Michael Patrick Leahy and Roger Simon Analyze the Creation of Transgenderism by the Left

Michael Patrick Leahy and Roger Simon Analyze the Creation of Transgenderism by the Left

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 discuss America’s values, a growing disdain for God, and the social creation of transgenderism.

Leahy: All-star panelist, Roger Simon in studio. Roger, this week, we really can’t talk about anything other than the Covenant Presbyterian shooting of six innocent souls by a deranged mentally ill 28-year-old woman who identified as transgender. Now I look at these things Roger and I look at what kind of tactical things should be done.

And so let me just tell you a couple of things specific to this incident. We had a fellow named Aaron Spradlin with Pale Horse Security company talk to us about this. And then actually our friend Dennis Farrier at Fox 17 wrote a story about it.

In essence, they said, look, if you’ve got a school or anything that needs to be protected and you’ve got glass windows, glass doors, you need to put on either ballistic film onto existing doors so that bullets will not penetrate and allow access, or just order the ballistic glass so that bullets won’t penetrate it. That’s step number one. They didn’t at Covenant.

Simon: Evidently.

Leahy: Yes. Evidently. And of course, you think about this and it’s a small K-6 school with 200 kids. It has been around for 22 years and obviously, hindsight is 20/20. But if you have a small school right now or anybody who has a school and you’ve got glass openings, you must get ballistic film and or ballistic glass it seems to me. Step one, right?

Simon: You can go all over neighborhoods where there’s a lot of crime, you can see that everybody’s got steel gates.

Leahy: Now there’s one other thing, our friend John Harris at Tennessee Firearms Association had said the following: Tennessee’s private schools have the authority to establish firearm-friendly policies.

The legislature passed laws and signed in law in 2016 that said you can set up your own private carry policy for whatever school you have. That’s been in effect for seven years. It seems to me that those are two tactical and practical things that if you operate a school you must do today.

Simon: Too bad it’s only in Tennessee. I agree with you completely. What we’re battling is an overall decline in values in America. There was a recent poll, and I think it was Pew. It’s only a few days ago, so I should remember who did.

Leahy: Might be Gallup.

Simon: One of ’em. In the last couple of years, a drastic lowering of values in this country, including religious belief which is cut half out of 20 percent of the country. In that atmosphere with no overall values and beliefs on the part of the public other than in interestingly enough, the only one that went up was a belief in money.

Leahy: I saw that.

Simon: How sad. Anyway that being the case, you’re going to get situations like this regularly. If no one believes they’re going to hell, let’s put it that way, they’re going to go and shoot up anything. I don’t know how to even put my head around it, but obviously, those tactical solutions are mandatory. That’s the least that you can do.

Leahy: It almost reminds me a little bit, I don’t know if you’ve been to Mexico City or Mexico and you go down there it’s been, I think 20 years since I’ve been to Mexico, but when I went down there on a business project, you’re going around Mexico City and you look at the banks or the schools, there’s somebody with a machine gun outside there. And I thought, man, this is a bad sign for society. Roger, here in the United States, we’re sort of moving in that direction.

Simon: Definitely. I’m a Jewish guy and I’m very aware that there’s a similar thing if you go to Paris and where there are quite several Jews living there, there are people with machine guns standing in front of their institutions. This is the way of our unfortunate world. And as weaponry gets more powerful is necessary.

Leahy: Roger, we’ve known each other for a long time. We’ve not specifically talked about this, but this actually might be a good time to bring this up. I was raised Catholic and I believe in God.

I am an evangelical Christian. You said you’re Jewish. Would you consider yourself that you were born Jewish and culturally Jewish, or would you say that you are believing in Judaism and believe in God?

Simon: I believe in God. I don’t believe in all the specifics of any religion although I certainly followed the Jewish tradition and I’m a part of it. And I respect it. And as with Christians, I know here in Nashville, many of my friends are evangelical Christians. I see all different kinds of beliefs. That’s fine. The overall belief in God is probably what we need.

