Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary Discusses Upcoming Special and Legislative Sessions Focus on Education and Medicaid Block Grant

Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary Discusses Upcoming Special and Legislative Sessions Focus on Education and Medicaid Block Grant

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed (R) TN State Representative Jason Zachary to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, Zachary discussed next week’s special and legislative sessions that will focus on learning laws and how Tennessee will prepare to be the first state in the nation to use the block grant initiated by President Trump. He described his roles as being part of the ad hoc committee regarding executive powers and that he will be going after unelected health boards that are attacking individual liberty.

Leahy: And on the newsmaker line state representative Jason Zachary. Good morning Representative Zachary.

Zachary: Good morning. How are you guys?

Leahy: I’m great. You may not recall this but you and I first met in 2013-2014 up in Maryville when you were running for Congress, I believe. And I was organizing the Beat Lamar campaign. Do you remember that?

Zachary: I do absolutely I believe it was even at the Blount County Library.

Leahy: Yes! You are exactly right. It was at the Blount County library and you have had quite a career since then very conservative member of the State House of Representatives here in Tennessee. What is the big agenda issue that you see in both the special session on education and in the regular session and thereafter?

Zachary: Sure. Well interestingly enough This is my fourth term and we are actually starting at a faster pace right now than we’ve ever started. Committees actually are going to be meeting today. We have something that most Tennesseans because of everything that’s gone on nationally most of what we’re doing right now is not getting attention. But we are getting ready to be the first state in the nation to move forward with a block grant from Medicaid.

The president approved that. We actually suspended the rules yesterday to be able to hear that in committee and walk that through the process. That will be an all-day endeavor for us here in the legislature. And that’s big news. But in terms of next week’s special session, I’m glad the governor’s done it because it really gives us the ability to focus on learning laws and focus on BEP funding especially for a county like my Knox County.

We are a donor county so we would take a significant loss with students not being in the classroom this year for BEP funding. We’ve got students and teachers that have just my wife’s a teacher. She’s a middle school teacher and the incredible stress that they’re under just keeping the doors open. So we’re going to address testing and holding schools and teachers harmless as we kind of walk through this.

Still providing accountability, but holding them harmless. It’s an important step to take and to get this off the table. Some of these steps we usually don’t take until May of the session. So it’s good to be able to take this now. But overall in terms of a special session when we come back probably that first week of February just from my perspective it’s really just doing what we’ve done since I’ve been here.

It’s making sure we do the best we can to limit government and limit regulation. Keep taxes low and keep spending under control. We’ve done a great job with that over the last 10 years and the record kind of speaks for itself. But we’ve got bigger work to do especially with this pandemic kind of hanging over everything that we do.

I’ve chaired the ad hoc committee regarding executive powers. And then I’m going after these unelected health boards that are attacking liberty and are big areas like it’s never been done before. Those are those that will be the two big things I’m involved in.

Leahy: Last night Murray County Mayor sent a letter to the governor and to the speaker and to the lieutenant and two members of the House and Senate and said look Facebook, Google, Twitter Amazon are stifling free speech. The state has some Authority here. There are $70 billion under management and invested by the state. He wants the state to divest of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon stock. And also to stop advertising with Google, Facebook, and Twitter. What do you make of that proposal?

Zachary: Well, I think that we have an oligarchy of tech companies that have been enabled by our federal government through Section 230. And it’s not something that has been talked about much. And I believe that indirectly the federal government is able to able to launch an assault on the First Amendment. I know some people have said well, it’s the first amendment, free speech and the First Amendment doesn’t really apply because it’s not government.

I completely disagree. What I have done through The Heritage Foundation and is more reading on Section 230. And I believe it’s Section 230 in Section ACB and it specifically says that through Section 230 they have certain protections and immunities. It references them as internet companies because back, when this was passed there wasn’t a Google and there wasn’t a social media and there wasn’t Amazon.

