Minnesota Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Mackenzie Carpenter

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Those who follow my column know I find a lot of my new artists from the Song Suffragettes or SiriusXM’s The Highway. On The Highway, They feature new artists who are often named as their “Highway Finds.” And while I’m not always crazy about every new musician they feature, when I heard Mackenzie Carpenter’s “Can’t Nobody” a few months back, it was love at first listen.

Read More

Leftist Author Jon Meacham Named to Board of University of Tennessee’s Institute for American Civics

Author and former MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham was named to the Board of Fellows of the University of Tennessee’s newly established Institute for American Civics last week by University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd.

German-owned Politico reported that Meacham helped President Joe Biden “frame” his now infamously divisive “speech from hell” delivered in Philadelphia last week in which he attacked the 74 million Americans who voted for former President Donald Trump as a “threat to American democracy.”

Read More

Three More States Are Poised to Ban Abortion Amid Court Battles

Idaho, Tennessee and Texas are moving to enact “trigger bans” restricting abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, ending the precedent which had banned states from restricting abortion throughout the first six months of pregnancy.

The bans in these three states will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court officially transmitted its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association July 26, according to The Hill. Another 10 states had trigger bans go into effect after elected officials enacted them, and trigger abortion bans went into effect immediately after the court overturned Roe in three other states.

Read More

Gov. Bill Lee Begins Tennessee National Guard COVID-19 Vax Purge

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, reports from Washington about how states like Tennessee are dealing with Big Army’s June 30, 2022, deadline for National Guardsmen to be 100 percent compliant with the President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s military COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Read More

McCabe on WarRoom: National Guard Set to Lose Thousands of Guardsmen over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Stephen K. Bannon welcomed Washington correspondent and the national political editor for The Star News Network and The Tennessee Star, Neil W. McCabe to discuss the vaccine mandate that’s stripping the National Guard of guardsmen in record numbers Thursday morning on War Room: Pandemic.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Michael Rix

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I recall seeing Michael Rix was when he played banjo in the Bank of America marketing campaign commercial for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Country Music. Even though the banjo originated in Africa, seeing a black, banjo-playing country musician in the 21st century is/was not very common.

Read More

Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

Read More

State Attorney Generals Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

Read More

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.

Read More

Commentary: Teacher Codes of Conduct Offer Alternative to Critical Race Theory Bans

The firing of Matthew Hawn, a high school teacher in Sullivan County, Tennessee, recently made national news and seemed to confirm fears that newly-enacted state bans on critical race theory (CRT) would have a chilling effect on teacher speech. Hawn, a 16-year veteran tenured teacher and baseball coach, had assigned students in his contemporary issues class Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, “The First White President,” and a spoken word poem from Kyla Jenée Lacey called “White Privilege.” One headline declared, “A Tennessee teacher taught a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. He was fired for it.” A Georgetown professor tweeted, “This really seems extreme and a harbinger of what is to come.”

But contrary to news coverage and social media chatter, Hawn wasn’t fired for violating the state’s newly passed CRT ban. Really, he was dismissed for failing to adhere to the Tennessee “Teacher Code of Ethics,” a seldom-invoked but sensible state requirement for teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics. Not only did Hawn fail to follow this code when he assigned the contentious poem and Coates’ essay from The Atlantic, which contains claims such as, “With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness,” he also later asserted that “there is no credible source for a differing point of view.” (Hawn recently denied making such a claim, though he declined to explain why the district attributed this statement to him.)

Read More

High Court Hears Arguments on Tennessee’s School-Choice Program

ORNL Traveling Science Fair at the TN 4th Annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit and STEMx Event, Nashville, TN

Tennessee’s highest court heard arguments on a disputed school choice program.

Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) pilot program, approved by the state Legislature in 2019, would provide state-funded scholarships of about $7,100 to low-income students in Nashville and Memphis – home to the state’s two lowest-performing school districts. Students would be able to use the funds to attend nonpublic schools of their choice.

A district court ruled the program unconstitutional when the two counties sued the state to stop the program. The state Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Read More

Gov. Lee’s Signature Makes Tennessee a Second Amendment Sanctuary

Guy shooting hand gun at gun range

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Wednesday that makes the state a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Senate Bill 1335 prevents any “law, treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation of the United States government” that violates the Tennessee Constitution or the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from being enforced in the state.

That violation would have to be determined by either the Tennessee or U.S. Supreme Court. The stipulation was added during debate of the bill in the Tennessee House, and the Senate concurred.

Read More

Tennessee Becomes Second State to Ban Trans Hormone Treatments Before Puberty

child running with trans flag

Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday that bans hormone treatment for prepubescent minors.

SB0126 goes into effect immediately, making Tennessee the second state to ban trans procedures for minors, NBC reported. The Arkansas state legislature overrode Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors in April.

Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act, prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors before puberty. Transgender surgeries include vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, breast implants, and facial surgeries.

Read More

FBI Raids Locations Tied to Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, Plus Additional Lawmakers and Staff

The FBI on Friday reportedly raided locations tied to former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) and Republican allies over allegations of possible public corruption.

Current Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) issued a statement about the raid that took place at the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville.

Read More

Tennessee Senate Considers Bill to Allow First Responders to Live Outside the Jurisdictions They Serve

State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) on Wednesday filed SB 29 which would allow first responders to live where they choose, the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement.

Kelsey posted on the caucus’ Facebook page, “This is a public safety bill. It will enable us to hire more police officers, which will help us fight our rising crime rates.”

Read More

U.S. Representative Mark Green Repeats Intent to Object to Electoral College Results

Not long before the tallying of and objections to the Electoral College results were disrupted by the violent protest at the Capitol, U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) had repeated his intention to contest the election results.

Green on Wednesday announced his intention to object to the slates of electors in “certain states.”

Read More

Federal Prompts for Gov. Bill Lee to Issue Statewide Mask Mandate Begs Question of Who Is Behind the Idea

Tennessee is ranked fourth in the nation for COVID deaths per 100,000 people, WUOT reports, citing the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s red zone report, which calls for Gov. Bill Lee to implement a statewide mask mandate.

The controversial report is from earlier this month. The task force issues frequent red zone reports.

Read More

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Tennessee’s Challenge to Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

The U.S. Supreme Court said this week it will not hear Tennessee’s challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program, which claimed it violated the 10th Amendment.

Tennessee’s Republican-led government had asked for the review, The Associated Press reported. The court filed its denial earlier, letting a lower court ruling stand.

Read More

Fox 17 Reports Nashville Bars and Restaurants Account for Less Than One-Half of One Percent of Virus Cases

Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.

Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.

Read More

Fox 17 Reports Nashville Bars and Restaurants Account for Less Than One-Half of One Percent of Virus Cases

Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.

Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.

Read More

Shelby County Says Woman Dead for Six Months Contracted COVID-19, Needs to Isolate

When is a COVID-19 patient not a COVID-19 patient? When the person has been dead for six months, as has reportedly happened in Memphis.

Media reports have carried the story, including coverage here by KVUE.

Read More

Kanye West Might Appear on Tennessee Presidential Ballot

Rapper Kanye West wants Tennessee officials to place him on the ballot for the 2020 presidential election.

An unidentified person representing West arrived at the Tennessee Division of Elections office Friday. That person picked up a petition that would allow West to run in the Volunteer State, said Tennessee Secretary of State spokeswoman Julia Bruck.

Read More

The Tennessee Star’s Neil McCabe Interviewed by Politico for Story on Nation’s Division

Neil McCabe, the national correspondent for The Tennessee Star and Star News network, was interviewed by Politico last week for a front-page story on the nation’s division.

The article focused on Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, called CHAZ for short, which Politico described as a “microcosm of the culture wars.” The CHAZ was established by protesters earlier this month after law enforcement officers withdrew from the scene.

Read More

Ads for Children’s Book on 19th Amendment Written by Sen. Blackburn and Her Daughter Banned by Instagram

Instagram reportedly believes a children’s book written by U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and her daughter, about the history of the 19th Amendment, may “influence the outcome of an election,” so the tech giant has banned advertising for it.

The Federalist reported on the book’s ban.

Read More

Americans Are Ending the Lockdown, Despite Orders from Elected Officials

by Chris White   Americans are venturing out more to fast food restaurants, gas stations and public places even as health experts and government officials demand extending economic lockdowns, location data show. People are back to visiting gas stations and fast food restaurants at pre-COVID-19 levels, according to location data…

Read More

3D Printing Presents Possible Solution to Personal Protective Equipment Shortage

Mayo Clinic announced last week that it is exploring the possibility of 3D printing face masks and other personal protective equipment items to employ in the national fight against COVID-19.

The famous clinic said its 3D Anatomic Modeling Laboratories across the country as well as its Division of Engineering are working together to “reverse-engineer, 3D-print and machine solutions for patient care.”

Read More

Coders Building Database Need Health Care Workers to Report Coronavirus Testing Sites So They Can Provide Data to Officials Battling Disease

A coalition of computer coders and medical experts is looking for volunteers — including from the Volunteer State — to help provide better information on COVID-19 coronavirus testing sites.

TechCrunch reported on the one-week-old Coders Against Covid project, which is building a database of testing sites. The team of about 15 developers includes Andrew Kemendo of KesselRun, an Air Force software developer, and Dr. Jorge A. Caballero, a clinical instructor of Anesthesia at Stanford University. The goal is to inform officials tracking the disease and to better distribute the tests where they are needed.

Read More

Biden Dominates Super Tuesday States, Upsets Sanders in Minnesota

Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Tuesday night in Minnesota’s Democratic primary, a shocking upset in what was a tough night for the Vermont socialist.

Read More

‘Democrats Are Attacking Freedom,’ Rep. Mark Green Says of Democrats’ Impeachment Efforts

U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) has a lot to say about Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, which he says is an effort to reverse “the will of the people.”

Read More

Commentary: Senators Blackburn and Hawley Want to Move Washington Out of Washington

What do you suppose the Alliance for American Advertising has in common with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Society of Civil Engineers, or American Apparel and Footwear? Apart from beginning with the letter “A,” they are among the nearly 3,500 trades or firms that have dedicated lobbying operations in Washington, D.C.

Read More

Minneapolis’ Frey and St. Paul’s Carter Among the 235 Mayors Demanding U.S. Senate Return to Washington to Enact Gun Control

More than 200 mayors from across the country sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), urging them to immediately call the Senate back to Washington, D.C. to take action on gun control legislation.

Read More

Mark Green Files Legislation to Allow Taxpayers to Designate Funds on IRS Form to a Border Wall Trust Fund to Build a Wall

  U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) announced he introduced legislation Thursday that would replace the Presidential Election Campaign Fund checkbox on the IRS 1040 with a Border Wall Trust Fund checkbox to allow taxpayers to designate their tax money toward building a southern border wall. “Taxpayer dollars should never…

Read More

Supreme Court Strikes Down Tennessee Liquor Law

  The Supreme Court ruled against a Tennessee law that requires people to live in the state for two years before acquiring a retail license to sell alcohol. The court’s 7-2 decision ruled that Tennessee’s law had violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with…

Read More

Report: 44 Percent of Twin Cities Residents Considered ‘Post-Christian’

  A new study released this month found that the Northeast region of America is the most “post-Christian” area of the country. The study, conducted by Barna research, is part of an ongoing survey of Americans based on a random sample of 21,378 adults conducted over a ten-year period. To…

Read More

US Records 71 New Measles Cases Last Week as Outbreak Spreads

Reuters   The United States recorded 71 new measles cases last week, a 13 percent increase as the country faces its second-worst outbreak of the disease in almost two decades, federal health officials said on Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had recorded 626 cases…

Read More

Tennessee Man Allegedly Pulled Gun On Sam’s Club Customer For Wearing MAGA Hat

by Andrew Kerr   A Tennessee man faces a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment after allegedly pulling a gun on a Sam’s Club customer in Kentucky for wearing a Make America Great Again hat. James Phillips, 57 (pictured above), told police he made an obscene gesture with his finger towards…

Read More

Dr. Carol M. Swain Commentary: Shouting your Abortion is a Desperate Cry for Help

by Dr. Carol M. Swain   Last month marked the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, two landmark Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion in all 50 states. Since the legalization of abortion, more than 60 million unborn babies have been aborted. One of those babies was mine. More than 40 years ago, I made…

Read More

David Fowler Commentary: Is this the Beginning of the End for Public Schools?

by David Fowler   Have public schools run their course? Just asking that question will irritate a lot of people, Christians included. But I think we have to ask the question, given an announcement last week by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce relative to what it wants from public education.…

Read More

Marsha Blackburn Says Voters Sent Her To DC To Secure The Border

by Nick Givas   Republican Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said voters sent her to Washington to help secure the U.S. southern border, on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday. “Let me tell you something. There is an acronym for the word team. My mom used it with me growing up. Together everyone…

Read More

Make Halloween Spooky Again with a Visit to These Real-Life Haunts

As we come to the end of summer and begin the season of winter, one hundred and seventy-nine million Americans will celebrate the season with urban legends, scary bonfire stories, and armies of children carrying candy up and down the streets of in what was once referred to as Samhain,…

Read More

Controversies Surround Thompson’s Station Development As November Election Approaches

Thompson’s Station is one of the fastest growing towns in the counties surrounding Nashville, but it is also home to many backdoor deals and shady developments committed at the hands of its Mayor and Aldermen. Mayor Corey Napier, who took office on the Board of Mayor and Alderman in 2008…

Read More