Host Leahy Interviews Former Trump Admin. Deputy Asst. Secretary for Content and Director of The Plot Against the President Amanda Milius

Host Leahy Interviews Former Trump Admin. Deputy Asst. Secretary for Content and Director of The Plot Against the President Amanda Milius


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 former Deputy Asst. Secretary for Content in the Trump administration and director of the new documentary film The Plot Against the President Amanda Milius to the newsmakers line to discuss her role, background, and motivation behind the movie.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Amanda Milius who is the director of a documentary released just recently called The Plot Against the President. Good morning Amanda.

Milius: Hi!

Leahy: So Amanda, tell us a little bit about how this documentary came about. It was a book written by Lee Smith who’s currently with the Hudson Institute. How many documentary films have you made and how did you decide to make this particular film?

Milius: Well, actually I haven’t made any other documentary films before. I went to USC film school and I worked in film for many years. But I had always envisioned that I would narrative scripted. I hadn’t thought that documentary would be my thing. And I actually kind of abandoned filmmaking entirely when I went to go work for the Trump administration because that’s not exactly something you do if you want to be really popular in Hollywood.

Leahy: So let me ask you this. Tell me how you came about getting a job and working with the Trump administration.

Milius: Well, I just got really interested in politics in 2016 and I volunteered for the campaign in Nevada. I’m from Los Angeles. So I just met everybody there and got pulled into it. I worked at the State Department for three years and worked at the White House for six months. And then I resigned to make the movie early in 2020.

Leahy: What was your job at the State Department Amanda?

Milius: By the end, I was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Content which is a unique position. We do foreign messaging for foreign audiences like explaining American foreign policy to the world.

Leahy: Interesting. So you followed all the controversy with Radio Free Europe, etc, and all the board members.

Milius: Actually I was on the board.

Leahy: Were you on the board with Roger Simon briefly?

Milius: Yes.

Leahy: You were the part of the group that was named to the board for a few days and then President Biden said, goodbye and good luck. Where you part of that?

Milius: I was and I’m good friends with some of the folks that Michael Pack had put in as presidents of the various organizations. Particularly Victoria Coates. I think she’s great. She would have been the head of Middle East broadcasting. It’s a real shame what happened and frankly, it’s legally questionable. It definitely breaks the law. So we’ll see what happens with that.

Leahy: By the way, Roger Simon is a is an old friend of mine. He was my former boss back in 2009 when he ran Pajamas Media and PJTV out of Los Angeles. I did an internet television program for a while about the Tea Party. Roger is no longer affiliated with Pajamas Media, which he founded. He moved two years ago to Nashville where I live and where this show is broadcast from. And he’s a senior political columnist now for The Epoch Times and an all-star panelist here on The Tennessee Star Report. Every other Tuesday he’s in the studio with me.

Milius: Oh, that’s amazing. He was my board friend for a very brief period of time. We’ll see what happens with that.

Leahy: Let me just go back to your pedigree. For those in our listening audience, it is a big deal to be a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. This is not an insignificant job. You said you went to Southern Cal film school?

Milius: Yes. USC School of Cinematic Arts before I joined the administration.

Leahy: Good. Good. That’s where they all want to go. Steven Spielberg wanted to go there and they wouldn’t let him in way back when.

Milius: (Chuckles) Yes. Then he bought the school.

Leahy: Now, that’s a story.

Milius: I love that. That’s a great attitude.

Leahy: They wouldn’t let me in so I bought the school after I became a great success. Did you go to the White House after the State Department?

Milius: Yes. I mean I kind of went there and I was sent on detail for six months. I was really a State Department employee and presidential political appointee. But they move us around. It’s not that uncommon because the White House has very few staff. So a lot of times you get people detailed over from other agencies.

Leahy: What did you do for six months and were you based in the White House itself or in the old executive office building? That looming gray building across the street?

Milius: Yeah. I was in the gray building. I’m pretty fond of EEOB. I was working actually in Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation which held a lot of different projects. And the thing I was working on, in particular, was immigration communications related.

Leahy: Really?

Milius: Yes.

Leahy: That’s pretty high-profile stuff you were working on there Amanda.

Milius: The whole administration was high profile and had significant achievements. I’m amazed at what they were able to accomplish and what we were able to accomplish with all of Washington working against us as we’ve seen.

Leahy: We’ve seen over the last month just how bad that is. It’s just terrible. Let me just talk about one aspect of your documentary that caught my attention and then we can get into the main elements of it. The music was provided by Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. I believe he is a former federal judge and the first cousin of Rush Limbaugh. Is that true?

Milius: I think that’s his son.

Leahy: Oh, it’s his son. Okay.

Milius: It’s his son, not a nephew. The Limbaugh family is very talented. I feel like we’ve got a couple of good conservatives and creative family over on the west coast. We’ve got that because the Milius’s and the Limbaugh’s working together.

Leahy: Well there you go. How did this come about? So your you’ve been detailed at the White House your back over at the State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. By the way, did you hang out with Mike Pompeo lot over there at the State Department?