But it specifically says the internet companies are allowed to censor constitutionally protected speech. It says that specifically. I even Tweeted that a couple of days ago. And so the federal government is indirectly coming after the first amendment and working to silence us through that. I truly believe that. And these tech companies are leading the way. And if we have tech companies that are more powerful than the president of the United States then that’s a problem.

So I appreciate Andy. I know Andy, I appreciate him drafting that letter. We had a little bit of conversation about that this week. I think that will probably ramp up. We had an organizational period. And again we spent which never happens. We spent hours on the House floor yesterday going through this Medicaid block grant that we’ve got that we’re working to get past.

So I believe those conversations will ramp up after we get through this. And I’ve already had some conversations with various departments about where we stand as a state with those tech companies and absolutely it’s something that needs to be addressed. I’m glad he wrote the letter.

Swain: Now what are you all doing to prepare for the assault from the left? Because we know what the Biden administration, we already see it with the media and the local media. They’re willing to lie and distort when it serves their purposes. They will come full force against you guys. Have you planned your strategy?

Zachary: Yes, Carol. That’s a great question. It’s interesting you ask that because actually the governor and I were texting about that a couple of days ago and about firewalling the state of Tennessee. What steps do we need to take and what planning needs to be done even above and beyond what we typically do to firewall us from the federal government.

So if three, four, or five months from now, they come to us and say these are the steps that you need to take and we say no as Tennessee and we’re not going to take those steps because we’re not going to be complicit with a government that will probably be initiating a socialist agenda and try to continue to strip away our Constitution. Tennesseans are not going to be complicit with that.

Swain: Well that’s the problem. But the other part is that when you’re dealing with the Medicaid block grant and these other issues the left is going to come at you full force as far as the media. Do you have a plan as far as selling your ideas to the public so that they will not be distorted by the left?

Zachary: We do. actually yeah we had a caucus meeting and discussed that yesterday specific to the Medicaid block grant program. Here are just the quick details. So it’s basically a block grant that comes to us from Medicaid and it gives us incredible flexibility. Right now we have what could buy what most publications considered one of the top five run Medicaid programs in the country. Ours is TennCare.

But right now when we are not rewarded or incentivized to save and steward resources well. So we can save money. But we as Tennesseans don’t get to participate in those savings. So now what this block grant does is they provide us with the block grant with just a few requirements versus the incredible strings and entanglements were under now. But any savings that we incur we’re able to keep half that money versus sending it all back to the federal government.

Swain: The part that you keep, are you able to use it for medical expenses? Because we know that there are increased costs that relate to the elderly and those costs will probably be increasing rather than decreasing because of the age of the population. So, how will the savings be used?

Zachary: Yes ma’am that’s a great question. That was going to be my very next point. It will give us the ability to do is enhance the services within Medicaid. During the pandemic that role has grown by 100,000 Tennesseans have been added to the Medicaid program. But with the additional savings, it will allow us to give enhanced services. It will allow if we chose to do so to increase the various populations that we’re servicing.

Provide a higher quality of healthcare because of that savings. It will give us much more flexibility to run it the Tennessee way. But it won’t cost more money to us or the federal government because we will be much more efficient. Because we don’t have the entanglements and requirements of the federal government. Something we talked about yesterday Carol, in talking about messaging. I’ve already started getting emails about it.

So many continue to bang that Medicaid expansion drum. Which thank the Lord we did not take that step. That was just before I got here. But if you were for Medicaid expansion and you are on the left, yesterday we had two hours of Democrats railing against this. How could we do this? How could we take this step with a block grant? If you are for Medicaid expansion you should absolutely be for this block grant because it will allow us to service Tennesseans better under Medicaid.

But it will allow us in the Tennessee way to expand populations if we chose to do so without the entanglements and the cost associated with what would have been Medicaid expansion. We’re going to be so much more efficient in the way we run the program that we will be able to serve larger populations in some respects if we chose to do so. It doesn’t mean we have to. The rolls have swollen to 100,000 over the last year and we’ve been able to walk and manage through that.

Leahy: Jason Zachary. Thank you so much for joining us today. Very enlightening.