Leahy: You would then agree with probably Oz Guinness, who’s talked about this, the Golden Triangle of Freedom that it, that faith requires virtue creates freedom.

Simon: Yes.

Leahy: And it’s a golden triangle that just keeps repeating.

Simon: I totally agree with that. I think you’re right, actually.

Leahy: And why are there institutional pressures out regarding a lack of God in America today?

Simon: Whoa. Big question. The thing about that is that years ago I would’ve said, oh, it’s a lot of neuroses.

Leahy: You would’ve said that years ago.

Simon: And now I have to look at the, what we call the e word, evil.

Leahy: Sometimes you say, and I framed that a very specific way because when people talk about a neurosis like that, you would say what evidence do you have? If there’s an organized conspiracy, I don’t know if there is an organized conspiracy, but it’s like any kind of movement where people have a similar mindset. They are aligned. They don’t have to have an organized conspiracy to act in concert.

Simon: True. And now, all of a sudden I’m starting to realize why Sodom and Gomorrah exist in the Bible.

Leahy: Tell us why you feel that way.

Simon: I think things in our culture have just gone too far. I’m all for tolerance of people because I agree with Lady Gaga in most interest in they were born that way.

Leahy: You’re talking about the gay thing. But some percentage of people are gay or are born that way. Some people are actually, probably I think influenced by social pressures. But the whole transgenderism to me is absolutely a social creation.

Simon: Yes. A very minute portion of humanity is born intersex, as they say.

Leahy: Like one-tenth of one percent?

Simon: I think we all have compassion for people like that. The illusion that’s going on and the big lie is that people weren’t tolerant and compassionate about people who got a bad deal.

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.




















Clint Brewer Considers What Name the Public Will Remember the Covenant School Shooter By

Clint Brewer Considers What Name the Public Will Remember the Covenant School Shooter By

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 recovering journalist Clint Brewer in studio to comment upon the national media’s questioning of the Covenant School shooter’s pronouns.

Leahy: In studio, recovering journalist Clint Brewer. Clint, I want to talk a little bit and share with you our experience reporting on this. This was a very difficult story to report on.

Brewer: It still is.

Leahy: The first 24 hours were the most difficult in terms of the reporting because we didn’t have a lot of information. I thought overall Metro Nashville Police Chief Drake and Don Aaron, who’s a first-rate professional.

Brewer: Don Aaron is one of the best in the business.

Leahy: He’s very good, very solid, very reliable. The public information officer for the Metro Nashville Police Department. I thought they did a pretty good job, frankly on all of this.

Brewer: A fantastic job.

Leahy: But there were a couple of things that were difficult to do. Now, first, I will tell you, on Monday when the incident happened, it was reported at 10:13 a.m. The killer was killed by the police at 10:27 a.m. But the first information came out when they identified the shooter as a 28-year-old female who identified as transgender.

This information came that afternoon from the chief of police. There was a very basic point of fact, which was not clear at the beginning. And we saw rumors about who the killer was. I can tell you Monday afternoon I got a dozen messages from various folks who said, it was this transgender person.

It turned out not to be those particular transgender people. And so obviously we want to report something. We want to report the facts, but we can’t report rumors and innuendo.

Brewer: Yes. There were a lot of screenshots being texted around about who it was. Most of them were memes that come from a website that no one listening should look at, called 4chan, and that’s where those memes were coming from.

Leahy: We got the name of Audrey Hale, a female who identified as transgender. And then the question was, hold it. We got one name, Audrey. We got another name Aiden. What was the birth name of this person? Were they a male who transitioned to female, or were they a female who transitioned to male? Or were they a female who identified as male?

Brewer: And let me tell you what the police are concerned about. Fact. All they’re worried about is the legal identity of the person.

Leahy: There you go.

Brewer: That’s all that matters.

Leahy: The legal identity of the person.

Brewer: Transitioned. Let’s not use that word. I was going to say, we transitioned. We have switched from the world of talking about in the press and society about how people identify.

At this point in the investigation, as far as the police were concerned, the switch had been made to legally identify this person. We don’t want to use their assumed name on social media.

Leahy: How they self-identify.

Brewer: We don’t want to talk about how they self-identify, because that’s not how they’re gonna be referred to in a court of law.

Leahy: Exactly.

Brewer: And that’s not how they’re going to be referred to in investigative documents. That’s not how the public record is gonna reflect their identity. They’re going to go by their legal name and their biological identity. And that is all the police are concerned with.

Now, they might be concerned with how they identify gender-wise for the purposes of the investigation. But in terms of identifying them to the public, they’re going to use the person’s legal name.

Leahy: And that was the correct call by the Chief of Police Drake who went in and said it was a 28-year-old woman who identified as a male. And then the name Audrey Hale came up. Audrey Elizabeth Hale.

And that’s why when I talk about the shooter I say the name, Audrey Elizabeth Hale. Some people don’t even use the name. The reason I say the name is because that is the legal name and because legally this was a female who identified as a male.

Brewer: There is what I feel to be a defensible practice in the press, that once the facts are presented, follow-up stories do not emphasize the identity of the shooter because they don’t want to be part of any kind of trend that would create a copycat or hold out this person’s personality above their acts. It’s a balancing act.

Leahy: I’ve heard others say that.

Brewer: You can see it in other shootings. They begin to refer to it as…

Leahy: And the reason I don’t do that right now is that every time I mention the name is so that there is no confusion about the legal gender of this person at the time.

That’s why you said, and the legal name is Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a female who self-identified as a transgender, using the name Aiden. That’s the person who did all this crime.

Brewer: My understanding is she was communicating with high school friends of hers under her biological name, her female name. She was reaching out to friends from high school.

Leahy: There’s some evidence there. The last communication that she delivered was an Instagram message to a middle school basketball classmate.

Brewer: That was it.

Leahy: And in that message, she signed off, Audrey [Aiden]. That’s her self-identification at that time. This matters significantly when you get to the issue of motive. And to me, there’s an obvious radicalization that took place.

Brewer: We don’t know that. We don’t know it factually.

Leahy: Well, I said to me.

Brewer: Yes, to me. I just want to be clear.

Leahy: This is the reason Clint actually, we do in this regard. And I’ll push back on that statement. The chief of police has stated, that there was resentment towards the Christian school.

Brewer: Towards the school.

Leahy: She said that and resentment towards family. He said that. So that is some evidence. And now he said that based in part upon his reading of this manifesto.

Brewer: And he indicated that was a possibility.

Leahy: He was a little bit more definitive than may have been. He said that there was resentment.

Brewer: So we don’t know the direction of that resentment. We don’t know if it’s just broad resentment toward Christian education.

Leahy: I got the impression picked on at the school. So I got the impression it was a little more specific, but I, back to the reporting side of it. This is the point I wanna make about it.

USA Today and ABC News. So here’s Chief Drake saying it’s a female who self-identified as transgender. USA Today and ABC in questioning at the press conference said she self-identified as a male. Why are you using he/him as a pronoun instead of she/her?

Brewer: Because he’s a police officer and you have to deal with facts that would be applied in court.

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 “Audrey Hale” and Background Photo “The Covenant School Crime Scene” by Metro Nashville Police Department. 













Roger Simon Details Congressman Ogles’ Statement Asking DOJ to Investigate Covenant Shooting as Hate Crime

Roger Simon Details Congressman Ogles’ Statement Asking DOJ to Investigate Covenant Shooting as Hate Crime

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 discuss Congressman Andy Ogles (R-TN-05) statement asking the DOJ to investigate The Covenant School shooting as a hate crime.

Leahy: We have some breaking news. A statement from Congressman Andy Ogles about this. He represents this district.

Simon: Oh.

Leahy: Before we get to that though, what do you make of this Transgender Day of Vengeance Rally in Washington? They seem to be promoting violence.

Simon: Something I talk about in my column today is, the difference between the tolerant and the intolerant. We’ve had a, speaking of transgenderism, a role reversal in that because the people who were supposed to be intolerant always were pretty tolerant. It’s those who were demanding tolerance to the ends of the world are really the intolerant ones. This is an example of that.

Leahy: I agree completely. And if they were wise, they would’ve canceled it just because of timing. It’s likely to get a little bit incendiary there, it would seem to me.

Simon: For sure. Andy Ogles represents the 5th Congressional District and the area in which Covenant Presbyterian School is located. So that’s part of his district.

Simon: Yes, indeed.

Leahy: As is the eastern half of Williamson County, the western half of Wilson County, and all of Marshall.

Simon: I always admire you for remembering all of that.

Leahy: Oh yeah. But he sent a letter to Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice, along with Congressman Lance Gooden from Texas. The letter was dated late last night. We got an email with the press release just about half an hour ago.

Let me read this to you. He issued the following statement: “In the wake of the Covenant School shooting, there has been a movement by radical leftists to victimize and legitimize the actions of the shooter because she identified as transgender.

Make no mistake, she was a domestic terrorist who sought to kill and destroy. This type of targeted, brutal assault on Christians is nothing less than a hate crime.” And he said, also, I joined my colleague, Representative Lance Gooden from Texas in a joint letter to U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland urging him to open a hate crime investigation into the Covenant School shooting.

The plain text of federal law makes clear that an act of violence against any person based on a number of factors, including their religion is a hate crime. Your thoughts on this, Roger?

Simon: I agree. They’re a little behind Senator Josh Hawley, who already very publicly called for this. I’m a huge Hawley fan, frankly.

Leahy: Josh Hawley. Former AG from Missouri senator. Very articulate.

Simon: Very articulate, and courageous often. A rarity. Look, Andy’s statement is well reasoned, and I have no qualms whatsoever ever. He’s a little bit under fire as we all know, because of some resume padding and other stuff, but he is our representative and he’s doing it, doing the right thing for the community there.

Leahy: The left is really targeting Andy actually. And you saw after the shooting some left-wing groups and media outlets went back, and he had a Christmas card from what, 2021 picture of his family with guns.

Simon: With guns.

Leahy: Promoting the Second Amendment. He was criticized for that. It seemed to be totally off-point.

Simon: Yes. It is totally off-point. Weirdly, it’s even wrong because if there had been better defenses at that school, that crazy person, which is a simple way of phrasing her, might have been stopped even earlier. In this instance, the police did a fantastic job.

Leahy: And you watched that video? Compelling. They were on it.

Simon: Yeah, I watched it. Really gutsy. They learned the lesson and the criticisms of many people in these mass shootings as the police. A, arrive late and B stood outside while the killer was doing his or her work. In this case, they dodged bullets themselves and, hats off.

Leahy: As to the specifics of this particular incident in which the killer killed six innocent people what wasn’t released was about seven minutes preceding that of video from inside, which apparently showed the actual killings conducted by the 28-year-old.

What’s interesting about this Roger, as to your point is probably a couple of things. Had they hardened the exterior securities of that school would’ve likely prohibited this.

Number one, if they had an armed individual inside. In public schools as a school resource officer and in private schools, the teachers could have been armed. They weren’t. So there was that.

Simon: That’s going on all over the country. We, it’s a very sad situation. Speaking of a friend, Vivek Ramaswamy, he’s called for the arming of our schools that way.

Leahy: Public and private.

Simon: Yes. And it’s sad that we’re at that pass. It’s sad. Excuse me. It’s tragic actually.

Leahy: It’s the reality of the world we live in when so many. mentally ill people are out there. And it seems to be that the number of mentally ill people is increasing.

Simon: It seems to be. We have to face it. You know another thing that concerns me that you guys discussed in the previous hour is The New York Post report that the FBI is now gonna make the decision on releasing the so-called manifesto and other documents that say what she was up to. I am highly suspicious of that. The FBI is now essentially a dead letter office for true information. Who could trust the FBI anymore after what they’ve done with the Biden laptop and all the rest of it?

Leahy: And to your point on this and back to the call for it, a hate crime investigation that Andy Ogles has made in a very detailed and compelling letter sent to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Garland, which outlines the federal law of which if they followed, they would initiate a hate crime investigation.

But he was testifying at Capitol Hill yesterday and he was asked specifically, will you initiate a hate crime investigation? And he said we don’t know what the motive was. How stupid can you be?

Simon: He’s not stupid. He’s lying. Yeah. And that’s what they do. Why would there, why would Hunter Biden still be running around? But it’s very obvious. Just look at her. This was a troubled person who was under the care of a doctor for an emotional disorder, who self-identified as transgender and self-identified legally as a female. But self-identified as a transgender male using the name Aiden.

Simon: With photographs of herself dressed as a male.

Leahy: This clearly was somebody who was perhaps somewhere in the process of doing a transition.

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.
Background Photo “Covenant School Shooting Scene” by Metro Nashville Police Department.
















Neil W. McCabe: Chris Christie Has a Lot of Problems as He Reportedly Considers a 2024 Presidential Campaign

Neil W. McCabe: Chris Christie Has a Lot of Problems as He Reportedly Considers a 2024 Presidential Campaign

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 the national political correspondent for One America News, Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to comment on the widening field of presidential candidates for the 2024 election.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, our very good friend with One America News Network, we call him, top gov tracker, Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, Crom. Very good to be with you, gentlemen.

Leahy: Neil, I saw last night and the night before, former President Trump was on the Sean Hannity program. If you watched that, how did you think former President Trump did in those interviews?

McCabe: I think it’s hard to interview Trump because he goes where he wants to go. But I give him credit for getting out there. And I think it’s interesting that Hannity has him back on again.

For a while, he wasn’t appearing on Fox. I think the previous interview that Hannity did with Trump was hyping the interview with Trump and it was actually a phone-in from Hannity’s radio show that they just played. I think that the president is engaged. People in his campaign tell me that he’s engaged and they’re enthusiastic.

The problem is that it’s not the walk in the park that he had in 2020 for the nomination where he missed some opportunities during the primaries in 2020, especially going to the northeast in some of these blue areas where he just lit them on fire in 2016. I don’t know if you remember this, Mike, but I grew up in Massachusetts.

Leahy: Oh, of course! Neil W McCabe, the man from the Boston area. From Franklin, Massachusetts, right?

McCabe: (Chuckles) That’s right. Franklin, Massachusetts. Hartford, Worcester, and Providence are places where Trump absolutely packed in these arenas. The people are craving that working-class conservatism that Trump brings that I saw when I cover the campaign places like Syracuse and Bridgeport, and he missed out on that in 2020. I think it would’ve helped him out in the general.

I’ve been told by the Trump people that they’re going make those forays into the north again, because there’s a guy, Ron DeSantis, that I follow closely being here in Tallahassee. Thursday and tomorrow, he’s gonna be in Georgia going to a gun store.

He’s gonna tour a gun store in Georgia the same day that the legislature’s going to be voting on the constitutional carry bill here in Tallahassee. Holy Thursday, he’ll be at Hillsdale College in Michigan. And I know you’re very familiar with Hillsdale.

Leahy: Absolutely.

McCabe: He’ll be going to Ohio, and he’s gonna be going to New Hampshire. And then, of course, he’s traveling to Israel on April 27th. So some of these things are going to be covered up as a book tour. They’ll do round tables. But you can see that he’s relying on his new political action committee, Never Back Down.

He just hired Erin Perrine, who worked for Kevin McCarthy. I knew her when she worked for Kevin McCarthy. I didn’t really bump into her at the White House, but she was at the Trump White House. She worked on the Oz campaign.

She was part of the crew since Oz won the primary. Stripped all mentions of Trump from the campaign. We can talk about that. But Perrine is now giving interviews on Fox blasting Trump. And that’s something that the DeSantis movement really didn’t have before.

Leahy: Interesting. So now this is the sort of breaking news. There is a big, emphasis on big, potential challenger to Donald Trump. Perhaps a legend in his own mind. Drudge at the Drudge Report, who made a left turn about four years ago, or five years ago is promoting this guy’s potential ability to defeat Donald Trump. I’d love to get your reaction to it. It’s the former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. What do you think the odds are?

McCabe: Wow! What time does the stock market open? I’m going to buy some shares Dunkin Donuts.

Leahy: Boom! It’s interesting as we cover this, and of course, we have The Iowa Star, our great reporter, Matt Kittle out there. And as you know, the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star. We’ve had terrific communication with Vivek Ramaswamy who’s running a different kind of campaign, very connected.

We’ve got connections with the Trump campaign. We’re getting nothing from the DeSantis campaign and nothing from the Haley campaign. And then, of course, Mike Pence is going to be out there. We don’t know why he’s going out there.

Carmichael: Sleep tour.

Leahy: He’s going on the Mike Pence sleep tour.

Carmichael: Sleep tour.

Leahy: He’s doing his impression of Mike Lindell.

Carmichael: He wants to rival Governor Huckabee for Nexium.

McCabe: Crom, shots fired. (Leahy laughs)

Carmichael: Relaxium.

Leahy: Relaxium!

Carmichael: He wants to be the next spokesperson. (Laughs)

Leahy: Your thoughts about Iowa and the possibility of a Christie campaign?

McCabe: Chris Christie has a lot of problems. I remember very well in 2012 as Romney was closing in on Obama because Republicans always surge late, and the polls missed that movement. But in the last days of a campaign, there’s always a surge when Republicans come. A lot of that movement was hurt when Chris Christie went on a play date with Obama walking along the beaches, holding hands, and making hearts after Hurricane Sandy.

Leahy: (Laughs) I recall that. It was bizarre.

McCabe: And of course, you know who’s the genius who stacked the Trump administration with people who hate Trump. Oh, that would be Chris Christie. He ran the transition. Now Chris Christie was on the list for VP with Trump.

He was also on the list for VP for Romney in 2012, and the Romney people were so angry that they dumped their oppo file on Chris Christie right after the election. It’s one of the things I love.

At the end of a presidential election when people just dump their oppo files. And we know that Chris Christie’s brother was a stockbroker and was involved with Bernie Madoff.

There are all these things going on with Chris Christie that the Romney people, if he becomes a serious candidate, all that stuff will come back. And he’s also the guy who shut down George Washington Bridge.

Leahy: Exactly. The old Bridgegate. Neil, Crom wants to add something here.

Carmichael: This is March Madness. And Michael said, what do you think Chris Christie’s chances are? I’m going to use the fact that we’re in March Madness. I would say that Chris Christie’s chances are about as good as all of the 16 seeds beating the number one seed in the same tournament. That’s about where I put him.

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 “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis. Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Vivek Ramaswamy. Photo “Mike Pence” by Mike Pence. Photo “Chris Christie” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.















Crom’s Crommentary: ‘We Are Not in a Good Place as a Nation’

Crom’s Crommentary: ‘We Are Not in a Good Place as a Nation’

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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.


Michael, the tragedy at Covenant School that happened on Monday after the show is just tragic. And it’s also one of these things that people describe as senseless. But there’s something going on and it’s unfortunate in this country where there’s violence that’s being perpetrated and more or less excused.

The way the media reported the motives of the killer that they’re blaming the legislature of Tennessee and Bill Lee. And the way ABC did it is particularly reprehensible. And it’s just terrible when you have a terrible thing like this and then you see Biden who first of all gets up to the podium and cracks a bunch of jokes.

