Attorney Mark Pulliam Announces His Candidacy for Blount County Republican Party Chair

Attorney Mark Pulliam Announces His Candidacy for Blount County Republican Party Chair

Live from Music Row Friday 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 California refugee and an accomplished attorney, Mark Pulliam to the newsmaker line to announce his candidacy for Blount County Republican chair and why he’s qualified to do it.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our newsmaker line, our very good friend Mark Pullium from Blount County, Tennessee. Good morning, Mark.

Pulliam: Good morning, Michael. I’m always pleased to be on the voice of reason in Nashville. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Mark, you’re mixing it up again! You won’t quit. And just for our listeners, Mark is a very accomplished attorney writer and a refugee from California and then Texas who moved to Tennessee in hopes of finding freedom and liberty. Found something a little different, didn’t you, Mark?

Pulliam: Yes. I’m either very persistent or a sucker for punishment, (Leahy laughs) but I moved here hoping to find a vibrant Republican Party that was as conservative as I am. And we moved here to find out that the Republican Party was in the witness protection program, and I’ve tried different things.

I got elected to the state executive committee as a write-in, but then my election was nullified. So now I’m coming at it differently. And one of the people that voted to nullify my election and to discard the ballots of 300 Blount County Republicans who voted for me is SEC member Cindy Gaba-Hatcher.

She’s running to be chair of the Blount County Republican Party at the upcoming reorganization meeting, and I decided that Blount County needs to have a real Republican Party with a real Republican sharing it. So I’ve thrown my hat in the ring and I’m running to be chair at this reorganization meeting coming up on April 4th.

Leahy: This looks to be a lot of fun to me. I know there are some bad feelings and bitterness back and forth, but heck, this is politics, right? (Chuckles) I just admire you so much, Mark, for jumping into all this stuff. Now you have a little bit of an edge that our friend Scott Golden, he’s our friend. I don’t think he’s your friend, right? (Pulliam chuckles) The chairman of the Republican Party. He seems to have set the rules up to make everything as hard as possible for you. Do I have that right?

Pulliam: Because we’re an open primary state, it’s hard to tell who’s a Republican and who’s not a Republican because nobody registers by political party. And there were two bills that were introduced this session to fix that. They were both killed under very questionable circumstances in committee.

But as long as we’re an open primary state, there has to be some basis to determine who’s Republican and who’s entitled to participate in Republican politics. So they come up with this bonafide Republican test, which is very amorphous.

It’s poorly drafted and it’s susceptible to multiple interpretations, and it’s ridiculous. You have to have voted in three out of the last four statewide Republican primaries. So for a Tennessee resident…

Leahy: That could cover a lot. Let me get to this, Mark. Every two years, there are elections for the county chairman. And I know in Williamson County here, there will be, I think, March 30th or 31st there’s a general meeting of all Republicans in the county. They’ve got to get verified and go through that vetting process you talk about, and there is going to be a race between, I think it’s Cheryl Brown and Tracy Miller are the candidates here in Williamson County. But there will be one big meeting. But in Blount County, they’re breaking it down into six separate precinct conventions that are precursors of the April 4th overall meeting. Do you have to get elected in the precinct conventions? How does that work?

Pulliam: What you’re describing from Williamson County, and that’s the way most of the counties in Tennessee do it, it’s called a mass convention. And so everybody that’s eligible shows up on a day and votes on a new slate of officers.

Back in the old days, when Tennessee was a backward rural state, they came up with something called these precinct conventions if you had a lightly populated state spread out or a county spread out. But what’s happening, and under the bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party, all counties are required to use mass convention unless Scott Golden gives you permission to do it otherwise.

And so Blount County has gotten permission to do this precinct convention, so the actual people that will be allowed to attend the reorganization meeting are selected in advance at this precinct convention.

Leahy: Mark, is this all designed to keep you from winning the election? I’m just wondering.

Pulliam: This is the way they’ve always done it. And it’s certainly easier for the insiders to control the outcome because you have to register in advance. And so they know how many people intend to show up and they can pack each precinct convention, but we, the grassroots, are beginning to wake up.