Listen to the full third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks About His Letter to Governor Lee About Forced Investment to Companies that Censor

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks About His Letter to Governor Lee About Forced Investment to Companies that Censor

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to the newsmakers line.

At the top of the second hour, Ogles explained his recent proposal to Governor Bill Lee suggesting Tennessee discontinue doing business or any investing in support of companies that advocate for censorship. He continued to voice his concern noting that the United States is in a situation where non-governmental agencies and government tell you what you can and can’t say and when you can and cannot say it.

Leahy: And our guest on the newsmaker line Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. Welcome, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: I’m great. Yesterday you made some news and you sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee and Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and Speaker of the House Cam Sexton. I’ll read from this and then just get your reaction. ‘Tennessee and should not be forced to invest in support the very companies that are conspiring to silence them.

Furthermore, the state of Tennessee should refrain from doing business with these companies by way of prohibition of advertising on Google, Facebook or Twitter. And a prohibition of Amazon Services until such time these companies admit their errors and remove said censorship and prohibitions from their respective platforms. Have you received any response to this proposal yet Andy?

Ogles: Not directly from leadership. But last night I had several members of both in the Senate and the House reach out to me thanking me for taking a bold stance and thought that it would be great and that they were going to work on legislation to try to get introduced. Now just to set expectations, you know, they convened for session. They are in their organizational phase but then next week they go into special session which will last three to five days. and then they’ll recess till probably March or April. So there’s not much going to be done from the legislature outside of education just because of the way it’s structured this year.

Leahy: Gotcha, so, What would be the very specific proposals? And has anybody said I’m going to sponsor such a proposal?

Ogles: Not yet. But you know, when you think about it and a lot of people realize that states across the country they have retirement plans and they have huge cash amounts dollars that they have to invest. They have budget surpluses etc. And so the state of Tennessee, the state of Florida, Utah, South Carolina, etc., they’re all huge institutional investors.

So, you know up there, you know in Nashville, you know, we’ve got 100 or 150 or so in a department and that’s all they do is invest Tennessee’s money. and so, you know these states have a lot of power. And look you can like Trump you can hate trump. It doesn’t matter. The fact that they have censored the president of the United States is incredibly concerning, period.

And that’s why you’re seeing the chancellor of Germany, the president of France, the president of Mexico and Brazil all saying hold on a minute. This is wrong. You can disagree with this man. and you know in France and Mexico their respective leaders don’t like President Trump, so it’s not like they’re in love with this man, but they understand we’re in a state where suddenly the President of the United States can be blocked, banned, censored and there’s no recourse.

They just have all the authority. And this is a scary time. We’re an Orwellian time today. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but now we’re in a situation where you have non-governmental agencies and the government telling you what you can and can’t say and when you can and cannot say it. And that’s the United States, I’m not talking about Venezuela. I’m talking about here in our country now.

Leahy: How big is this investment fund that the state of Tennessee has under its control? Is it like 100 million a 150 million? How big is it?

Ogles: Well, yeah, I don’t know the answer to that. We have a rainy day fund and we have budget surpluses. We have funded pension funds. So you’re talking upwards of a billion dollars.

Leahy: There’s a let’s say there are a billion dollars. And that billion dollars is typically invested in bonds and stocks. and a lot of that if it’s a typical stock portfolio, you would have a lot of investment I would think in Google and Facebook and Twitter, I would guess right?

Ogles: You would assume. And so once these states and it would only take a handful to suddenly pull out of Twitter to pull off some of these technology companies and hits them and punish them through their stock. The other thing that can be done is just simply not Google advertising. Don’t advertise it on Twitter or Facebook. And you know, what’s unfortunate is that you know, Facebook has become and Twitter has become a major form of communication.

So they have gone beyond just being a business being part of the media. And so they’re in a hybrid situation of where yes their company. You know, it’s one thing to let’s say you were I or on Twitter or on Facebook and we post something that’s inflammatory or shouldn’t be posted. I get it. They have the right to delete that particular post. But to blatantly block and then delete the President of the United States again, I don’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat or Independent, that should concern you to a degree that you can’t sleep at night.