Milius: I didn’t spend much time with the secretary because my role was more on the press side of things. He would be pulled into the press stuff with the daily grind with dealing with reporters and all that stuff. My section was really more kind of like long-form content. But I’ve worked with him and he’s great. I really got to run my own shop, which was very nice. I just actually got to kind of do my own thing.

Leahy: Just you and me talking. Just you and me. Was there any difference between the Tillerson State Department and the Pompeo State Department?

Milius: Yeah, significantly. I mean Tillerson was a disaster. I can just tell you that. A lot of the people that he insisted on hiring that were not campaign people especially ones that ended up staying on afterwards were really destructive to the Trump agenda. I think if Tillerson had stayed in we would not have accomplished any of the foreign policy accomplishments that we did. He didn’t think we could have moved the embassy to Jerusalem for eight years. Which is absurd. And we did it in like the next year. (Leahy chuckles) He wasn’t the right fit. And the president figured that out and made a change. I’m glad that that happened.

Leahy: Tell us now how the idea of doing this documentary came about. So you’re back in the State Department and you are the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for content. How do you go about deciding I’m going to make this documentary?

Milius: Well, actually I had been approached by two other friends of mine in the administration who were working in the White House who knew about Lee Smith’s manuscript before it came out because they had provided some guidance to him about what would have gone on. And I’m kind of friends with a lot of the people that are either mentioned or appeared in the movie. You just sort of work alongside folks and get to know them.

And my friends approached me and they were like, we’ve got to buy this book. You’re from Hollywood, you know how to do that. Let’s form a partnership and do this. And then about two weeks later I was like, yeah, we can do that. Let’s talk to the author. I’ll call a couple of people that know how to make these deals and let’s put it together. And then probably two weeks later there were like, oh by the way, we think you should make it and you’ve got to resign.

And you’re going to be the one that has to leave the administration and do it but you’ve got to do it. And I’m like wait a second, I was like, what if I like my very regular government job? Who said I wanted to do films again? But it was the right thing to do and I realized that.

I had friends that I’d talk to that said you could stay in the government for another year and beat your head against the wall trying to change one minor sentence in a UN statement or something. You know trying against the blob to win or you could go and make a movie that would actually change people’s minds about history.

Listen to the first 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












Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Discusses Double Standards in Congress and His Future Priorities

Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Discusses Double Standards in Congress and His Future Priorities


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 U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Congressman Green weighed in on last night’s vote to expel freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green from her committee duties while acknowledging the hypocrisy of the Democrats. He later discussed that he would be prioritizing legislation to win the House back, ensuring election integrity, and taking care of our veterans.

Leahy: Joining us now on the newsmakers line from the land of double standards in Washington D.C. our good friend Congressman Mark Green. Good morning, Congressman Green.

Green: Hey, good morning to you guys. Can you hear me okay?

Leahy: We can hear you. It’s a little crackly. But of course, why wouldn’t you expect it to be a crackly communication with you living in this very weird world of the 117th session of Congress. What happened last night with the land of double standards and the expelling of first-term Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committees in Congress? What happened there?

Green: Well, it’s pretty crazy. The hypocrisy from the left is I mean every day, I think it can’t get any worse, and then, of course, it does. She had made some comments in reference to the website QAnon, and this is all well before she was elected. She got up and talked a little bit about that of course on the floor and explained herself. Nothing compared to the riots that were incited by Pressley and others last summer. But here we are and we voted and it was barely passed because the Democrats barely have a majority in the House now. It’s just hypocrisy to the max now and it makes you sick to your stomach.

Leahy: Can you contrast this to I don’t know what you’d call the French Revolution-Kangaroo court session of the 117th session of Congress with the previous sessions in which you were a member of Congress?

Green: Well, I mean they have always been more than willing to bend the rules to fit their agenda. So even last Congress 116th when I was here my first term they’d bend the rules anytime and they would take stuff straight to the floor. Never going to committee. Bypassing rules. And they’re just doing more of that yesterday which was an excellent example totally against House procedure and took it straight to the floor of the House and was voted on just because they have a majority and can.

Leahy: What is on your personal agenda in this very weird situation where the left is exercising what Alexis de Tocqueville warned us about back in the 1830s? If you want to talk tyranny of the majority just take a look at what’s going on in the House of Representatives today. What’s your plan for the next couple of years?

Green: We could talk about legislative priorities. We could talk about overall priorities. Overall priorities being that we’ve got to retake control of the House because the House is a majority body basically meaning if you’ve got the majority plus one you rule. And you determine what goes to the committees and basically everything that gets done. So this is our number one priority.

And I think this is America’s number one priority and it should coalesce all of us together who love our country and that’s for the Republicans to retake control of the house. There is no other thing that comes close to that a part of that is election integrity. And that means two things. One, of course, doing everything we can with state legislatures across the country, and Republicans control 30 state legislators on both sides.

We’ve got to make sure that mail-in ballots and election integrity happens and that mail-in ballots never happen again and election integrity is reinforced. So those were probably the number one and number two. If you’re talking about legislative priorities, that gets more into the weeds, of course. But taking care of veterans. I’ve got some bills to do that. We have some specific needs at Fort Campbell in the Clarksville area.

