshoe goes to a broad sweep of federal agencies for a systemic lack of transparency that is hampering efforts to monitor many billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief spending, according to a report by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

The PRAC was established in 2020 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to “promote transparency and conduct and support oversight” of more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds.

In a report released Wednesday, the watchdog details its difficulty in determining how funds are being spent due to federal agencies’ poor reporting on the government spending website, USAspending.gov.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Think COVID-19 Threat is Getting Less Serious

The majority of Americans believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, and a plurality believe President Joe Biden and government health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci don’t want lockdowns to end, according to a new poll conducted by the Convention of States Action in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.

“Despite the fact that Big Media and Big Tech are working tirelessly to suppress the truth, this poll reveals that most Americans aren’t fooled in the least,” Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, said. “They clearly see that the pandemic is on a downward trend, and they also understand that President Biden and Dr. Fauci have no intention of easing restrictions and mandates,””

According to the poll, 63.1% of likely voters believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, with 25.9% saying it’s much less serious, compared to 26.1% who say it’s getting more serious. Nearly 11% said they weren’t sure.

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Five Members of Sinema’s Veterans Advisory Board Resign over Opposition to $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

Five members of Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s Veterans Advisory Council resigned this week due to her ongoing opposition to several facets of her party’s $3.5 trillion social spending and climate change bill.

In a letter released publicly Thursday, the advisers criticized the Arizona senator for refusing to get completely behind President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better agenda. They also chastised her for consistently opposing the abolition of the filibuster, which would effectively allow Senate Democrats to pass measures without support from chamber Republicans.

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Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Want to See Political Change

Woman holding sign that says "Our future's on the line"

A significant majority of Americans see the need for changes to their political system, a Thursday Pew Research Center poll found.

At least 85% of Americans polled stated that their political system “needs to be completely reformed” or “needs major changes,” according to the poll. Meanwhile, 66% of Americans saw the need for change or reform in the U.S. economic system and 76% saw the need for transformation in the healthcare system, the poll found.

Less than half of respondents expressed satisfaction with U.S. democracy, while 58% said they were “not satisfied,” according to the poll. Pew Research Center noted that “Dissatisfaction with functioning of democracy is linked to concerns about the economy, the pandemic and social divisions.”

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Commentary: Biden’s Unlawful Plan to Federalize Elections

Person voting in poll booth

The White House recently issued a statement regarding new actions dozens of federal agencies are taking related to voter registration. These actions come in response to an order President Joe Biden issued back in March.

The order commanded the heads of every federal agency to submit a plan outlining their strategy to engage in voter registration and mobilization efforts to the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. This is an unlawful effort by the Biden administration to federalize elections and keep the president and his political party in power.

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Wisconsin Gov. Evers: Republicans Must Try Again with New Political Map

Tony Evers

The latest version of Wisconsin’s new political map will not become law if Gov. Tony Evers has anything to do with it.

The governor on Thursday told Republican lawmakers that he will not sign the map they unveiled on Wednesday.

“If Republicans want to get serious about passing maps I can sign, they need to do a heck of a lot more listening to the people of this state,” Evers said in a statement.

The governor claims the Republican-drawn map is “gerrymandered,” but didn’t offer any specific suggestions of the changes he’d like to see.

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Tennessee State Representatives Grills and Zachary Propose Bill that Would Provide Unemployment Benefits to Workers Who Quit over Vaccine Mandates

Tennessee lawmakers in the General Assembly introduced a bill Friday that would ensure that Tennesseans who quit their jobs over vaccine mandates receive unemployment benefits. Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) is sponsoring the bill while Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) signed on as a co-sponsor.

Currently, voluntarily quitting a job typically disqualifies someone from receiving unemployment. In some cases, the vaccine requirements, including from President Biden, include a weekly COVID-19 testing option.

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Over 60 Percent of Americans Say Biden’s Policies Are to Blame for Accelerating Inflation

Over 60% of Americans said that President Joe Biden’s policies were at least somewhat responsible for the accelerating inflation in the United States, a new poll shows.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday shows that around 40% of respondents said that the Biden administration’s policies were “very responsible” for higher inflation, while 22% said that they were “somewhat responsible.” The poll results come as inflation levels hit record highs and economists predict that inflation, along with supply chain shortages, could persist into 2022.