Listen to the full second hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President and CEO of Bridgeway Academy Jessica Parnell Shines a Light on 31 Years of Successful Homeschooling Options for Parents

President and CEO of Bridgeway Academy Jessica Parnell Shines a Light on 31 Years of Successful Homeschooling Options for Parents

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed President and CEO of Bridgeway Academy Jessica Parnell to the newsmakers line to discuss her company’s 31 years in successful homeschooling options for parents and their children.

Leahy: And on our newsmaker line Jessica Parnell with The Homeschool Academy. I guess it’s called Bridgeway Academy. Doing some great stuff in the field of education. Jessica, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Parnell: Thank you. Michael. It’s great to be here.

Leahy: Tell us about the home school academy and I guess it’s called your company’s called what Edovate and Bridgeway is the over program that is involved in this? Tell us about this.

Parnell: Sure. Edovate learning program is our parent company. And under that we have actually three different divisions that serve homeschoolers. Bridgeway Academy is one. And then we also have Elephango.com, which is a fantastic online resource for parents to help provide education in a different way for their students. and then we have curriculum Express which is a curriculum warehouse where parents or schools can order curriculum directly delivered to their home and homeschool independently.

Leahy: Now, you’ve been in business for how long?

Parnell: We have been in business for 31 years.

Leahy: No kidding. That’s a long time to be in this space. If somebody’s homeschooling. How does this work? What would they do to take advantage of what your offerings are?

Parnell: Sure. I think the first step that a parent needs to make when they consider homeschooling is to just ensure that they’re willing to be involved in the education process. The reason we see such success in home education is because the parents are engaged and they’re working with their children. So if they’re interested and want to know more about home education they can certainly give us a call here at Bridgeway Academy. They can check out our blog post with all sorts of articles and how to’s on getting started.

But first again commit to the time involved. And then you want to get to know your child because the beauty of homeschooling is you are tailoring education to your child and what works for them. There is no one-size-fits-all in home education. And that’s the number one reason why home way homeschoolers just do so well.

Leahy: Now online I’m looking at homeschoolacademy.com is that the official Bridgeway website?

Parnell: Yes it is.

Leahy: Now what is the cost of this program? If any homeschoolers out there are interested in doing this, how much does it cost?

Parnell: Well, that’s a tough question because we have so many different programs with Bridgeway Academy. Parents can choose to homeschool independently and there in Tennessee there are local organizations that can help them. So some parents that choose to do independently and they simply purchase their curriculum from us or they purchase our customized placement process, which is where we test the students learning style.

We get to know their personality style. We look at the ideal environment. We talked with parents and we understand the Dynamics of that home. And then we design a home education program that meets all of those factors as well as what the student wants to do as they look into the future. And then they can do that. They can take that package and work independently or with a local organization.

And that complete kit with all of that consulting and the curriculum for the school year runs at about $900. Now a parent can also choose to enroll fully with Bridgeway Academy where we support them all year long. They have a personal go-to person a one-on-one person that works with them all year long, keeps their records for them, and helps them when a student doesn’t understand something.

And they have that support all year long. And that varies by grade level. But on our website, as you said you can type in Bridgeway Academy, or you can type in homeschoolacademy.com there on that website and Just select the Bridgeway Academy program and you can get a look at all of the options as well as the pricing.

Leahy: And now is your curriculum delivered just sort of it online in sort of a PDF format or is it YouTube? How is it delivered?

Parnell: It’s delivered again in variety. There are some families who don’t want any online education. And so we provide them with a full textbook program. We have families who want everything online and in which case it is a variety of media support for those programs. The learning is online. And then we have families who want live online so they can actually have their students jump on with teachers and students from around the world and take it. And once a week, they meet once a week or once or twice a week depending on the grade level and then they work independently offline for the remainder of the week.

Leahy: Now since the pandemic have you seen an increase in participation in your program?

