Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell Talks Section 230 Reform and the Momentum Created by Trump Lawsuit

Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell Talks Section 230 Reform and the Momentum Created by Trump Lawsuit

 

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 Tennessee state Senator (R) Mike Bell to the newsmakers line to discuss much-needed Section 230 reform and the momentum created by Trump’s lawsuit against Big Tech.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by State Senator Mike Bell. Good morning, Senator Bell.

Bell: Good morning, Michael. How are you today?

Leahy: I’m great and it’s great to have you on here and talk a little bit about this big tech lawsuit that former President Donald Trump filed on Wednesday.

By the way, our own Laura Baigert was there at Bedminster Golf Club. The Trump National Golf Club there and was present. We had a photographer there.

We did a big story on it and put it out through our Star News Wire Service. It was picked up by a number of outlets around the country.

And Laura got to ask the former president a question, which was there in the press conference. So we are looking upfront and personal at this particular lawsuit. What is your reaction to the lawsuit, Mike?

Bell: Michael, I think it’s probably overdue. This is something that we’ve been talking about in the legislature. Of course, I had an amendment to a bill this last session that was attempting to address this problem, representing Johnny Garrett had it in the House.

And, Michael, we’ve been talking even to the attorney’s general’s office. You may have read yesterday they joined a lawsuit with 37 other states against Google because of the monopoly that they have.

And it’s not just Facebook. It’s not just Twitter, it’s Google. There’s probably a couple of other platforms that would be included that has become a monopoly. And they’ve become an entity that’s controlling speech.

And I don’t think it’s good. We look back in our history when the federal government eventually broke up the old Bell telephone company for somewhat the same reasons because they become a monopoly and control communications. Well, Facebook and Twitter are becoming that now.

As much as it is a free market, small-government conservative, I try to stay away from government regulating business. But when a business does become a monopoly at that point, the government sometimes has to step in.

Leahy: Well yes. Also, the other argument to make here is that the critics of this lawsuit say, well, it’s a privately held company.

It’s not a government entity. Well, my view is exactly the opposite that the protections granted to Google, Facebook, and Twitter under Section 230 of the 1996 Communication Act from liability for false claims, that that protection makes them a government agent.

And that protection has also provided them with the ability to be, in essence, monopolies or oligopolies. So that’s my view. Do you share that?

Bell: I do, Michael. In fact, if the federal government would remove that protection then maybe we would see the market correct itself.

But with that protection still there, as you’ve stated, that’s created a monopoly that’s protected by the government and enforced by the government. And Michael I told, I guess it’s Julie. I can’t remember, too.

Leahy: Our booking producer.

Bell: Yeah. I talked to her yesterday and told her I’ve been dealing with a constituent now for about a week and a half who was permanently blocked from Facebook.

And she is a huge Trump supporter. In fact, she is one of the few people I guess nationwide you look at has actually been brought up on a stage with President Trump at a rally.

He just picked her out of a crowd, and she was brought up on stage with him at a rally early on back in the 2016 campaign. And she just loves President Trump and puts things on social media all the time promoting President Trump.

And she’s been suspended for a period of time, like three days or four days, two or three times, and always being given an explanation by Facebook about why she was suspended.

In other words, she was suspended for putting a certain post up there. But she was permanently banned from Facebook for about a week and a half to go and can’t even get an explanation from Facebook about why she was permanently banned.

A media outlet and that’s what they become, a social media like Facebook can just ban people for any reason and not even give them an explanation.

And it’s become, I guess I’m trying to say, Mike, it’s become an avenue for people to communicate with that’s used by, goodness, I think I read somewhere around 75 percent of Americans have a Facebook account.

Then you’re essentially blocking somebody from being able to communicate. And again, as you said, the protections afforded Facebook and other social media giants through Section 230 just give them way too much power without any consequence.

And so I’m hoping this lawsuit that President Trump is leading will help change that for citizens so they can have some recourse when dealing with these social media giants.