It’s like he turns on a switch and then calls for gun control. And then you have then you had the media ABC, in particular, reported Tennessee had passed laws to keep teenage children restricted from healthcare. And that’s simply not what it is.

Unfortunately, you’ve got the trans community that’s now calling for a day of vengeance and you have leaders in the trans community calling for a day of revenge in Washington, D.C. on April 1st they’re having a big day of revenge.

And then you have trans leaders who are calling on trans people to buy guns. And if we’re gonna be attacked, we need to be prepared to attack back. And of course, the trans community is only being, if you want to call it that, attacked by legislation where you have adults who absolutely seem to me to be determined that the medical profession and big pharma have the right to mutilate our children.

And this is just a terrible thing. We’re not in a good place as a nation. This trans issue in Tennessee is not isolated to Tennessee. There are lots of state legislatures who have passed laws saying that you have to be a certain age before you can have life-changing surgeries done to your body, which to me is a completely rational thing.

We have all kinds of laws that you can’t do certain things until you reach a certain age because we’re all aware that the human mind evolves over time and that there are some things that need to be done later in life in order to make a rational decision. One aspect of the tragedy is how quickly the police responded and how heroically they responded. It is really good to know that our police department has been trained to, I think the way they described it, run toward the gunfire.

They reacted quickly and they reacted professionally and they ended the altercation, apparently, the person with the gun wanted it to be much worse than it was and had wanted to go to other places. And so it’s a terrible tragedy that happened. But the reporting on it is equally distressing.

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 Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.















State Representative Chris Todd Breaks Down the Property Rights Issue Surrounding the Scenic Duck River Bill in Maury County

State Representative Chris Todd Breaks Down the Property Rights Issue Surrounding the Scenic Duck River Bill in Maury County

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 State Representative Chris Todd (R-Jackson) to discuss issues surrounding the proposal of the Scenic River Bill in Maury County.

Leahy: We are delighted to have in our studio right now, State Representative Chris Todd from Jackson. You’re a chairman of a subcommittee?

Todd: Chairman of the full committee of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Leahy: The full committee chairman.

Todd: Yes, sir. Of ag.

Leahy: That’s a pretty big responsibility.

Todd: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Leahy: You’ve got a background in this, right?

Todd: Environmental mostly, yes.

Leahy: You have an environmental inspection company, right?

Todd: Yes. Contracting. Yes, sir.

Leahy: So you’ve had a lot of experience in this?

Todd: Quite a bit. I was in regulatory for a number of years with the Department of Environment and Conservation back close to 30 years ago actually. And then got into the business of helping folks comply with those regulations, both in the construction and development industry.

Leahy: Now sitting in that very seat that you’re sitting in right now, couple weeks ago, Scott Cepicky, the representative from Maury County. Your friend and ours.

Todd: Yes. We are friends.

Leahy: Your friend has a disagreement with you. I don’t know all of the details, but the outline that I hear is he wants to make the Duck River a scenic river and there is someone. I think from out of state or who’s got a business doing landfills, this is how I hear it. So you can kind of explain it.

And they want to do a landfill very close to the Duck River. He opposes it. And to oppose it, he’s put the Scenic River Bill together as he tells me, maybe I’m wrong, but he that you don’t agree with him on that and that you want to not make it a scenic river and allow this out-of-state landfill guy to do a landfill near Duck River. That’s my understanding of it. Tell me what the deal is here.

Todd: A lot of these things get really complicated and they have a lot of moving parts, and this is one that has been very difficult for me to get down to the nitty-gritty and what’s really happening here. And you have to shuck it down on the cob and figure out what’s really there. What’s the core principle?

Leahy: I like that phrase. Shuck it down to the cob.

Todd: That’s what I have to do. It’s an agricultural term.

Leahy: You would think I’ve heard of that term before.

Todd: I would think so.

Leahy: But I’ve not. And I grew up in farm country. Back to this bill and the disagreement that you have with State Rep Scott Cepicky.