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Senate, House Pass Michigan Opportunity Scholarship Bills

In what was characterized as a blow against the state constitution’s Blaine amendments, members of the House and Senate on Tuesday passed a slate of bills aimed at providing opportunity scholarships for Michigan students.

Senate Bills 687 and 688 and House Bills 5404 and 5405 all passed mainly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the legislation and Democrats in opposition. Each chamber’s respective education committees moved the bills forward earlier in the day.

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Illinois Democrats Seek to Maximize Their Party’s Seats, Axe Republicans in New Proposed Congressional Map

Rep. Kinzinger

Democrats in Illinois’ state legislature Friday released a new map that would shore up all of their party’s incumbents in Congress and likely eliminate two of the state’s five Republicans.

The proposal would give Democrats a 14-3 advantage in the state, compared to the current 13-5 map. Illinois is one of several states losing a congressional seat this upcoming decade, and the new map, if adopted, would shore up Democrats in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs and create a winding Democratic seat that stretches from East St. Louis up through the middle of the state.

That district includes much of what is now held by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, and includes Springfield, the state’s capital, Decatur and Champaign, home to the University of Illinois. The new map also shores up Rep. Cheri Bustos’ northern Illinois seat by having it encompass Bloomington, home to Illinois State University.

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Democrats Laden $3.5 Trillion Budget Bill with ‘Green New Deal’ Handouts

Field of sunflowers with several wind turbines in the distance

Democrats have inserted numerous provisions and subsidy programs into their $3.5 trillion budget that would benefit green energy companies and speed the transition to renewables.

The Build Back Better Act would invest an estimated $295 billion of taxpayer money into a variety of clean energy programs in what would amount to the most sweeping climate effort passed by Congress, according to a House Committee on Energy and Commerce report. That price tag doesn’t factor in the other costly measures approved by the House Ways and Means, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Oversight and Transportation committees last month.

“This bill is crammed with green welfare subsidies, specifically for corporations and the wealthy,” House Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

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Texas Democrats: Biden’s Energy Policies Will Cost Jobs, Create Dependence on Foreign Oil

Henry Cuellar

Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.

Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.

Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.”

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Dr. Carol Swain on New Job, New Book, Lack of Leadership from the Republican Party, and How Tennessee Doesn’t Look Like a Red State

Carol Swain

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Grant Henry welcomed political commentator, speaker, distinguished fellow and author, Dr. Carol Swain to the newsmakers line to give her take on Tennessee’s response to CRT and parents’ right to make educational choices for their children.

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Watchdog Demands Inspector General Investigation into Tracy Stone-Manning’s Allegedly False Statements About Eco-Terrorism Case

A government watchdog group demanded that the Department of the Interior Inspector General launch an investigation into whether President Joe Biden’s Senate-confirmed Bureau of Land Management director nominee violated the False Statement Act with statements she made to Congress about her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism case during her confirmation process.

Tracy Stone-Manning was confirmed to lead the agency along a party-line vote on Sept. 30 amid strong opposition from Republicans who accused her of lying to the Senate Energy Committee about her involvement in an eco-terrorism case. Stone-Manning testified in federal court in 1993 that she sent an anonymous, threatening letter to the Forest Service in 1989 on behalf of her former roommate and friend which warned that a local forest in Idaho had been sabotaged with tree spikes to make the trees unsafe to log.

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Republican Leaders Push Back Against Global Business Tax

Mike Crapo and Kevin Brady

Republican lawmakers are pushing back against the Biden administration’s plan to join a global compact implementing a tax on U.S. corporations regardless of where they operate.

One hundred and thirty six136 countries agreed Friday to implement a global business tax, and G-7 finance leaders agreed to the plan Saturday. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised the plan.

Proposed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization, the global tax is necessary to respond to an “increasingly globalized and digital global economy,” OECD said.

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Congressman Scott DesJarlais Joins over 60 GOP Colleagues in Sending Letter Demanding Answers from DOJ for Targeting Concerned Parents

On Thursday, over 60 GOP members of Congress, including Tennessee Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding answers as to why the Department is targeting parents who oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT) and mask mandates in schools.

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Trump Lets Loose on Biden Border Policy, Dems’ Socialist Agenda and Spineless Republicans

Donald Trump

Though still undeclared, former President Donald Trump used his latest rally to shape a potential 2024 platform with sharp attacks on Joe Biden’s border policies, congressional Democrats’ socialist spending plans and Republican weakness on the debt ceiling.