Leahy: Yeah, a very good point. Now, you mentioned that there was a couple of things to talk about at the state level. First, the attorneys general, Herb Slattery, has joined the lawsuit of, I think, 35 other states against Google.

Are you familiar with the lawsuit and what the argument is? Let me just read from our story at The Tennessee Star. Attorney General Herbert Slavery announced on Wednesday that Tennessee will band together with 36 other states in the lawsuit in an attempt to combat what they see as anti-competitive trade practices.

Let me read this quote from Attorney General Slattery and get your reaction. Google’s “play was the long game enticing manufacturers and operators to adopt Android by promising to remain open. Now that the digital doorway is closed, if you want in, you’ve got to do it Google’s way. You essentially have to use its App Store, use its payment processing system, and pay its unreasonable commissions for digital purchases. All of this harms consumers, limits competition, and reduces innovation. Tennessee and 36 other states are no longer on the sidelines.”

What’s your reaction to that lawsuit?

Bell: First, I’m glad General Slattery has chosen to join these other states in the lawsuit. I think he’s exactly right. It has become a monopoly.

You do have to use their platform and their apps in order to access these different means of being able to communicate. I guess, anything from play games to use a map on where to drive to your next appointment.

And Google has grown so much that they control that whole area of the market. Again, from a top-list free-market person, you don’t want the government to step in in these situations.

You hope the market will correct itself. But this has grown to such a point, to use that analogy that I mentioned a few minutes ago, it’s gotten where the Bell company was.

The old phone company got to several decades ago when the federal government had to come in and break them up when they controlled the marketplace of communication.

Google is becoming that and has become that as well as these other social media giants. And I think again, it’s something that we have to be careful about as small government Conservatives to step in.

But it has grown to such a point that I think we got to step in and correct this. Government has to correct it at this point.

Leahy: You talked a little bit about a long bill that you proposed that would limit Big Tech here in Tennessee. Tell us what the status of that bill was and what’s going to happen in the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly when it convenes in January of 2022.

Bell: I think the lawsuit that President Trump is leading and this lawsuit that General Slattery has joined is just going to create more momentum for that.

When we filed the amendment, of course, not to get too much in the weeds, we had Representative Garrett and I had a caption bill that we filed this big amendment that was almost identical to the Florida bill.

You’ve read about the bill that Governor DeSantis had in Florida, and our bill was almost identical to the Florida bill. We filed it, but we filed it kind of late in the session.

And a big bill like that is sometimes hard to get people to be able to wrap their minds around it and to understand it and its impact on it without having a lot of time to look at it.

We had to lay it aside. It’s essentially sitting procedurally on the desk, ready for us to pick it back up and run with it next year.

But I think everything that President Trump is doing with our attorneys general joining the lawsuit will add more momentum for us getting that bill passed.

And what the bill was going to do is it was just going to allow give citizens’ recourse if they felt like they were blocked or wronged by one of these social media giants.

But as you started out talking about this morning, what needs to happen is Section 230 reformed at the federal level and that will open the door because we are at the state level kind of hamstrung in that these giants are, of course, not just multi-state or nationwide, but they’re multinational.

And even if we pass the bill to give set up some type of civil recourse here in the state of Tennessee, it’s going to be kind of tough to enforce on an international, multinational company like Google or Facebook.

But we’re going to try and hopefully, everything that’s happening now will just give us more momentum.

Leahy: Can you hang with us through the break? Because I have some more questions for you, State Senator.

Bell: Sure.

Listen to the full 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star News Network’s Senior Reporter Laura Baigert Describes Her 30 Minute Private Interview With Former President Donald Trump

Star News Network’s Senior Reporter Laura Baigert Describes Her 30 Minute Private Interview With Former President Donald Trump

 

Live from Music Row Monday 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 Star News Network’s Senior Reporter Laura Baigert to the newsmakers line to discuss her one on one private 30-minute interview with former President Donald Trump.

Leahy: We are joined now on the newsmaker line by Laura Baigert, the senior reporter for The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network and the only journalist in America who got an exclusive interview with the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, at the Ohio rally. Good morning, Laura.