Parnell: We sure have yes. We’ve had many families just looking for an option. Some because they just didn’t even want to consider school. Some because they were unhappy because in the spring semester when they started to see what was being taught in the school whether that was they didn’t think it was enough for they were concerned about the agenda underneath the lessons. Or they just thought their kid was either behind or ahead of what was being taught. They were looking for another option. So we did see a big bump going into this new school year.

Leahy: So online schooling in public schools has been widely panned as being ineffective. I don’t think anybody that I’ve seen has praised the public school online experience. And yet it looks like your online experience has been increasingly well-received. What are the main differences?

Parnell: Well, I think first it is the experience. So we’ve been doing this for so many years that the pandemic wasn’t a surprise to us. And we have public school teachers that are extremely excellent teachers that just want the best for their kids but are thrown into something that’s brand new to them and they’re doing what they can but it was new and it was something they’re still trying to navigate whereas with Bridgeway Academy we’ve been doing this for 31 years. We’ve been in online education since the really early 2000s. And we’ve learned a thing or two along the way and have been able to really tailor that online experience to what works in this home education setting.

Leahy: Now how many students do you serve around the country in K-12?

Parnell: Complete total numbers were close to 10,000 students that are fully enrolled in Bridgeway Academy where we are supporting them every step of the way. We are just about at 3,000.

Leahy: And now you have a K-12 program. what has been the college entry experience of graduates of Bridgeway Academy? Also online at homeschool academy.com.

Parnell: I’m glad you asked. Our students are very well-received. We’ve had them into the Ivy League schools to State schools to private schools and actually recruited by many schools for their academic achievements. As well as many of them because of the freedom of homeschooling have an opportunity to do some amazing things while they’re still in high school.

We’ve had individuals start special chapters of organizations. We’ve had one actually discovered from a new and I don’t know chemistry well, but some new chemical formula, and she was heavily recruited by other schools. And they have the ability to pursue their personal excellence while they’re in high school. And it really helps really hone them as they look to the future as well.

Leahy: Now you’re based in Pennsylvania, but this is available nationally correct? Every state including Tennessee?

Parnell: Every state including Tennessee and around the world.

Leahy: Interesting. What is the impact on charter school students? What relationship do you have with students in charter schools?

Parnell: Well we actually have a few partnerships with some charter schools that were looking for assistance with this home education model. So we actually provide some live classes for several charter schools. We also provide a curriculum for them with that home education focus. And we have one public school that actually also takes care of their homeschooling through us so that they can have that very homeschool focus.

Leahy: Very interesting. Carol Swain is a former professor at Vanderbilt and leader in education Innovation. She’s in studio with us. Carol you have any questions for Jessica?

Swain: I’m a proponent of homeschooling and I think every parent engages in homeschooling when they interact with their children. It can be positive or negative. And I’m I see the upswing or interest in homeschooling as one of the positives that have come out of the pandemic

Parnell: Yes, I would definitely agree. And I think you were the individual who said earlier that we need people that stand on principle. We have many that do it for that reason. So it’s exciting to see parents saying, you know I can do this better and I’m going to commit my energies to my children to make sure that their future is wide open.

Leahy: Jessica Parnell, CEO of Edovate and Bridgeway Academy on the web at homeschoolacademy.com. Thanks for joining us and we hope you come back sometime.

Parnell: Thank you and it was good to be here.

Listen to the third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Jessica Parnell” by Bridgeway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett: ‘We Are Rapidly Approaching the Appearance of a Banana Republic’

Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett: ‘We Are Rapidly Approaching the Appearance of a Banana Republic’

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) to the newsmakers line.

During the first hour, Burchett weighed in on what he coined the “snap” impeachment of President Trump explaining why it was Republican Liz Cheney who screamed the loudest as a personal vendetta in the name of her father’s failed war policies and Trump’s cut off of the industrial war complex. He also explained the danger that using impeachment as a political tool would do to future presidents.

Leahy: Our next guest is on the newsmaker line. Congressman Tim Burchett from the Second Congressional District in Tennessee up in Knoxville joins us this morning. Good morning Congressman Burchett. Thanks for joining us.