In vintage campaign form, Trump electrified a capacity crowd at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night, putting on display his continued high popularity in America’s first voting state while imploring Republicans to do more to fight the Biden-Democrat agenda.

“We must declare with one united voice that we cannot allow America to ever become a socialist country,” he said in urging defeat of $4.5 trillion in spending plans pending in Congress.

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Poll: 44 Percent of Republicans Want a Trump Presidential Bid in 2024

Donald Trump smiling

A Wednesday Pew Research Center poll found that nearly half of Republicans would like to see former President Donald Trump launch another presidential bid in 2024.

At least 44% of Republicans stated they would like to see Trump start a second presidential campaign in 2024. Furthermore, 67% of Republicans would like to see Trump remain a major political figure “for many years to come,” according to the poll.

Of the 67% of Republicans who want Trump to maintain his status as a major political figure, 22% stated they would rather Trump use his influence “to support another presidential candidate who shared his views in the 2024 election rather than run for office himself,” according to the poll. The poll also showed that 32% of Republicans would prefer Trump not “remain a national political figure for many years to come.”

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Republicans Demand Release of Marine Lt. Col. Jailed for Criticizing Afghanistan Withdrawal

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller

Republican lawmakers in both houses of Congress are demanding that the United States Marine Corps release a Lieutenant Colonel who was jailed earlier this week for criticizing military leadership after the failed Afghanistan withdrawal, Breitbart reports.

A Marine spokesperson confirmed that Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig of Marine Corps Installations East, in Camp Lejeune, as he awaits an Article 32 hearing. Although he has not yet been formally charged, Scheller faces the possibility of being charged under a handful of articles, including “contempt toward officials” (Article 88), “willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer” (Article 90), “failure to obey lawful general orders” (Article 92), and “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” (Article 133).

Scheller first made his criticisms in a viral video he posted to Facebook on August 26th, the same day that a suicide attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul claimed the lives of 13 American servicemembers, as well as hundreds of Afghan civilians. Scheller demanded accountability from military leadership for a withdrawal that has been universally viewed, both domestically and internationally, as a disaster.

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Tennessee Congressman David Kustoff Weighs In on Congressional Baseball Game and Congress Decorum

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed (R) Congressman David Kustoff of Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District to the newsmakers line to talk about the excitement at the congressional baseball game and the troubles in Congress.

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Commentary: Democrats Repeat the Mistakes of 2016

As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.

The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.

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Commentary: Biden’s Desperate Race to the Lying Bottom

On Monday, Joe Biden uncorked the largest lie of a 50-year political career overstuffed with them.

“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” he tweeted. “Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America. And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.”

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Commentary: John Durham’s Vast Conspiracy

John Durham

Special Counsel John Durham’s 27-page false-statement indictment of lawyer Michael Sussmann avers a thus-far uncharged conspiracy by Democrat operatives, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and others to fabricate, leak, and purvey the most successful and destructive political smear in American history.

Judging from the detailed contents of the indictment, Durham appears to be well on his way to exposing the lies and corrupt schemes that were used to kneecap Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president and hamstring his administration for the next four years.

This article is the second in a series regarding the Sussmann indictment which, given its detailed content, strongly indicates that Durham has in hand documentary and supporting evidence to prove how Sussmann and others conspired to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful functions of the United States government by dishonest means in order to, among other goals, subvert our political and electoral processes, including the 2016 presidential election.

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Commentary: Democrat Elites Can’t Have It Both Ways on the ‘Great Replacement’

A rubber-banded newspaper with Joe Biden on the front

Tucker Carlson sent the Left into a predictable frenzy of self-righteous rage this week by making a true, but politically incorrect, observation. 

The invasion that is unfolding at the southern border, Carlson said, is purposeful. Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have embraced open borders because they want to change America’s racial demographics. They see their political destiny in replacing white conservatives with poor, non-white dependents from the Third World who will remain loyal to Democrats. By doing this, Democrats hope to secure permanent control of our political system. 

Carlson, of course, was immediately denounced by the usual media hall monitors for promoting the “Great Replacement Theory.” Except Carlson was not saying anything that prominent Democrats do not already discuss, very publicly, and with unabashed enthusiasm. His only sin was suggesting that the Great Replacement might not be a good thing.

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Soros-Funded Group Sends Letter to FCC Calling for Murder of Republicans

A far-left group funded by radical billionaire George Soros submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for Republicans to be murdered, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The group in question is Free Press, which is funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundation, as well as the Center for American Progress, the Tides Foundation, and other far-left organizations. Free Press, whose stated goal is to “reshape media” in the United States, submitted a letter signed by almost 5,000 of its members baselessly accusing the FCC of systemic racism.

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At Least 18 Republican Governors Support Biden’s Afghan Refugee Resettlement Plan

Afghan women refugee settlment

After the Biden Administration announced its intentions to resettle at least 95,000 Afghan refugees in the United States, over a dozen Republican governors have voiced their support for his plan, as reported by Breitbart.

Last week, the White House declared that at least 36,000 Afghans will be resettled in the United States across 46 different states. The only four states that will not be receiving any refugees are Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, as well as Washington, D.C.

In August, only about 10 Republican governors supported the proposed resettlement, including well-known “moderate” Republicans such as Larry Hogan in Maryland, Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Brian Kemp in Georgia, Doug Ducey in Arizona, and Phil Scott in Vermont. But since then, eight more Republicans have joined in their support for the plan. In total, the 18 states with Republican governors that now support refugee resettlement are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.

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Manchin Reportedly Calls on Democrats to Push Budget Back to 2022

Joe Manchin

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly said in private that the “strategic pause” he has pushed for regarding his party’s budget should last through the end of the year.

Manchin’s remarks, first reported by Axios, would mean a sharp departure from Democrats’ long-stated goals, which include passing both the budget and the bipartisan infrastructure bills before the end of September.

His remarks align both with a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote earlier this month and recent comments he made calling for a “pause” on the budget as Congress addressed other priorities ranging from a messy Afghanistan withdrawal to multiple natural disasters.

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Voting Reform Bill Reintroduced after Pennsylvania Governor’s Veto

Seth Grove and Tom Wolf

The prime sponsor of a vetoed voting reform bill said Friday he reintroduced the measure after Gov. Tom Wolf shifted his public opinion on some components of the legislation over the summer.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said House Bill 1800 would bolster voting rights “through three broad concepts of increased access, increased security and modernization.” 

“We know access and security are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

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War Room: Steve Bannon to Steve Moore, ‘We Are the DIP Lenders, No More Continuing Resolution’

  Stephen K. Bannon welcomed economic writer and political analyst, Steve Moore on Friday’s War Room: Pandemic to discuss the federal government’s budget timeline and how Republicans are now in a position as DIP lenders to say no to more time. Bannon: Ok. Let’s go to Steve Moore. Steve Moore,…

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Fails to Produce 10-Year Map

Vernon Sykes

Republicans blamed the federal government and Democrats blamed Republicans after the Ohio Redistricting Commission failed to pass a new state legislative boundary map that would last for a decade.

Instead, the commission passed a four-year map with the group’s two Democrats voting “no” after long hours of negotiations and recesses Wednesday, the constitutional deadline to pass new maps.

The 5-2 party line vote came early Thursday morning shortly after the 11:59 p.m. Wednesday deadline. The approved map likely preserves the Republicans’ veto-proof majority in the Senate and House.

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Tennessee Representative Mark Green Sends Letter with over 100 Republicans to Speaker Nancy Pelosi Regarding IRS Data Collection Proposal

In an official press release Tuesday, Tennessee Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) announced that he and 100 Republican colleagues sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, expressing their frustration over a recent IRS data collection proposal to increase tax information reporting requirements on financial institutions.

The proposed measure would require financial institutions to report transactions to the Internal Revenue Service on any bank account with a balance of more than $600. The Treasury Department says the proposal for extra data is being sought to target high earners who underreport their tax liabilities.

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New Poll Suggests Little Change among Californians in Recalling Governor, But Large Partisan Divide

Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.

The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.

The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.

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Wisconsin Republicans Aim to Protect Free Speech with Pitch for Online Anti-Censorship Legislation

Shae Sortwell and Roger Roth

On Wednesday, Wisconsin State Representative Shae Sortwell (R-WI-02) and State Senator Roger Roth (R-WI) introduced three pieces of legislation aimed to protect free speech rights of Wisconsinites on social media.

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Commentary: The Vaccine Mandate Assault on the Common Good

Joe Biden

As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue. 

United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.

Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida. 

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Commentary: Envy as the Path to Political Power

Bernie Sanders

Demagogues appeal to envy because they believe that promising to destroy the advantages enjoyed by others will win votes and inspire loyalty. Sometimes it does. As the envy-driven horrors of Rwanda and Nazi Germany demonstrate, pledging to disrupt the envied lives of a despised “other” can be a ticket to victory for a political candidate savvy enough to convince voters that he has their best interests at heart.