Baigert: Good morning, Michael. How are you?

Leahy: Did you ever think you’d hear Laura Baigert, the only journalist in America who got an exclusive interview with the 45th President of the United States?

Baigert: No, (Laughter) but I am sure glad to hear it.

Leahy: (Laughs) We put out your exclusive story we published yesterday about three in the morning. We all stayed up late to make sure we got it out there. Your exclusive interview with the President.

Early this morning, we published a pictorial of beautiful photographs of the event. My favorite picture is one of you standing just behind the main stage area right next to the Secret Service guys and one of those black SUVs.

And you’ve got your notepad with you and you’re just standing watching what’s going on, waiting for the end of the rally for your exclusive interview with the former President. You were in the limo with him.

The driver, you, and the President. And you had, like, half an hour for an exclusive interview. Tell us how it happened.

Baigert: Well, that goes back to a couple of weeks ago when we broke the news about Georgia’s Fulton County an election official admitting that they lost and could not locate chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes during the November election.

And President Trump was made aware of that story. He’s been quoting stories that we’ve had for some time now about the chain of custody documents out of Georgia that have not been produced since December.

And now we’re going on almost eight months after the election, and we still can’t get these documents. And President Trump has been quoting that for some time. But when he saw that this election official admitted that they couldn’t produce the documents, that really caught his attention.

And he sent out an email to all his followers, crediting my reporting and The Georgia Star News and thanking us for that report. And that led to a conversation with Liz Harrington who is his new spokesperson. And we asked for an interview and they granted it.

Leahy: So tell us what it was like waiting for the interview. As we were going up there, we thought it was maybe a 50/50 chance it will actually happen. Just describe the moments as you are waiting to get the interview and the details of what happened.

Baigert: That evolved over many hours. We didn’t know exactly what time. And it wasn’t until maybe four o’clock in the afternoon that we found out we were scheduled for 6:30, which was very exciting because we knew he was scheduled to come on stage at seven o’clock.

So we said, wow, normally when we talked about this initially, we found out that usually the interviews are scheduled for five minutes at a time, and they gave us 10 minutes. So we already knew we had way more time than normal.

And then when we heard we were scheduled for 6:30, that was really exciting. And they were going to pick us up on a golf cart to take us off of the actual field where the event was going to happen to the site where President Trump would be.

We had to be ready at 5:15 so that we could be staged. This is also encouraging, because if you start running late, then you know that your chances get lower and lower for having that interview. That picture that you see there was after the scheduled interview time.

We were staged and in a golf cart waiting for the motorcade to drive up. And they were running so late. President Trump actually approached me and asked if I would be willing to wait until after the rally and drive with him to the airport, which would have given me a lot more time for the interview.

So that was a stunner moment right there. Well, of course, Mr. President. Anything you say and for 30 minutes, he said that will be a lot better. It was an amazing moment right there that he was just so gracious. That’s the word that keeps coming to mind. And the other thing and this was something that he arranged. It wasn’t staff or security or whatever.

And in fact, it threw kind of a monkey wrench into the wheel for all the people have to arrange all these things because they thought they were just going to drive me in the motorcade and the SUV over with the President from the ground a few moments away. And he corrected them and told them, no, this is the ride to the airport because that’s not nearly long.

Leahy: (Laughs) When we come back, Laura, we’re going to talk about your ride from the rally in the limo with the President and what he said to you.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: Set the stage for us. Where were you when the President came after the rally and you got it into the limo? What happened?

Baigert: President Trump asked me to walk around the other side of the SUV. When I got in there, he immediately handed me a Diet Coke. And then he offered me a drink, which was very gracious.

This is a man who has a lot on his mind and just delivered an amazing speech for just about an hour and a half. I mean, it was just fantastic. Not only the topics he covered but the inspirational send-off was just great.

So we get in and he checks in with his security guy who was there and asks a couple of questions about how do you think it went? And the size of the crowd. And just overall, very positive about the sense of how the event went.