Burchett: Thanks for having me, brother. You can call me Tim.

Leahy: (Chuckles) All right, Tim.

Burchett: Whenever have anybody ever says, hey congressman I usually just keep walking because they’re usually talking about some 80 or 80-year-old guy shuffling down the hall. They’re not talking about me. So I just go with Tim.

Leahy: You are a guy who understands how the federal and state government works. You worked you you were elected to the state legislature in Tennessee, Knox County Executive. Now a member of the House of Representatives. What on earth do you make of this lightning speed impeachment of the president? The Groundhog Day second impeachment of the president yesterday in the House chamber? What was that like being there?

Burchett: Well, I’d call it a snap impeachment. It really was. And it’s just Pelosi playing her game. She’s just selling memberships. Her leadership is so inept and she is so, I don’t know if disheveled is the right word. She’s just incapable of leading and she has to have controversy because if not, they’ll focus on her leadership style.

She can’t run meetings. She’s just not capable brother. I mean she is awful. And so this is her sticking her finger in the President’s eye, and we all know it. It’s just inexcusable the way she acts and all her little stunts she’s been pulling as of late. Democrats use the carrot and the stick a lot better than Republicans. I know people who don’t care for her and her angry because all she wants to do is stay in power and that’s what it’s all about in Washington D.C.

It’s not about Democrats or Republicans are right or wrong. It’s about power who’s got it, who wants it, and how do they get it? And She does that very well. She rewards people very well and she punishes people very well through her henchmen and they are blindly loyal. And so you can’t really find much good to say about her actually. With her selling out to The Squad she has proven that she’d be a conservative if it would keep her in power. I’m convinced of that because she has no moral compass.

Leahy: Tim, this is not exactly what the founders had in mind when the Constitution was passed and ratified.

Burchett: No it wasn’t. They were supposed to have hearings. I mean even the hearings that Adam Schiff allegedly, you know facilitated before he and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee which was really just a rival between those two, and that goes back to my power statement with them cutting ahead of each other in the previous impeachment. This is just not anything that was ever dreamed of in any shape, form, or fashion. When I was in the state legislature, I remember one time I told the Democrat chairman I said I’m afraid we’re going to open up Ponderosas box.

Leahy: (Chuckles) That’s funny. Ponderosa’s box.

Burchett: That’s exactly what the Democrats have done. They’ve used it as a political tool and they’re not going to get the toothpaste back in the tube brother. Because from here on out somebody is going to have a difference with the President and they are going to say let’s impeach him. And then that’s the way it’s going to be. We are rapidly approaching the appearance of a Banana Republic unless we get some serious control.

And if good conservative people don’t get back to the polls, you know, this last election and I read that 25 million Evangelical Christians and over two million sportsmen did not vote in the presidential election. And we’re getting ready for what becomes of that but with the overturn of all three branches radical Democrat Party.

Leahy: What do you make of Liz Cheney? She’s number three in the House leadership. She was one of 10 Republicans who joined the Democrats in this snap impeachment. What is she trying to accomplish?

Burchett: She doesn’t like the president. And it goes back to it’s more about defending her father’s in my opinion, failed war policies. The industrial war complex, people say it doesn’t exist but brother it does exist. Let’s go to war. There is no reason for us to be in these far-fetched wars all over the world. Under President Trump’s leadership, we actually export energy now, which is just unheard of. Unheard of!

And there’s no reason for us to be over there. Now, you can’t always tell people to show me one East Tennessee boy or girl whose life is worth losing over what’s going on overseas? And that’s what this is about. You know Democrats used to be against the war. President Trump’s against war and bringing our troops home.

And now all of a sudden the Democrats are rallying for war. And that’s what this is about. I think it’s preserving her father’s legacy and it’s unfortunate because American boys and girls are coming home either still in body bags or mentally incapacitated. Did you know our military is in over 100 countries right now? 100 countries!