That military base there needs new barracks. China. We have got to push back. China is the number one threat to our generation and I’ve got five bills to address that. I’m on the House Armed Services now and Foreign Affairs. I’m going to be the ranking member of one of the subcommittees there for our Western Hemisphere. So I’ll be meeting in National Security this Congress.

Leahy: Our listeners are hearing a little crackling on the line here and I want to explain what that crackling is. The crackling on the line is because Representative Mark Green is now in the land of double standards. That’s what the crackling is coming from. It’s that double standard that is emanating from the Democratic majority and Nancy Pelosi.

Let me shift the questioning here a little bit and I don’t want to catch you off guard but let me talk about some of President Joe Biden’s executive orders. Breitbart is reporting that yesterday he issued an executive order for this fiscal year to increase the number of refugees from the limit of 12,000 under President Trump to 125,000. Tell me what you think about this Congressman Green.

As I look at that executive order I believe that executive order is illegal. And here’s why. The Refugee Act of 1980 authorized the president to set a refugee limit once a year with a letter to Congress in September for the following fiscal year. The president at the time, President Trump issued such a letter and said the limit would be 12,000 for the fiscal year 2021.

As I read the law, there’s only one time in any year that the president can issue that letter and that’s in September in the last year of the fiscal year. President Biden’s executive order totally changes that law. Do I have that right? Would you agree with me or would you look into the idea that that executive order issued yesterday apparently by President Biden increasing refugee limits to 125,000 is in fact illegal? Have you had a chance to look at that?

Green: My team is already looking at it. I’m not an attorney so I have to rely on our staff for that. But they’re digging into that. I think it’s probably wrong on multiple levels and may be unconstitutional on more than one level. Unfunded mandates are I think unconstitutional when the federal government demands that the states do something. They can’t do that. It is fundamentally wrong to do that and not fund it.

When we take refugees into the state of Tennessee the education system and other services get taxed. And that’s why a lot of people push back on this. I actually thought that we should have locked the program in Tennessee. I’ve talked with the governor about that and he chose not to do that. But my thinking is we have a lot of people in Tennessee who have needs and we should take care of them first and then others second. I think the unfunded mandate piece of this is also a reason to say that it’s not constitutional.

Leahy: And I believe Congressman Green that you were in the state Senate in 2015, I think it was 2015 when the Tennessee General Assembly passed a resolution to sue the federal government on Tenth Amendment grounds about the refugee resettlement program. Governor Haslam didn’t sign on to that. That lawsuit was ultimately dismissed for lack of standing. Do I have that right? You were actually involved in that in the state?

Green: Yes I was. (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: Representative Green, the static from the Nancy Pelosi land of double of standards seems to be increasing.

Green: Sorry.

Leahy: It’s not you. I’m sure it’s the land of double standards. (Green chuckles) I want to tell you that I am saving something for you. In our studio today we have a big beautiful birthday cake for the Tennessee Star made by the Puffy Muffin in Brentwood. So I have a beautiful red velvet cake. It’s our fourth year anniversary of the online news site The Tennessee Star. We’re going to cut this cake. I’m going to save a piece for you. And then next time you’re in studio I’ll give you a piece of this cake and we will preserve it so it’s tasty.

Green: Sounds great. I love red velvet cake, and I’m excited about the accomplishments of The Tennessee Star.

Leahy: Oh well, thanks so much Congressman Mark Green, we really appreciate you joining us this morning. I know you have lots of busy things to do and look forward to having you here in studio again. Thanks for joining us.

Green: Sounds great. Thanks for having me on sorry about the static.

Leahy: Oh, that’s okay. We’re going to blame Nancy Pelosi and all the tyranny of the majority Democrats. Thanks so much, Representative Mark Green. Well, that’s a great interview but a little staticky there. But again, it’s the land of double standards. That will explain it all.

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










Crom Carmichael Questions Unanswered Questions on the Capitol Hill Riot and If It Will Go Down the Memory Hole

Crom Carmichael Questions Unanswered Questions on the Capitol Hill Riot and If It Will Go Down the Memory Hole


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 to the studio who pondered several unanswered questions surrounding the riots on Capitol Hill on January sixth and questioned why there were not any questions into why standard command and control protocols in place.

Leahy: We are joined as we almost always are at 6:30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by our good friend, the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Good morning Crom.

Carmichael: Good morning Michael.

Leahy: Now just to your left…

Carmichael: Yes.

Leahy: Is a beautiful, delicious birthday cake for The Tennessee Star made by our good friends at Puffy Muffin. It is a red velvet cake.

Carmichael: Oooh.

Leahy: With vanilla icing.

Carmichael: Yes.

Leahy: And then also orange icing for The Tennessee Star for four years. Four years of The Tennessee Star as the only conservative news site in the state of Tennessee. And during this coming break, we are going to begin eating this cake.

Carmichael: Oh my well, it’s exciting.

Leahy: It’s very exciting.

Carmichael: I can hardly wait.

Leahy: I can hardly wait, but you have other things you want to talk about today. You follow a fine conservative journalist, Byron York. And he has a communication newsletter that goes out regularly. Tell me about what’s in it today.

Carmichael: Well this one he’s talking about the capitol riot and how it looks like the way the Democrats are approaching it is that they’re really comparing it to, falsely by the way, to 9/11 as to how serious it is. And what it means and blah blah blah. So my guess is that I can I’m going to predict right now that next January 6 there will be a time of silence and all these other things to commemorate the so-called invasion of the capitol.

But what he points out in this newsletter that he sends out in the mornings is that a whole bunch of questions has not yet been answered. In fact, there are almost no questions that have been answered. And so what he did was he sent a letter to the Capitol Police and he said here’s a list of questions. Can you provide the answers? And here they are. How many Capitol Hill police officers were injured in the riot? What were their injuries?

What is their condition now? Did Capitol Hill Police confiscate any firearms from rioters? If so, how many and what types? What is the status of the investigation into the killing of Officer Sicknick? Now, by the way, we know he died. We don’t know how and what Byron York is pointing out is we don’t know the circumstances and we don’t know who did it. With all of that video footage that’s on the capitol we still don’t know who did it.

Leahy: That’s a very good question.

Carmichael: Or exactly what happened. Is there an autopsy report on officer Sicknick? If so, will it be released to the public or will his key findings be released to the public? What is the status of the investigation into the shooting of Ashley Babbit? Has it’s been ruled a justifiable shooting?

Leahy: This is the 14-year Air Force veteran who was shot and killed.

Carmichael: And she was unarmed.

Leahy: Unarmed.

Carmichael: An unarmed woman killed in the capitol. And then it asks, who was the officer who shot Miss Babbit? Did any other officers discharge firearms during the rioting? If so, under what circumstances? Did any rioters discharge their firearms during the rioting? If so under what circumstances? Now each one of these is a legitimate question. Even Chris Hayes who I consider to be a…

Leahy: MSNBC hack. Left-wing hack.

Carmichael: He sends out a tweet. I guess he can still do that. (Leahy chuckles) It remains deeply bizarre that there still is never been any kind of official readout of exactly what happened. How many people were injured? How many were hospitalized? How many police fired their weapons? Etc. All the standard stuff. And that happened almost a month ago. In fact, it will have been more than a month ago before the so-called trial starts in the Senate.

Leahy: Impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump now a private citizen.

Carmichael: But their whole case is that he incited a riot but there are no details as to what exactly happened other than you can absolutely see a lot of people milling around. You can see that. You can see a few windows being broken.

Leahy: Yes.

Carmichael: And you can see milling around. And you can see a person with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk. These are things that you can see.

Leahy: And you can see a guy wearing a Viking hat.

Carmichael: You can see a guy wearing a Viking hat which if he was incited to do that he must have had plenty of time to go home and get dressed up is all I can think. But the amount of detail on the riot that the Congress and the Democrats, especially think is worth commemorating in comparing to 9/11, there are no details.

Leahy: And those questions are just but a few. Our good friend John Solomon at Just the News has asked another series of questions about the command and control process.

Carmichael: Exactly. And that’s another great line of questioning because Byron York’s questions take place after the so-called riot started. What John Solomon is talking about is all of the decisions that were made within the two or three days prior to it because we now know the FBI has released information that says it was pre-planned.

Leahy: Oh, yeah.

Carmichael: And so all of the players knew it was pre-planned and they essentially did nothing.

Leahy: Nothing.

Carmichael: In fact, they might have even been proactively making sure that Capitol Hill was ill-prepared.

Leahy: That is how it looks to me, Crom.

Carmichael: Yes. And so if that’s the case in the commemoration over time, it will be very very interesting. In the book 1984, the main character in there has a job working for the state where he would take historical information and he would put it down the memory hole. He was one of the hundreds of people in this giant space that would take historical information and put it down the memory hole.

Leahy: So apparently there’s a lot of people in the Biden administration attempting to do just that.

Carmichael: And not just the Biden administration.

Leahy: Mainstream media and Big Tech.

Carmichael: And you’ve seen that for the last two years with the tearing down of statues. The changing of our education. Biden says that the 1776 Project will not be put in our schools but the 1619 Project will.

Leahy: Totally factually incorrect by the way.

Carmichael: Well, he who writes history sometimes gets to write the future. So what you have is right now is you have the Democrat Party and they’ve been doing this now for quite a while, doing everything in their power. And now they have a lot of it to essentially re-write. It doesn’t change history. It just rewrites it.

Leahy: Let me give you a little indication that perhaps that is backfiring. I’ll share this with you later. I just saw it last night. There’s a researcher we’ve talked about before George Barna who’s been a pollster researcher primarily focused on attitudes in the Christian world, but also crosses over into politics.

He just released a study from Arizona Christian University. And he’s a principal researcher on it. And what he found is that now today support for socialism in the country is at the lowest level actually has been for many years. It was 41 percent after the 2018 election. And now within a couple of weeks of Biden, it’s down to 32 percent.

Carmichael: Well, this is going to be what is interesting because the Democrats are moving so quickly and when we get into the second segment, I’m going to switch gears just a little bit on what they are trying to consolidate their power. And then the question is how do voters assuming that they get a chance to vote in two years, how will they react to that? And I’m not being facetious about that. It’s whether or not you may an election where one side is funded with billions and the other side is has been destroyed in terms of their ability to communicate or the ability to raise money.

Leahy: Or it could look like oh, I don’t know, an election in Russia where Putin always wins with 90 percent of the vote.

Carmichael: And all of his commissars.

Leahy: Or in Cuba, where 99 percent of the vote went for Fidel Castro.

Carmichael: Right. What I’m saying is we’ll see if they can because they are clearly attempting to. And I’m going to make that case after the commercial break. It’s a strong case. Let me just say this on the Capitol Hill deal. One thing that’s very important is that Biden did say that he would cease building the wall. He said he would stop doing that and that turned out not to be true.

Leahy: Because he’s building the wall?

Carmichael: He’s building the wall around the capitol.

Leahy: He’s got to protect us from citizens exercising their first amendment rights.

Carmichael: He has literally stopped building the wall pre-contract. So he stopped building the wall on the southern border, but he is allowing the building of the wall around the capitol where there is no apparent danger. But with the Mexican border, it’s obvious. And there’s a caravan on its way.

Leahy: They are going to let them all in without any coronavirus tests.

Carmichael: So let’s be clear. Biden does understand that walls do in fact do work. He’s just building it around the capitol.

Leahy: My little caveat would be those around Joe Biden may understand. We’re not entirely sure how much Joe Biden understands these days.

Carmichael: Fair enough.

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.
Photo “Capitol Protest” by Elijah Schaffer.










Host Leahy and Dr. Carol Swain Discuss the Probability of the District of Columbia Becoming a State and the Invocation of the 25th Amendment

Host Leahy and Dr. Carol Swain Discuss the Probability of the District of Columbia Becoming a State and the Invocation of the 25th Amendment


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, Dr. Carol Swain, to the studio to discuss the possibility and the ways in which the District of Columbia could achieve statehood and invocation of the 25th Amendment.

Leahy: In studio all-star panelist Carol Swain. Carol, you were talking about this movement to grant statehood to the District of Columbia which by the way 95 percent voted for Joe Biden and 5 percent for Donald Trump. Population about 700,000. A little short of 10 square miles. Here’s what the Constitution says about this. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.

The Congress shall have the power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district not exceeding 10-mile square as made by the succession of particular states in the acceptance of Congress become the seat of the government of the United States. So the Constitution says that then Article 4, Section 3.

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union, but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states without the consent of the legislature of the state’s concerned as well as of the Congress. To me, Carol that looks like it would be unconstitutional for Congress to pass a law making the District of Columbia a state. What do you think?

Swain: Well, I think that they would have to amend the Constitution. And if you’ve been to D.C. lately, and I’ve been there in December it’s just devastated. You walk down the streets where you used to shop and there are boarded-up buildings. And everywhere there are black lives matter signs. and we have Black Lives Matter Plaza.

You go to Union Station and I used to love to go there and Shop. It was like a mall. It looks like a ghost town. I think there were two stores where they sold clothes. and they were big box stores. And so there’s no evidence that the leaders of D.C. can actually run it. I mean the Congress run by Democrats is a disaster. But until someone that thinks like a true Republican is in a leadership role in Congress that D.C. is just devastated. It needs more direction from Congress.

Leahy: Oh, yes. I think what we’ll see is a District of Columbia statehood act. It’ll be introduced. It will be very close. And then if it passes and is signed into law, there will immediately be a federal challenge. I think it goes to the Supreme Court and I think they say no. That’s what I think will happen.

Swain: It’s always been a perennial issue ever since I was in graduate school and maybe before to make a D.C. a state. But D.C. was a place where I loved to visit. I’m sure many other people looked forward to going at least once a year. I dread it when I have to go there again.

Leahy: Yeah, I understand.

Swain: It’s very unsafe.

Leahy: We have another constitutional question from our caller and listener Don in Nashville. Don, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Caller Don: Good morning guys. I have a comment and I have a question about Joe Biden. But I wanted to give Parler some advice. They need to call Hillary because she’s really good about setting up new websites. (Laughter)

Leahy: Now that’s a good one Don.

Don: She’s good about servers. But my question is will the Democratic Party turn on Joe when after he gets done with all this and things start going real bad and they invoke the 25th Amendment on it and then start blaming him? Well, Joe didn’t know any better. And start blaming all the downfall on him? And I’ll hang up and let y’all answer that.

Leahy: Great. And the 25th Amendment says whenever the president transmits to the Senate his written declaration he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such powers and duties shall be discharged by the vice-president.

But the next section says whenever the vice president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may provide by law when they tell the president pro-tem that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office of acting president. Do you see that in our future?

Swain: Well for one thing there’s no reason to get rid of Joe Biden as long as he is carrying out the agenda of the far left. If he were to start making deals with Republicans and governing in a bipartisan fashion they would be looking for a way to remove him from office. Many of us believe that the long-term plan of the Democrats is to install Kamala as the first female president.

She can’t call herself the first Black president nor could she call herself the first Black American president. but she could be the first female. and so I don’t know how that would come about. I think as long as Joe is doing what they want, he’s safe.

Leahy: I think Kamala Harris wants to be president. And notice what the Constitution says. Whenever the vice president and a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments transmitted to the president pro tem of the Senate they’re written declaration the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president.

Look, I don’t think that is that far away from a possibility frankly. because you look at it and it says a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments. That’s considered the cabinet. But I could argue that it’s maybe just the most important cabinet.

Swain: Well I’m standing on my position that as long as he’s carrying out the will of the political left and signing all the executive order executive orders and things that they want, they will continue to protect him. Because he’s not 100 percent there now. But at some point the play I believe is to make Kamala the first female president. She’d never get elected by the voters.

Leahy: Never.

Swain: And so that’s the only way it’s going to happen.

Leahy: Yeah, if I had to guess whether or not we’ll see a 25th Amendment effort either with his cooperation or without, I would say the odds are probably fairly good.

Swain: I agree.

Leahy: At least 50/50 that this will happen over the next four years.

Listen to the 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








All Star Panelist Dr. Carol Swain Talks Parler Shutdown, Reality Czars, and the Current Orwellian Climate of America

All Star Panelist Dr. Carol Swain Talks Parler Shutdown, Reality Czars, and the Current Orwellian Climate of America


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, Dr. Carol Swain, to the studio to discuss the Parler shutdown, reality czars and the current climate of Orwellian nature.

Leahy: I am very excited because in studio with us right now sitting and right across from me, socially distanced by six feet is the one and only all-star panelist, good friend, former Vanderbilt professor, former Nashville mayoral candidate Carol Swain. Good morning, Carol.

Swain: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: You know you do a very good job of promoting your appearances here. and you put the content out that you coming on the next day. And then I just get bombarded with people on Twitter. Yes on Twitter and Facebook saying Carol is coming. Let’s see what she has to say.

Swain: Well, I mean people are just so wonderful to me. I really appreciate everyone who listens and I think have something important to say at times.

Leahy: Yeah. I’ve had a lot of folks that we talked to because I do work on other projects around the country. And every time I say, well Carol, Swain is one of my friends and she comes in as an all-star panelist. They say, Carol Swain! Well, I’ve got to talk to Carol. (Laughter) It actually happened a couple of times this week from people. So, you know, I benefit from our friendship Carol.

Swain: Well I run into listeners all the time and they come over and we chat and we take pictures.

Leahy: Well, it makes it a lot of fun. One guy who lets you we were talking about this off are I just want to sort of bringing it up. One guy who’s not having his picture taken these days is the former CEO of Parler Jonathan Matze. He announced his termination the other day and Dan Bonginio was a minority investor in that company who disputed his account of it. You would think on our side if we have trouble as Parler did, I mean Parler was shutdown unceremoniously in an unfair way about a month ago. But the CEO hasn’t been able to get them back up and running. And I think that may be why he’s no longer the CEO.

Swain: Well, there just seemed to be a disagreement about why he was terminated. And if you think about the CEO, of course, he’s going to present himself in the most positive light because he needs another job. And he seems to be a very intelligent hard-working guy. And there was a series of unfortunate and unfair circumstances that led to Parler being taken down. And by the way, I had 37,000 followers on Parler that I accumulated in maybe three or four months.

Leahy: That’s a lot.

Swain: Yeah. I’d like to see them again.

Leahy: I think they’ll get back up. I think they will I am I was personally surprised by how long it’s taken them to get back up. I mean how hard is it to find another server other than Amazon’s AWS and some others.

Swain: They were saying they had one from Russia and you can’t use Russia. And China is a bigger threat to our nation than Russia is far as I’m concerned.

Leahy: I think there are a lot of servers out there though here that are independent that you could get. I mean we use them and others use them. So I don’t know. it’s a bit of a mystery. I do know that they have a new management team. And actually, I know one of the members of the management team good guy former Tea Party leader organizer way back when. So I have confidence that they will get back up and running.

Swain: I hope so.

Leahy: We’ve had some conversations about all this Big Tech, you know, Orwellian shut down America and shut down free speech. Did you see this crazy story out of The New York Times? They want to put a realities czar up there. (Laughs)

Swain: And we know that New York Times gauges in fake news and I guess they would recommend the Arbiter of what is true and what is false and what is allowable and what isn’t.

Leahy: They’re basically trying to rewrite history.

Swain: Everything is so Orwellian. And if there’s anyone out there listening and you’ve not read George Orwell’s 1984, which was written in 1949, you need to read it. And if you read it in high school, you know 50 years ago you need to reread it because we’re going through repeating our history that is totally Orwellian when it comes to redefining terms and erasing history.

And what’s going on right now where we are not allowed to talk about what really took place during the election. We’re not allowed to talk about voter fraud or the possibility of a stolen election. And that is so unAmerican. and it is as if we’re going through a moment when our Constitution means nothing.

And if you look at our Republican members of Congress, I’m ashamed of almost all of them because for whatever reason they don’t seem to have much integrity. They’re not willing to stand up. They’re not serving our needs. And we’re locked in this two-party system where for all practical purposes we have one party. It’s the Democrats. And the Republicans are not even the loyal opposition. They shoot themselves in the foot and they undermine each other all the time.

Leahy: Those comments I think are primarily directed at the national level.

Swain: Well, yeah, I’m talking about the Congress right now. But we have to watch the state legislature as well. We have to hold everyone accountable. And when it comes to the election irregularities, we have to make sure that in Tennessee we don’t end up like those other states with the ballot harvesting and the absentee ballots standards relaxed to the point that we have stolen elections. And so that has to be a priority of every state.

Leahy: Every state. That’s a good point. I was talking with my friend the pollster John McLaughlin the other day who said exactly the same thing you are saying right now. Because where the Democrats have the advantage in this past election it wasn’t in-person voting. It was in all this vote by mail which has a higher probability of fraud.

Swain: But I saw the ballot harvesting. Virginia was not in play right? Well, I have relatives that live in the inner city living in the projects and places. They said that people came to your door like two or three people and they asked whether or not you had voted. They had ballots and they stood there pretty much while people filled out ballots that you handed back to them. Can you imagine? There’s no secret ballot there. There was a lot of intimidation and a lot of pressure on individuals. That should be illegal people showing up at your door.

Leahy: Yeah people showing up at your door. Hey here fill this out the way I want you to. There is intimidation. No question about it. I completely agree that should be illegal. Now the very interesting thing you brought up there is people might say well Tennessee voted for Donald Trump 60 percent. Not going to be a problem here. Well, that’s what they said about Georgia eight years ago right?

Swain: Yeah but the thing that bothers me as a Black American that lived through the parts of the Civil Rights Movement. I was a child when it started. but the Voting Rights Act that people fought so hard for was never meant to abuse be abused in the way that it is right now. And Black people are being used by the Democratic party to create lack standards to insulate Democrats. And it has nothing to do with right to vote. No one’s vote is being suppressed in 2021. And so this is a whole new ballgame with Black people being used to advance an agenda that doesn’t really benefit them.

Leahy: We got a knock on the door Carol. It’s the reality czar. (Laughter) The reality czar is coming. No, you can’t say that Carol! The reality czar is going to get his big hook out like the grim reaper. (Laughter)

Swain: Well since I’m Black and I hold these unorthodox views and I need to be sent away to camp and de-programed. but I can assure you that it will not work.

Leahy: Well Katie Couric thinks you should be deprogrammed.

Swain: Well the Democrats think that anyone who doesn’t believe the way they do should be deprogrammed.

Leahy: Let me read this from the Constitution of the United States the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. Reality czar. Is that is that consistent with the First Amendment?

Swain: But you just read the First Amendment.

Leahy: Yeah. I know.

Swain: And the Capitol Hill protests that took place where they have demonized everyone that was known to have gone to Washington was totally contrary to the First Amendment right of assembly. And it’s like people have just lost sense of the Constitution. And this move, you know to make a state out of D.C., D.C. was created by the Constitution. It would take a constitutional amendment.

Leahy: It would.

Swain: Congress just can’t do that.

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









Inez Feltscher Stepman Weighs in on Why School Choice Is Now More Important Than Ever

Inez Feltscher Stepman Weighs in on Why School Choice Is Now More Important Than Ever


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 Inez Feltscher Stepman who is the senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Stepman outlined what she saw as the Biden administration’s agenda for public schools revealing the opportunity states would have in response giving parents choice and leverage. She later explained how over two dozen viable school choice programs and expansions of those programs have been proposed by legislatures in 17 states nationwide.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmaker line now by Inez Stepman. A senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and a senior contributor to The Federalist. She has a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at San Diego. A J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and she lives in New York City now with her husband. Inez, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Stepman: It’s great to be here. Thanks.

Leahy: So you have had a little bit of a geographic tour of the United States. San Diego, UVA Law School, and New York City. These are three places that are really quite different, aren’t they?

Stepman: Absolutely. And in between that I lived in Phoenix for a short time. Definitely a couple of other places as well. So I’ve done a lot of looking around America, which has been really great actually. I’ve driven back and forth as well a few times which has been awesome. It’s a great country.

Leahy: It gives you a good perspective that I think that a lot of people, you know in Washington D.C. who’ve lived there all their lives don’t quite have. I wanted to have you on the program today it is because you wrote a really great op-ed at The Hill about a week ago. Coronavirus Spotlights Why School Choice is More Important Than Ever. Tell us about your argument.

Stepman: Well, I think Americans have been forced to recognize a truth that maybe some of us who have been working in education policy or have seen working with teachers unions or opposition to teachers unions for quite some time. But I think it’s now it’s hard to deny that teachers unions and generally the district schools, priorities are simply are not children’s education. Their priorities are protecting the adults in our system.