And so my group, the Blount County Conservative Coalition, is on this. There’s a group called East Tennessee Conservatives that’s on this. And what we hope is that the grassroots will show up at these precinct conventions and outvote these insiders that have been treating this party as a private club for so long and we can finally breathe some life into a more abundant county party.

Leahy: You mean it’s not a private club? I’m just kidding. By the way, let’s talk about this Cindy Gaba-Hatcher. I’ve never met Cindy, but she’s currently on the state executive committee. She’s running for the Blount County Republican Party chair against you. Where do the two of you differ in terms of how you would do the job?

Pulliam: I’ve published my platform. I tried to become a precinct delegate two years ago, but my wife and I were both blackballed at our precinct convention. Essentially, I am not sure that on the issues there would be a difference in that she’s a moderate and I’m conservative.

Fundamentally, I want the Republican Party to act like a Republican Party, to empower the grassroots, have monthly public meetings, bring in elected officials and talk to the voters and answer questions, and have a precinct program, register voters to get out the vote to do the things that Republican parties are supposed to do!

Leahy: Register voters and get out the vote. That’s the standard job of a county chairman. Do you think you’d do a better job of that than Cindy Gaba Hatcher your opponent?

Pulliam: I think I would do the job, and in Blount County, according to the standard playbook, it’s not being done. The role of the county party in Blount County is to be invisible and ineffective so that the Chamber of Commerce can really run things.

Leahy: Of course, East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee are different really, you got a lot more engagement of conservative grassroots activists in the party. In Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee traditionally has been run more by the Chamber of Commerce types, I think, right?

Pulliam: I think that’s what I’m learning in the three years that I’ve been here. (Laughter)

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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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 “Mark Pulliam” by American Institute for Economic Research. Photo “Paul Moreno” by Hillsdale College. Background Photo “Blount County Courthouse” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 3.0.


Leahy and Carmichael: Phil Williams Needs to Be Put Out to Pasture

Leahy and Carmichael: Phil Williams Needs to Be Put Out to Pasture

Live from Music Row Friday 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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss false statements made by News Channel 5’s Phil Williams that were left hanging on the internet for seven hours before correction.

Leahy: In studio, the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, lead story at The Tennessee Star, which I wrote. Headline: News Channel Five Quietly Removes Unsubstantiated Claim by Phil Williams that Andy Ogles ‘Kept the Money.’ That was the original headline. Subtitle of the headline: that Andy kept the money from this GoFundMe account established in 2014.

Carmichael: And did the story go on to essentially say that?

Leahy: It had a statement to that effect that has disappeared. The headline and the statement that Andy kept the money which, by the way, Phil Williams could not substantiate that Andy kept this $23,000 GoFundMe account set up to honor Andy’s dead child in 2014 and used for Andy’s said purpose of helping other families that had children who passed away. It was up on the internet for seven hours, that Andy kept the money. He couldn’t prove it and couldn’t substantiate it.

Carmichael: Or he didn’t.

Leahy: He didn’t prove it.

Carmichael: He didn’t prove it. He didn’t substantiate it and offered no evidence.

Leahy: Offered no evidence that, that he kept the money. And then, mysteriously, seven hours later they changed the headline to say that Andy, kept the money and he won’t say where the money went.

Carmichael: He has said where the money went.

Leahy: At the time he published it because Phil went up to him and said, okay, I wanna know immediately how that money was spent eight years ago. And Andy didn’t answer the question. He came and gave us an exclusive statement and he explained how the money was spent. He didn’t show the accounting records.

Carmichael: Now, wait. So he did say.

Leahy: Subsequent to that headline.

Carmichael: Now, wait a second. Phil Williams says I’m lost on what the second headline says.

Leahy: The second headline said, “He won’t say where the money went.”

Carmichael: That’s not true either. That’s not true either. If you give somebody 30 seconds to respond to something and then they later respond, to not give anybody time. Let me just say this.