I dare say most of the people I know in Congress probably couldn’t name 100 countries. But it’s just inexcusable. And you know, they are trying to label this as some sort of freedom caucus thing. I was in the airport yesterday and there were 11 of us standing there and there were all ends of the spectrum. If leader McCarthy calls the meeting she’s going to have her work cut out to stay in power. I’ll just give you that.

Leahy: Yeah, well, it won’t break my heart if you and others kick her out of leadership with the House minority group there. You’re a political analyst as well as being a member of the House. I thought that, in my view, they only got 10 Republicans to join them after all of this, you know media onslaught against the president’s speech at that rally. I thought that was not a very strong showing in terms of the number of Republicans had that joined this effort. What what’s your take on that?

Burchett: That’s not a groundswell. It was very predictable who went and why they went. If you look at them overall except for Liz, they are in very close districts. Everybody in this game is a political survivalist, you know, the political animals. And they’re reading the numbers. And I don’t question them because I know them all.

But you know, it’s obvious they were under a lot of pressure. And some people never held office before. When I was in the state legislature, we get three phone calls now and I considered that a Groundswell before Al Gore invented the internet. (Leahy chuckles) I used to get three phones in Knoxville and I’d start sweating.

Leahy: Hey, last question for you. When all these controversial bills that they want to jam through for the left-wing agenda come up…example, there are arguments that they’re going to want to add the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as states that would be one example. Of course, packing the courts would be another. Do you see any of the 222 Democrats breaking from the party line? Or are they going to all stick with the left-wing radical agenda?

Burchett: I don’t see any of them breaking from it. They’ll be in lockstep. Just like I said, carrot and the stick. The voters did you remember that because you’re going to see our power eroded just exponentially. It’s in warp speed right now because there’s nothing holding them back. And The Squad will be literally setting the agenda for the Democrat Party.

Leahy: Well we’ve got rough waters ahead. Congressman Tim Burchett, it’s great having you on the program, and look forward to having you back on again.

Burchett: You call me anytime brother. I love Nashville. I spent six years in the legislature and I love the radio. Keep it up, brother. The first amendment is a great thing when somebody says something you don’t like.

Listen to the full first hour:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on a Second Impeachment of President Trump

Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on a Second Impeachment of President Trump

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line live from Washington, D.C.

During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on the looming second impeachment of President Trump and whether or not it would lead to a trial in the Senate. He added that he believes the president would be impeached yet may still offer a range of pardons to warriors and possibly a pre-emtptive Stephen K. Bannon.

Leahy: On our newsmaker line our Washington correspondent for the Star News Network Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Hey, Mike, Crom. Glad to be with you and good morning.

Leahy: Well we’ve got seven days and 5 hours left in the Trump administration. Nancy Pelosi and apparently Liz Cheney now wants to impeach him in the next seven days and five hours. And then there are rumblings about whether or not there would if impeached whether or not before his term ends for a second time. Rumblings about or not there would be a trial in the Senate. Tell us what you know about this, you know, unifying process going on in Washington today.

McCabe: Yeah. Let me just say that right before Thanksgiving Politico had this headline about a profile of Liz Cheney and that headline was She Kind of Reminds You of Margaret Thatcher.

Leahy: (Laughs) Excuse me. I can’t stop laughing.

Carmichael: I think they confused that with Gretchen Whitmer. (Leahy laughs)

McCabe: Let me just say that among the House Republican leadership like the guys who want to get along and go along. Al the good-time Charlies, they love Liz Cheney because she takes on Matt Gaetz. She takes on Jim Jordan. Now she’s taking on Kevin McCarthy. And frankly, she’s going to use this to catapult her challenge against Kevin McCarthy for the actual leadership of the House.

So inside the House Republican conference what’s really going on here is Liz Cheney is they’ve been her bid to take over. And they won’t have leadership, I doubt that they’ll change leadership this session. But what will happen is Liz Cheney is basically going to become the titular leader of the sort of the Washington party inside the Republican conference. Now, McConnell has already said that the trial will begin after Trump leaves office.