And I think these school reopening battles across the country have really shown how that’s true. And it’s made it really clear to a lot of families who might have thought previously that they might have had issues with their district school. They might have not liked what’s being taught and social studies or something like that. But they thought that the school was generally well-intentioned and that the priority of a lot of the adults was an education for their children.

And unfortunately, we’re seeing that these negotiations in many cases are not taking place with good faith on the part of unions or good faith on the part of school districts. They are essentially ignoring family’s needs and their children’s needs because they can. Because the system is set up to allow them to continue to ignore families.

Leahy: Let me read this paragraph from your excellent op-ed at The Hill. “President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona remains somewhat of a cipher. However, Biden’s choice for Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten is primarily known for keeping San Diego schools firmly closed and injecting critical race theory into classrooms including praising a proposal to send all White teachers to quote ‘anti-racist therapy.'” What does the Biden administration have in line for school choice and education in America?

Stepman: Well, I think that the first EO the Biden administration put out within the first couple of days of the administration is a good indicator of where that administration is going to go on education. And that is the EO on Title 9, which people are focusing on sports, right? So this EO demands essentially defines discrimination on the basis of sex in our civil rights law as including gender identity and including the ability of biological males for example to run on the women’s track team. But it’s broader than just sports, right?

It applies to locker rooms and applies to bathrooms or any kind of real single-sex environments at Public Schools. I think that’s a good indication of where the administration is going because I think it’s going to be a lot of culturally “woke” EOs, policies, or Grant programs. Now, fortunately, the vast majority of education decisions are still made on the state level. It’s at the state and local levels.

The vast majority of the money that goes to fund education comes from the state and local. And so the good news is I think the states have an enormous opportunity to push back against this and to push back against repeated school closures and sometimes ridiculous demands from teachers. For example in Fairfax County in Virginia teachers unions are actually demanding that schools stay shut and not resume normal in-person learning until well into 2022.

They’re saying that they don’t want to reopen until all the students not just all the teachers but all the students are vaccinated. We don’t even have a vaccine approved for kids yet. So, you know that we’re talking about years and years of kids’ lives and their education is on hold until well into 2022. I think that problem and to push back against whatever woke EOs the Biden administration has in store for schools, states have an enormous opportunity to give parents choice and leverage by starting to route some of the enormous amounts of money that we spend on K-12 education directly to families instead of sending it to districts.

Leahy: Here’s a question for you. Why don’t state governments just tell the federal government, you know that 10 percent of education funding that we get from you? Why don’t governments just say hey Biden administration, you can take that 10 percent of that education money and all of your regulations and you can keep them in Washington. We don’t want them. We’re going to run our schools the way we want with state and local money only. Do you see that as a possibility?

Stepman: Well, (Chuckles) what’s the Reagan quote? There’s nothing so permanent as a government program. I would add that I’ve never seen a government agency refuse the money. (Laughter) Unfortunately, I don’t see that as a realistic possibility. Although that would be something to see. I’d certainly like to see it. But fundamentally, what states can do is say hey look at these district schools and how they are taking these grants that are heavily regulated by the feds.

The Biden administration is likely to put out more guidance on, for example, discipline which has had some really negative effects when it was done under the Obama administration. They’re likely to put out a bunch more guidance on various cultural topics from the top. But families can opt-out if the states passed the kind of programs that allow them to do so.

That allows more than just those who are wealthy enough to do that. So obviously families are opting out right now. There are 10 percent of the sector is for private schools (i.e. parents are sending and sacrificing their own money,) which is difficult and it’s a sacrifice for a lot of families who do send their kids to private school because they are paying twice right? They’re paying taxes for the public school and then they’re paying on top of that.

They’re paying tuition to a private school. And there are 2 million homeschoolers. So we already have quite robust alternatives to the public school system, but not every family can take advantage of that for a variety of reasons. Whether that’s financial or whether it’s simply a time issue for with homeschooling or in some cases families just are not set up to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities without the additional financial assistance.

As long as they’re paying double, right? So states have a huge opportunity now, I think. And I think they’re taking advantage of it. We’ve seen well over two dozen viable school choice programs and expansions of school choice programs expanded or bills to expand them offered in state legislature so far in 17 different states. So I think the states are looking at this.

And I think what is really going to determine the future of the education system and not just for this year but I think for the next 10 or 20 years is really going to be how active families are in voicing the fact to their state legislatures that these kinds of school choice programs are not an option. Especially after the experience that we’ve had for the last year that these are a necessity.

And they are a necessity. Not just those for those who want to use them to leave the public school system. Although that’s definitely part of it. They’re necessary for families who want to see stay in the public school system because of that next appointment between the PTA and the Superintendent. Or that next appointment you have with your principal to express dissatisfaction with something about your child’s education is going to go a lot differently if the superintendent, the principal, or the teachers union knows that their salaries are dependent upon your decision about whether or not you’re happy with the education your child gets. So that my friends is called leverage. And that’s what I think American families deserve.

Leahy: Inez Stepman, SEnior Policy on School Choice with the Independent Women’s Forum. Thank you for joining us today. Please come back.

Stepman: Thank you so much for having me.

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.