Leahy: He did say where the money went. He hasn’t provided any accounting records to that effect.

Carmichael: But then he has said where the money went.

Leahy: That’s a very good point. So the statement itself is wrong. Phil Williams’s statement should have been he will not provide me any accounting records. That would be an accurate statement.

Carmichael: Let me just say this. Phil Williams has been around for a really long time.

Leahy: He’s old.

Carmichael: He’s old; he’s got white hair. It reminds me of Randy McNally. They have something in common.

Leahy: They do. They’re past their prime.

Carmichael: Past their prime. They say things and do things that they shouldn’t do. And I think there is a Republican lawmaker who has…

Leahy: Todd Warner.

Carmichael: Who publicly said that Randy McNally needs to step down. And you have editorialized…

Leahy: On Sunday.

Carmichael: That Randy McNally, after having served for 45 years should step down. Phil Williams should step down. He’s lost his step.

Leahy: Lost his fastball.

Carmichael: He’s lost his fastball. That’s a better metaphor. And uh, put me in coach a baseball. So here we’re talking baseball metaphors. (Leahy laughs) But Phil Williams is past his prime and like Randy McNally, he has the hair to show for it.

And there’s no doubt when you look at Phil Williams, you look at a man who might very well be past his prime just by looking at him. But then when you see the story that he put up where he made an accusation that he could not support, by journalistic standards, that is a terrible thing to do.

Leahy: He can’t substantiate his claim that Andy kept the money.

Carmichael: That’s the first claim and the most important claim because to claim, I’m changing the headline to, he won’t provide an accounting of something that was eight or nine years ago, I would ask anybody to keep an accounting of something that that’s eight or nine years ago.

Leahy: That’s a very good point. It would take a while to put that together. If you can.

Carmichael: If the accounting still even existed. I go through my files at the office and stuff that’s old and no longer relevant, I clean those files out because I’ve closed the books on them. I’ve paid my taxes on them and I’ve done everything. And I’ve held him for the appropriate amount of time for my tax purposes, and I eliminate that stuff.

Leahy: Phil Williams is trying to create the impression that he actually never said Andy kept the money.

Carmichael: Right. And that’s what I’m saying. That’s why he’s like Randy McNally and News Channel 5 needs to recognize that they have a reporter who will say and do anything perhaps for a personal vendetta.

We don’t know. We don’t know what his motivation was. It could be that his mind just isn’t as sharp as it ought to be, and Phil should be put out to pasture. (Makes horse sound)

Leahy: I love the sound effect. Phil, you’re going out to pasture.

Carmichael: You’re going out to pasture and we will hold the gate open.

Leahy: And Phil Williams. Phil, your own actions and statements are leading you to be put out to pasture because you, he tweeted Wednesday evening at 9:27 pm, about an hour after News Channel 5 secretly changed that headline from, Andy Ogles ‘Kept the Money’ to ‘Andy Ogles Won’t Say Where the Money was Spent.’

He retweeted this tweet from Dr. Joy Heningsen News Channel 5 never said he kept the money, which right is falsely blasting Williams for. Actually no, he did say that and he said it for seven hours, Crom.

Carmichael: Who is claiming that Channel five never said what Channel five said?

Leahy: His retweet was claimed by some blue check.

Carmichael: That’s more evidence that he needs to be put out to pasture. Listen, I think Phil Williams believes everything that he is saying. I think he believes everything he’s saying and therein lies the problem.

Leahy: News Channel 5, by the way, has a policy Crom that they correct errors promptly, prominently, and transparently. They need to be prominent, so there’s no confusion about what changes were made to the story. They did not follow their own corrections policy. They made this major change.

Carmichael: Maybe there are some other people there who need to be put out to pasture. The pasture’s getting bigger.

Leahy: Bigger, bigger, and bigger.

Carmichael: And the gate is getting larger. It’s so tough to backtrack on something that you did that was wrong.

Leahy: Phil Williams is finding that out.