Todd: And the bill was brought to us in subcommittee and was touted as being just something to recognize the river for what it is. Beautiful, gorgeous, scenic river.

Leahy: And I think the argument is it has more species in the river than any other river in the United States of America.

Todd: Biodiversity, yes. And it does above Columbia, but not below Columbia. This area is below Columbia. It’s actually below their wastewater treatment plant, which is causing quite a bit of pollution.

Leahy: When you say below, you mean south?

Todd: Downstream. And that’s one of the things that came out in all the testimony and also working with the Department of Environment and Conservation about this is because this Scenic River designation is under their heading. And they’ve even told us that this is not what the scenic river designation was meant to do.

It is meant to recognize something, not to put restrictions on anything but this one, Scenic River designation class two has one provision in it that is very interesting and none of the other classifications have, and that is there can be no landfills within two miles of the river.

Well, why did they pick this one? It just so happens that there’s an individual here in Brentwood that has a company that bought the old Monsanto property and plans to do some things with it. I don’t even know what all their plans are, but one of the things that exist today is a permit for a landfill.

There is a landfill on the site now. I believe it’s only for the demolition of mat buildings and structures on that property. That’s been in place since 1986, so it is grandfathered. They’ve maintained this.

Leahy: A permit to have a landfill there in 1987.

Todd: Yes. And what comes with this is the right to apply for modifications of that permit. This is done all the time. We have regional boards set up, regional solid waste boards that cover certain regions, and multi-counties usually that govern that. And so it’s a local board appointed by local people and the process is for that landfill owner to come before that board and say, here’s what I want to do.

And they have public comments. They go through all this rigamarole before they ever even can apply to TDEC for changing that permit. So this landowner has this ability right now to go through that process. When we put this river designation on top of that, it supersedes all of that. There can be no landfill within two miles, it closes. He has no right at all to do anything with that landfill.

So to me, it’s a property rights issue; it’s not about the river. This thing is almost two miles from the river. TDEC regulates landfills more than any other thing in this. Just about every division. Has some regulatory oversight of landfills. So there’s been this assumption that a landfill anywhere in that area is going to pollute the river.

That’s not a correct assumption. What’s a good assumption is their own wastewater is polluting the river right now. That’s a fact. And I understand there is about to be a big investment in correcting that, but it’s been going on for years. So it’s a property rights issue.

And so for us to put this blanket of protection on that river and take away someone’s property rights without writing them a check. Is against the law. That’s just basically against our constitution. And Representative Cepicky, to his credit, wants to paint this as a local bill. Why do you care about this? It’s just a local issue. Deal with it on a local and don’t get the state involved in a huge multi-million dollar lawsuit for taking someone’s property.

Leahy: I can tell right now this is going to be interesting because a lot of people in Maury County frame it differently.

Todd: Oh, no doubt. No doubt.

Leahy: And basically it’s framed good versus evil. (Chuckles)

Todd: Sure. Sure. And I’ll say this about those folks who are so dedicated. And it’s really encouraging to me to see average citizens come together. There’s no telling how much money they’ve raised to put in.

They’ve hired three big lobby firms to work on this in the last few weeks. And they have had a full-court press. I’m not talking about just writing checks, right? They have shown up, they’ve come to meetings, they’re going office to office working this.

Leahy: And the landowner is looking at this and saying, I just want to use my property.

Todd: That’s an old industrial site. I can’t even think of a better area or a better type of facility where we don’t even know what’s running off of that right now. But it will be highly regulated from this point forward, no matter what they do.

Leahy: Is the landowner more than a little bit irritated about this becoming highly political? (Chuckles)

Todd: I guess so. They’ve come to the committee and offered some testimony and folks that work for them have we heard from their attorney last week and he kept drilling down on this.

Leahy: Eminent domain almost.

Todd: Without writing a check.

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 “Chris Todd” by Chris Todd. Background Photo “Duck River” by Very trivial. CC BY-SA 3.0.