More than 25 years ago, Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, pronounced in his book The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology that we “live in an age of envy.” Pointing out that “people don’t so much want more money for themselves as they want to take it away from those with more,” Bandow suggested that although “greed is bad enough, eating away at a person’s soul, envy is far worse because it destroys not only individuals, but also communities, poisoning relations.” A Christian libertarian, Bandow wrote that 

those who are greedy may ruin their own lives, but those who are envious contaminate the larger community by letting their covetousness interfere with their relations with others. 

One can satisfy greed in innocuous, even positive ways—by being brighter, working harder, seeing new opportunities, or meeting the demands of others, for instance.

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Kari Lake Rally: ‘We Will Elect Arizona’s First Trump-Republican Governor’

Speaking to a packed crowd in Scottsdale Saturday night for her birthday, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declared, “We will elect Arizona’s first Trump governor!” Lake planned the huge birthday bash to include a live viewing of former President Trump’s speech at a campaign rally in Alabama. Afterwards, she gave a speech of her own to the well over a thousand who attended the Embassy Suites event.

Lake announced the results of a new poll taken by her campaign that showed her well ahead of the other Republican candidates. She came in at 37.4 percent, followed by Matt Salmon at 11.5 percent, Steve Gaynor with 2.7 percent, and Karrin Taylor Robson at 2.0 percent. She said one of her opponents also conducted a poll that showed her ahead in a “landslide.” She distinguished herself from the others, “I’m running against a bunch of swamp creatures.” 

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Analysis: Republican Officials Leave Their Voters Behind over Not Supporting Monthly Child Tax Credits

As tens of millions of American families across the country began to see the second round of monthly cash payments appear in their bank accounts Friday, Republicans in Congress remained oddly quiet.

The checks were the result of an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joe Biden signed into law in March. While every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, the credit itself is overwhelmingly popular among registered Republicans and Americans overall, creating a rift between reliable conservative voters and the GOP lawmakers who represent them.

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Minorities Fleeing High-Tax, Democrat-Run States for High-Opportunity, Republican-Run Country

Data from the 2020 census confirms a population shift that reflects “the decade’s broad population shifts: slow growth in the Northeast and Midwest, and gains in the South and some Western states.”

The last decade’s interstate migration shift also indicated that states with higher taxes and less opportunities for job growth lost residents to lower tax states with more job opportunities.

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Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Calls for Executive Order Against School Mask Mandates

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steven Gaynor wants Gov. Doug Ducey to issue an executive order in response to local school mask mandates. 

Gaynor is a Republican businessman from Paradise Valley who announced his run to replace Ducey in 2022. He narrowly lost to Katie Hobbs in the 2018 race for secretary of state. 

In an Aug. 9 press release, Gaynor asked for an executive order to provide Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) to parents of students in school districts that enforce mask and vaccine mandates. 

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Eleven Senate Democrats Vote Against COVID Tests for Illegal Immigrants at the Southern Border

Eleven Senate Democrats on Thursday voted against a modest and commonsense amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution that requires illegal migrants apprehended on the southern border to be tested for COVID-19 before they are transported into the country.

The amendment, introduced by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), a physician, establishes “a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to protecting migrants and local communities against COVID-19.”  Under the provision, migrants will be quarantined and not transported from the border until they tested negative.

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican. 

“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Outlines Why the U.S. Senate Is the Most ‘Absurd’ Body in the World

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to detail the passing of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

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Independents Surge, Equal Number of Democrats in Arizona

New quarterly voter registration numbers from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office reveal that independents now tie Democrats with 32 percent of voters each, behind Republicans who make up almost 35 percent. Democrats only gained 539 new voters this past quarter, whereas Republicans gained 3,093 and independents gained almost 90 percent of the 28,042 new voters. 

The 2020 presidential election in Arizona may be what caused the recent defection from Democrats according to one longtime Arizona political consultant. Paul Bentz, senior vice president of research and strategy for HighGround Consultants, theorized, “While you can vote in other races, you can’t vote for the president without being of the party. We saw a pretty significant shift to Republicans, a significant uptick in Republican registration, for people who either wanted to vote for Trump or vote against Trump.” Arizona is one of 31 states where residents must choose a party in order to vote in the primary. 

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