Carmichael: Yes. (Makes horse sound)

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Phil Williams” by Phil Williams NC5.




Crom’s Crommentary: The Biggest Problem Facing This Country Is the Vast Overreach of Our Federal Government

Crom’s Crommentary: The Biggest Problem Facing This Country Is the Vast Overreach of Our Federal Government

Live from Music Row Friday 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 original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.


Michael, Holman Jenkins of The Wall Street Journal wrote one of his best columns. And the title of it: Silicon Valley Bank and Joe Biden’s $19 Trillion Money. And what Mr. Jenkins points out are things that really need to be pointed out about what Biden did and what the ramifications are and then whether or not what Biden did solved the underlying first mover problem.

Which it did not. I’ll give a little advanced warning that it didn’t solve the underlying problem. And he identifies the underlying problem. He goes on to say, and I will give some quotes here from the article, “If Monday’s routes and bank stocks further spooked uninsured depositors, it was just one more way government was working against itself.”

“Shareholders had a reason for fright as the government suddenly, and unilaterally rewrote the terms of their investment. In essence, out of the blue, the risks that large sophisticated, uninsured depositors had willingly accepted were shifted to bank shareholders and US taxpayers so Biden could have a pleasanter start to his week, and otherwise would’ve been the case.”

He says it goes on. Don’t buy the claim that bank shareholders and CEOs have been taught a lesson. He says the government doesn’t actually eliminate failure. It transfers the risk to itself with enough risk transference, government’s own solvency, and ability to maintain the value of its currency are placed at risk.

We aren’t there yet, but hard to miss are the whispers that the Fed should now back off the inflation fight to support the administration’s priority to avoid more political noise in bank failures. Here’s the key paragraph. When he gets into what the underlying problem is that is causing all of the distress across our economy.

The biggest problem of all is the size, inefficiency, indebtedness, and unsustainability of government. This is why I said earlier this week, the key is the governments of incredibly high government spending and incredibly high overreach by the bureaucracies of our country. Our political class has a silent strategy here too.

Hope it blows up on somebody else’s watch. Now that’s a key one. Hope it blows up on somebody else’s watch. If the politicians like Barney Frank who passed the Dodd-Frank Bill, then retired, oversaw them, and was responsible for the 2008 and 2009 mess. Then he goes on the board of Signature Bank in New York and watches it proceed to have a whole bunch of terrible woke policies.

He collected hundreds of thousands of dollars as a bank board of directors as a bank board member. The question is whether or not he’s gonna be sued, which he ought to be because he didn’t do his job. There are fiduciary responsibilities to being a board member, especially of a bank. Already written into law are set 25 percent cuts in social security benefits.

Medicare can always balance its books. Listen to this. Medicare can always balance its books by cutting reimbursements to doctors and hospitals and letting declining service and wait lists drive patients to seek care elsewhere. That’s what’s happened in Canada, by the way.

That’s what’s happening in Great Britain as we speak. Those are exactly the things that are going on, and anyone who does not understand that our biggest problem facing this country is the vast overreach of our federal government is simply wrong. It’s just that simple.

And unfortunately, saving Silicone Valley Bank and the depositors in the method that they’ve done it, kicks the can down the road. The question is, does it kick the can down the road a couple of hundred yards, in which case it’s gonna rear its ugly head fairly soon, or does it kick the can down a mile or so, which pushes it out? Maybe two or three or four years.

We will see. But, Kevin McCarthy has a chance with the Republicans on the debt ceiling increase to force the Biden administration to do the right thing and to cut government spending by at least half a trillion dollars which shouldn’t be that difficult because Biden’s increased government spending by at least one and a half trillion dollars. So in two years, it shouldn’t be very difficult to get him to give up a third of his increases. But we’ll see.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this Crommentary:

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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 “U.S. Capitol” by The Free Birds.




Adam Andrzejewski Discusses Silicon Valley Bank’s Ties to Gov. Gavin Newsom

Adam Andrzejewski Discusses Silicon Valley Bank’s Ties to Gov. Gavin Newsom

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Founder Adam Andrzejewski to the newsmaker line to unravel Silicon Valley Bank’s ties to California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Leahy: To the issue of honesty, cover-up. Silicon Valley Bank, all the roads are leading to Governor Gavin Newsom. Adam, thanks for joining us.

Andrzejewski: Thanks for having me on. I appreciate coming back on the program.

Leahy: Crom and I were here talking; there’s a lack of honesty and integrity. I think in your latest column at Openthebooks substack, you’re pointing out that there’s a coverup about Governor Gavin Newsom’s involvement with the Silicon Valley Bank. Which as everybody knows, failed spectacularly. Adam, tell us more about that.

Andrzejewski: So incredibly Silicon Valley Bank through their investment banking arm bought stakes in three of Governor Gavin Newsom’s private businesses. That was broken by The Intercept.

Here’s what we broke at We put the other half of the story together that the president of the Silicon Valley Bank’s investment banking arm, his name is John China.

Leahy: Whoa, whoa. No.

Carmichael: Are you making that up?

Leahy: Are you making that up?

Andrzejewski: I’m not. I’m not making it up. His name is John China. It is.

Carmichael: At least you didn’t say his name was Hunter China. (Laughter)

Andrzejewski: There is a real question. Is the Chinese influence being funded out of that investment banking arm as well? But no, his name is actually John China, and he’s a good friend of the Newsom’s. He’s right in the mix of Newsom Inc., as we call it, at We found that he is a founding board member of Newsom’s nonprofit, the California Partners Project.

What is the California Partners Project? It’s a nonprofit expressly created to push the public policy agenda of Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, the wife of Governor Gavin Newsom. She calls herself the first partner. The first thing Governor Gavin Newsom did when he was inaugurated was he established this public office for his wife.

A subdivision of the office of governor, it’s called the office of the first partner. It’s got nine staffers and a million-dollar-a-year appropriation of taxpayer money.  Five million dollars since 2019 has gone into this office, but it wasn’t enough. They established this nonprofit to bring in more funding, more staff, and more political lobbying muscle behind his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s public policy agenda.

The first thing they passed incredibly was gender quotas on corporate boards, and they were patting themselves on the back with Silicon Valley Bank’s John China, the Newsom’s, when they passed, signed this into law, but even a California court threw it out because obviously, it was discriminatory. Judicial Watch sued them and got that law thrown out.

Carmichael: I’m really interested in this thing where you’re saying the Silicone Valley Bank in their private investment arm invested. When they collapsed, did they still own interests in three of Newsom’s companies?

Andrzejewski: Yes. They disclosed it on their website. And this begs a lot of questions. We know what the questions are, right? They’ve got the regulators, now that the bank has failed, they’ve got to open the books on the good friend of the Newsom’s, the head of the $5.5 billion investment pool of money that bought stakes in three of his businesses.

Did they overpay for the governor’s business? Was he able to pull chips off the table, pull money out of, take money and risk off the table for himself personally, because of the deep relationship with the head of the Silicon Valley Bank’s investment business? We don’t know the answers to that, but we need that transparency.

Carmichael: So you’re saying the Silicon Valley bank had a $5.5 billion private investment organization or entity within their holding company or within their bank that took $5.5 billion and made direct investments in private companies, three of which were in entities where Newsom was a material shareholder. Do we know the names of those three companies and the amount of the investments?

Andrzejewski: We don’t know the amounts. That’s not disclosed, but we do know the names. There are three wineries, I forget the third one, but the second one is Plump Jack. Two of the wineries are pretty well-known brands and so we don’t know the amounts, but certainly, all of this needs sunshine on it.

Leahy: If you look at this, will the equity interests of the Silicon Valley Bank and these three businesses owned by the governor of California be liquidated?

Carmichael: And then the question is whether or not they’ll be liquidated at a preferential rate if these wineries are doing well. (Andrzejewski laughs) If the voters get angry…

Andrzejewski: It will really open a can of worms. What if Newsom buys back the interest from Silicon Bank in his own business at a discounted rate than what they purchased it for? It gets really interesting very quickly.

Carmichael: John Steinbeck wrote a book for if the voters get mad about these winery deals The Grapes of Wrath. (Laughter)

Leahy: Boom, chakalaka.

Carmichael: This is very interesting, especially if those numbers. If it’s a couple hundred thousand dollars each, it’s not that big a deal. But if it’s five or $10 million that’s real money.

Leahy: By the way. Adam, can you find out how much was spent, and how much was invested by Silicon Valley Bank in those three businesses owned by Gavin Newsom?

Andrzejewski: They’re private transactions, but now that the Fed has taken over the bank, look, we need to know. I think there needs to be transparency on this, and the regulators and law enforcement need to start asking the proper questions because here’s what we do know.

The governor himself solicited, he requested a six-figure $100,000 gift for his nonprofit from John China through Silicon Valley Bank, and they paid it. They gave $100,000. It was so close to Newsom that under California ethics law, they had to post that $100,000 gift as behested, as a requested gift on a state ethics website.

That money should be paid back to the bank from Newsom’s nonprofit. And we’re issuing the clarion call that they paid $100,000 back. This was given in 2021, so not that long ago. The depositors, the investors, and now the taxpayers, deserve to have that six-figure gift back in the bank.

Leahy: Absolutely. Adam, a great reporting on your part. Hey, can you come back and tell us what the resolution of this is going to be?

Andrzejewski: Absolutely. I look forward to it.

Leahy: It’s a lot of money and this needs to be transparent, Adam, with Thanks so much for joining us. Come back again if you would please.

Andrzejewski: Thank you so much for having me.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Adam Andrzejewski” by Adam Andrzejewski. Background Photo “Silicon Valley Bank” by Tony Webster. CC BY 2.0.


Roger Simon: Silicon Valley Bank Failure a Precursor to Left Wing Push to Eliminate Cash and Move to Digital Currency

Roger Simon: Silicon Valley Bank Failure a Precursor to Left Wing Push to Eliminate Cash and Move to Digital Currency

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 all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to comment on the Silicon Valley Bank crisis and how it could invoke nationwide digital currency.

Leahy: In studio right now, our very good friend, all-star panelist, and my former boss at PJTV. That was 14 years ago.

Simon: Is that what it is? I can’t count that far back.

Leahy: Fourteen years ago when we first met. Also an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. In addition to being a novelist and depending on the day, the most-read columnist at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning to you!

Leahy: It is a delight, as always, to have you here in studio. You have a very interesting column just published at The Epoch Times about where this current banking crisis, the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, is going to lead us. And it’s not a very good place.

Simon: No. And it’s not just the Silicon Valley Bank, as everybody knows. It could be your bank and Credit Suisse and various other things.  And something called Signature, which is about as woke as you could get. The problem I’m talking about is, you remember how this guy, Ram Emanuel said, never miss an opportunity for a crisis to do something new and dangerous.

Well, there’s a crisis going on, as we all know, and the thing that I think a lot of them have in mind is moving us all off of the banks that we may love or hate to digital currency. That means no cash and lots of conveniences, everything happens very quickly, and it means every single penny you spend even a candy bar at a 711 is recorded and known by the government.

Leahy: I cannot think of anything worse than to get rid of cash.

Simon: As I say, it’s communism beyond the wildest dreams of Karl Marx.

Leahy: Yikes.

Simon: Really, if you think about it, I mean, everything is under their control now. Then they can shut anything off if they don’t like a single thing you do. Boom. It’s gone in a second. Is your carbon footprint is too high? You can’t get gas today. That’s an example.

Leahy: Yes. They can control everything if we go to digital currency. How does that happen in a worst case scenario?

Simon: The famous phrase is, I think it’s from, how did you go bankrupt? It’s in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Slowly, but then all of a sudden, or something like that. That’s how it would happen, I believe. I think we’d wake up one morning, and it would be like that.