And because of what they call unanimous consent Schumer and the Democrats are going to let McConnell continue to run the Senate until Trump leaves. And basically, that allows McConnell to sort of like, you know wash his hands of the actual trial. So the trial will be run by Schumer and I doubt that the president will be convicted in the Senate. Joe Manchin has already said that the votes aren’t there.

And you have to be very careful about what’s been up in the media and what people say. And then you have to compare that to what people actually do. And when the rubber hits the road there are going to be very few Republicans, maybe 20 or 30, who vote for impeachment today. And in the Senate, if Trump has 35 votes he’s good.

And so it’ll be a little dicey for the Republicans in the Senate because, in 2022, there are at least 20 Republican seats up for re-election. And that’s going to be a heavy lift. John Coon is up in South Dakota. And you know, he’s been a real problem for the Trump administration for the last four years. But you know Trump is already talking about helping anyone who will primary soon. And going back to Liz Cheney, Trump did win Wyoming with 70 percent of the vote. So it’s like, hey lady, look at the numbers.

Wyoming’s a very tough state to run in statewide. It’s almost impossible to do polling there as you might remember Mike with the trouble we’ve had in the past doing polling there. And so, you know Dick Cheney, her father, is obviously very popular there. And so, you know, will she be primaried to be defeated? I don’t know in Wyoming. But it is important to remember that her state voted 70 percent for Trump.

Leahy: Now, let me ask you this a week from today when we have you on the call, will President Trump have been impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: Okay. Now, will Trump when he’s out of office if they try to pass it to the Senate because the 25th Amendment is actually pretty clear on conviction to remove the president. There’s never been a case before the Supreme Court as to whether or not a person who is not in office can be removed from office. There’s never been one. So will it go to the courts?

McCabe: There was a Secretary of War.

Carmichael: There wasn’t a case. There’s never been a court case.

Leahy: Let’s just clarify it.

McCabe: I don’t know if you want to give the Supreme Court a role in this, A. And B, impeachment is a political process, not a judiciary or legal process. And so politically you there is no will to impeach or convict Trump, especially after he’s left office. We forget. Once you leave office something changes. Clinton and Obama were both relatively popular when they left, but it changes you and people think about you differently once you are an ex-president.

Nixon was the most hated man in America when they railroaded him out on bogus charges with dirty judges. But having said that, by the end of Nixon’s life, he was one of Reagan’s top advisors. He was even advising Nixon, you know the days before he died Nixon was like that respected. Things change when you become an ex-president. It’s like the popular support is there and that’s the most important thing. Trump and the people are lined up and the politicians know it.

Leahy: Neil will there be a trial in the Senate? And if there is, will the former president be convicted?

McCabe: No. There will be a trial. And he will not be convicted.

Carmichael: I believe the Supreme court will have to rule on whether or not it is permissible to have a trial to remove a president after they are not there. I do believe the Supreme Court will take that up.

McCabe: I think the Senate would say thanks for your opinion Supreme Court.

Leahy: None of your business. We’ll deal with it.

Carmichael: We are heading down a very very dangerous road then. Let me ask this question then. If President Trump pardons himself…

McCabe: For what?

Carmichael: Can a president pardon himself under the Constitution?

McCabe: The president can pardon himself. You have two problems. One, he didn’t do anything. And number two you can’t pardon yourself for impeachment because (Inaudible talk)

Carmichael: I’m not talking about impeachment. Can he give himself a broad pardon for anything he committed while he was the president?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: There are people who say he can’t. Should that go to the Supreme Court?

Leahy: Well the question I would ask you Neil is do you believe the president will pardon himself in the next seven days?

McCabe: No.

Leahy: I would agree with that.

Carmichael: I disagree with that.

McCabe: I think there’s going to be a rash of pardons. I think there might be a pre-emptive Stephen K. Bannon pardon. I would look for some of these warriors who are being charged with war crimes by the Pentagon for what they did on our battlefields. I think we may see some of that but you know, Crom, the whole pardon thing, I don’t think Trump will pardon himself because he doesn’t believe what crime would he parked himself for? I can’t think of anything that he could be charged with legally.

Listen to the full third hour:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio