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 top gov tracker Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee creating a woke National Guard and Ron DeSantis’s legislative agenda and presidential aspirations.
Leahy: Joining me and Crom Carmichael, top gov tracker, my very, very good friend Neil W. McCabe. Good morning.
McCabe: Hey, Michael! Very good to be with you, man. Hi Crom.
Leahy: You’re a guy who served in the military and is still in the Army Reserve. And you sent me this thing last night and I said, really? There’s this story out by William Jones from Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office. Nashville, Tennessee, February 27th. I can’t believe I’m saying this. “Diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity are critical elements for success in the military.” Are you kidding me? Has Bill Lee created the Wokeist National Guard in the country?
McCabe: Well, apparently, that’s the goal, right? Because why would you start, uh, a joint diversity executive council if you didn’t want it to be the best? I can’t imagine a governor of Tennessee going by half-measures. Why would he do this just for show? He’s gotta believe it.
I got, I gotta believe that Bill Lee wouldn’t do something just to, uh, you know, throw a sop to the leftists. I think he’s into it. And of course, Major General Jeff Holmes who is the adjunct general of the Tennessee National Guard as you’ll recall was all set to jab, everybody with the COVID-19 vax. We’ll see how this plays out.
Leahy: And you found this, interestingly in, uh, it’s kind of a special military news service, right? Dvidshub.net.
McCabe: I’m a connoisseur of military public affairs. That’s how I make my living in the military. And so Divids is this depository where all the videos, all the pictures that the military takes, and the stories, is a resource for public affairs offices, but also for civilian journalists if they want to know what’s going on in the military. Not everything gets the full play, but this struck my fancy.
Leahy: Yes. And Neil, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna call this fellow up, William Jones, and see if, he’ll come in and talk about why Governor Bill Lee is creating the Wokeist National Guard in the country.
Carmichael: Is there a public affairs officer?
Leahy: He’s the public affairs.
Carmichael: Then that’s his job, is to explain things to the public.
Leahy: We’ll have him come in and sit right next to you.
Carmichael: That would be wonderful.
Leahy: Neil, you’re down there in Florida for One America News Network. You’re the Florida top gov tracker. You’re the national correspondent. Ron DeSantis has announced his book tour, The Courage to Be: Florida’s Blueprint for America. I wonder where this is headed.
McCabe: Yes, well, I think the point that the governor is trying to make is, uh, I was able to have success here in Florida and I can, and I can show other states how they can do it as the governor of Florida or maybe something else. Now there’s some talk that he’s running for president.
And just because he never dismantled his campaign committee from his re-election or the fact that they’re continuing to hire new people, that’s creating speculation. Just because instead of going to CPAC, like a lot of fancy people this week, he’s gonna be going down to Palm Beach where the Club for Growth, which basically is in charge of laundering money for the Koch Brothers, they’re having their own sort of candidate conference.
Leahy: They are at The Breakers, which is like three miles away from Mar-a-Lago. By the way, remember when you and I were both at Breitbart working the rope line on an event down here in Nashville where President Trump was speaking when he was running for president and he got into a dust-up with the Club for Growth.
And I leaned into him and I said, hey, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Michael Patrick Leahy with Breitbart here. I work with Steve Bannon. And he leans into me. He says, Breitbart, I love those guys. I love you guys. I love Bannon. What’s your question?
And I said you are in a dispute with the Club for Growth. Any comment about them? And his comment was, it was the headline of Breitbart. Club for Growth, they’re a pack of thieves. (Laughter)
McCabe: Well, it’s very simple, right? If I wanna attack somebody and I don’t want my fingerprints on it, I transfer a million dollars to the Club for Growth and then the Club for Growth runs the ads. They’re guns for hire. And God love ’em. You know, we all have to make a living.
Listen, everybody needs to buy their kids a bike for Christmas. I want people to be able to order a ham sandwich for lunch. I’m not trying to knock somebody’s job, but that’s what they do.
Leahy: Crom has a question for you.
Carmichael: Neil, I wanna switch gears just a hair here. Because I heard DeSantis being interviewed and he was asked, are you gonna run for president? And his answer was, it was non-committal. But he said we’re just starting the legislature here in Florida and I have a very strong agenda and things I want to get accomplished over the next 90 days in Florida.
So any decisions related to any possible run are not even going to be considered until after the legislature’s out. What are the big things? Because these would be the types of opportunities that DeSantis could have to make news. So what are the big issues in Florida that you think would resonate?
McCabe: He signed a peace treaty with Disney, so that issue is now over. He withdrew and declared victory. They’re keeping their district. It’s just that the governor gets to appoint people to the board who run the district. And so that’s done. A lot of people were expecting a concealed carry bill to go through the special session of the legislature that didn’t.
Florida used to be called the Gunshine State because gun laws were so far more advanced than other states. Now there are probably 30 states that have more free gun laws than the state of Florida. And so people are anticipating that the session begins Monday or Tuesday after CPAC.
I don’t know if it’s the sixth or the seventh. The state of the state is March 7th. The session itself is two months long. No bill can be considered unless it is filed before the session begins. So everyone is wondering why is there no pro-life bill being filed and what’s gonna happen with the gun bill.
And, of course, the insurance in this state is complete in the process, and so that’s gotta be addressed. They keep fixing the insurance laws but because of the hurricanes, you cannot live in this state, and you cannot invest in this state unless something is done to subsidize insurance. That’s just a fact.
Leahy: He’s got a pretty big agenda. That’s gonna take him until the end of May. Putting your predicting cap on here, what do you think is gonna happen in June?
McCabe: I think in June he’s going to say that after reflection and prayer, he has listened to the people across the country who are demanding that he bring his winning recipes to the White House.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Bill Lee” by Bill Lee.