Biden or whoever runs Biden is doing everything by Executive Fiat. They might find a way to do that. They might declare another crisis. It’s COVID time and I guess because there’s a new pandemic it simplifies everything if all the currency is digital, and we can keep an eye on who is getting them the new shots or not.

There are lots of ways this could happen. And I think that everybody listening should be on what we used to call the French kevee, or something like that should really pay attention. Because this could happen in a lightning second.

Leahy: What a wonderful way to start the program.

Simon: On the other hand, spring will eventually come.

Leahy: Everybody’s drinking their coffee thinking, you know, Roger might be right here. Oh my goodness! But let’s try to see, well, okay. We see that as a possibility. What can be done proactively to stop that possibility?

Simon: Putting it out in the public and that you hate the idea. That’s really it.

Leahy: I totally hate the idea.

Simon: So do I. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have written the column.

Leahy: Thank you. I get my Captain Obvious award for that one.

Simon: So do I. I think that’s all we can do at the moment. I think it’s essentially evil, and you have to just keep your eye on evil because it’s everywhere in our culture right now.

Leahy: And growing.

Simon: Speaking of the spring, it just popped into my head that one of the things that have been canceled is one of my favorite songs. Zippity Do Dah.

Leahy: That’s been canceled?

Simon: Song of the South. That wonderful moment. You know, I remember as a kid when I watched it, I was just so happy.

Leahy: Why was it canceled?

Simon: Oh, because it’s a black guy singing it, and it hearkens back to slavery.

Leahy: But there’s nothing in the lyrics.

Simon: No. Nothing in it.

Leahy: Oh my goodness.

Simon: No. It’s just cancel culture.

Leahy: Okay, we’re gonna come back with some more positive opportunities for the future.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

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
















Roger Simon: Speaker Sexton’s Task Force to Look into Rejecting Federal Education Dollars Should Include the Public

Roger Simon: Speaker Sexton’s Task Force to Look into Rejecting Federal Education Dollars Should Include the Public

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 all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to weigh in on Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton’s efforts to reject funding from Department of Education in the state.

(Zippity Do Dah plays)

Leahy: We brought that just for you, Roger.

Simon: I love that song. Brings tears to my eyes.

Leahy: Zippity Do Dah.

Simon: I think of myself at age seven, sitting in a theater watching that.

Leahy: In New York City.

Simon: And loving it.

Leahy: Yes.

Simon: It’s the decline of Disney personified. It’s so sad because Disney did wonderful things for the world.

Leahy: We’ll make it your theme song here, Roger.

Simon: You got it.

Leahy: We’ll play it.

Simon: This is an upper. But it’s a sad upper because it’s no more.

Leahy: But look, there is hope for the future.

Simon: Yes, there always is.

Leahy: We want to talk about some of that hope here because obviously, we had a warning about the possibilities of every digital currency taking over everything. That’s your column today at The Epoch Times. But I wanna bring some zippity do dah sunshine and light into the program this morning, and it comes in the form of an action taken recently by Tennessee House Speaker Cam Sexton. We talked about it.

And this has been a theme on our program for years to basically tell the federal government, we don’t want any of your Department of Education money because with your money comes strings. And, K-12 public schools are in trouble enough. They don’t need to have some Washington bureaucrat who’s woke telling you what to do.

Simon: Actually, dumbing them down.

Leahy: Totally dumbing them down. And of course, in K-12 public schools here in Tennessee, two-thirds of third graders are not at grade level in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Simon: It’s a national illness.

Leahy: It’s at a national level.

Simon: And the Department of Education is at great fault. And one of the great things about the Republican candidates, at least all of them that I can think of, I don’t know about Haley in this, want to obliterate the Department of Education. It should have gone under Trump one, but it didn’t, but it should go now.

Leahy: And by the way, in his campaign, stop reiterated he would get rid of the Department of Education.

Simon: Oh, absolutely.

Leahy: Asterisk. You had a chance, and you didn’t. (Laughs) I’m just saying.

Simon: But I think he would, the next time. I believe that. I think it would be one of the very first things to go.

Leahy: I was very pleasantly surprised when about a month ago Tennessee Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton announced that he wanted to start the process of telling the federal government, we don’t want your $1.8 billion from the Department of Education. That was a good sign.

Simon: Very good.

Leahy: Now the question is, how does it happen?

Simon: Yes, of course. The devil is always in the details. He’s started a new group that will study this. (Laughter) See now, this is where these things disappear or become one-tenth of whatever they should have been. But at least they’re doing it.

My hope would be that this process, this study of the procedure, would have a little bit available to the public, so the public can weigh in, and we can see exactly what’s being done and who’s doing it.

Leahy: This is in alignment with my thinking on it as well, Roger. There is legislative activity to start the process. And on Monday, Speaker Sexton filed legislation that would create an 11-member task force to study the process required for the state to forego federal funding. That’s a good start. Asterisk.

Simon: Yes, it is a good start. Have they published yet who the 11 are? Or is it a little early for that?

Leahy: The leader of it would be Penny Schwinn, the commissioner of education.

Simon: Whose brother is connected with CRT and all this stuff?

Leahy: She’s a UC Berkeley grad who is not widely respected here in Tennessee because she’s been promoting a left-wing curriculum and has really done nothing to enforce the anti-CRT law that was passed by the legislature. But having said that, if you’re going do a task force, I would say this.

Simon: I think they should put Glenn Reynolds in that group.

Leahy: I would agree. I think you’ve got to look at the logistics of it. The idea here, it’s interesting. The purpose of this is going to be they are going to begin meeting monthly in August and are going to give a strategic plan to Governor Lee by December 1st. But here’s the key.

In her role as chair, the legislation further requires that Commissioner of Education Schwinn notify the US Department of Education by August 31st and advise them on, wait for it…Tennessee’s intent to explore the possibility. (Laughs) There are three qualifiers right there of Tennessee rejecting federal funding. It’s a slow start, but it’s a start.

Simon: It’s a snail start.

Leahy: Yes. Yes. Snail. Moving slowly.

Simon: I hate to see that. I really hate to see that. One of the things about woke is it’s a money scam. It’s a kind of a weirdly advanced form of capitalism.

Leahy: It’s political crony capitalism.

Simon: Yes, exactly. And communism is capitalism in that way.

Leahy: Yes, exactly. All the money flows to the elite running the show.

Simon: Elite who are already in position and the rest of you can go suck lemons. (Chuckles)

Leahy: So here’s the thing. 11 members of this task force, Penny Schwinn is the chair. (Buzzer sound) Problem there. Then three state senators. They’re selected by, wait for it…the Speaker of the Senate, Randy McNally, who’s got a few problems of his own.

Simon: I hope they’re not transgender.

Leahy: I know.

Simon: Why doesn’t Randy McNally, if anyone’s listening to this right now, recuse himself at this point from anything like that?

Leahy: We’ve made that suggestion to him. On Sunday, we wrote for the first time in the six-year history of The Tennessee Star did an editorial, but we said just time for him to resign. What’s probably gonna happen with him is the session only has six weeks to go.

Simon: They still have to make that reference.

Leahy: Then three members of the State House, selected by Speaker Cameron Sexton. I think Scott Cepicky would be a great person to be on that. He’s been tracking the education thing. Then it gets one district superintendent selected by Speaker McNally.

One district superintendent, selected by Speaker Sexton of the House. Then one teacher, selected by McNally, and one teacher, selected by Speaker Sexton. All I have to say is none of these people have an interest in telling the Feds, we don’t want your money.

Simon: Yes. Or have an interest in actual education. It’s frightening because, you know, Abraham Lincoln was a kind of a genius, really, and a great writer of speeches. He went to a one-room schoolhouse. He didn’t need any of this stuff. I think you could do the inverse-square law on education and the money that is spent on it.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Cameron Sexton” by Cameron Sexton. Background Photo “Department of Education Building” by Farragutful. CC BY-SA 4.0.