Both from how he delivered the remarks and how they were received and all that. Then he asked me, what can I do for you? And this was the moment to ask what’s on everybody’s mind. Mr. President, what the people want to know, what they can do for you?

And it’s obvious through the rally that everybody wants him back sooner than later. It was a very nice conversation, just like you see him everywhere else. I think gracious comes to mind. And the other thing is consistency.

He’s the same all the time. What you see is what you get, which just portrays that he’s a very honest, trusting, and truthful person because it was the same all the way through. We discussed how the rally went, what’s going on in the various media outlets, the fake news, as he referred to them numerous times during the rally as he always does.

How the ratings have gone. He asked a lot of questions. So it was interesting. I’m not sure who was being interviewed. He was very interested in how The Georgia Star News is reporting.

He talked a lot about the election results and how all these states are working on it. And it’s not just about any one aspect, as he just issued another statement the other day talking about all the different things in discussing Bill Bar.

All the different things that went wrong in the election in all these different states. As you see, anytime he’s talking, he has this amazing ability to just rattle off all these statistics and facts and observations and people, places, and things.

His mind is constantly working. And you didn’t get the sense he was tired. It was so hot that day. He stood there for an hour and a half, delivering those remarks with such energy.

There was no change in getting there and sinking into the seat. And, boy, I would have been exhausted. Nothing like that.

Leahy: If it had been me and I’d get an hour and a half speech in the hot sun, I would have slumped into the seat and just said, get give me my Diet Coke and let me go to sleep. But there you were. You had one driver in the limo.

Baigert: Driver and the security. And it was so obvious, too, that they had such a good relationship. There was a good rapport where President Trump just kept checking in and talking about different things about the drive over and playing golf and very casual things. He treats everybody is the same.

Leahy: He seems like a normal person in terms of the interaction with you. Regular interaction.

Baigert: Yes. Absolutely. And here’s another thing. As you know, where the fairgrounds were, railroad tracks, bumpy ground on the grass. Gravel areas with little potholes, and then these country roads getting to the regional airport that he flew out of.

And so you’re turning a lot of corners, going over bumps, all of this. Not a thing about geez guys, could we avoid plotholes? Not a thing. It was just amazing how just like a regular person he acted and how you are the only person in the room and the most important thing that’s going on at that moment.

Leahy: You got the sense he’s a pretty positive guy.

Baigert: Absolutely. Absolutely. And even he asked opinions about various political figures that people want certain endorsements and things like that in their races. And he starts off presuming good until they do something different and prove themselves otherwise. And then he’s going to hit them after that.

Leahy: You had a very good interview with him. And the highlight, of course, was the big problem we have to fix is getting to the bottom of the 2020 election because if we can’t have confidence in elections, we don’t have a country anymore.

I think that was the main point, but it sounds like he was interviewing you to get your views on things as much as you were interviewing him.

Baigert: Right. It’s like if you had sat down with a friend and just kind of talked about the state of things the way they are today. I think it sort of makes sense. We have so many things on our minds right now. CRT, China, the virus, BLM, defund the police, and all of that doesn’t matter because we can’t really fix it until we have somebody right that will address it running the country. So it makes sense that the election is the most important thing.

Leahy: He was actually quite animated, shall we say, in his comments on certain individuals? We don’t necessarily have to name them, but they are out there in general. He gave direct assessments of certain individuals. Is that right?

Baigert: Oh, yes. Yes, he did. And it’s very interesting because it’s hard for people who aren’t subscribing to understand that. People just know what he means and understand just instinctually, what the message is that he’s portraying.

And they agree and know exactly what he’s talking about and why he’s saying what he’s saying. And he just gives a fair assessment of people. And, in fact, the person that he endorsed and kind of the purpose of his rally there was for Max Miller, who is seeking to replace Anthony Gonzalez.

And he gave a really great inside story about how Anthony Gonzalez wanted to fly on Air Force One every time he went back to Ohio. And then he turns around and votes to impeach President Trump for something that obviously wasn’t even true.

We can never even imagine all of the things that happen behind the scenes that maybe look like Trump is attacking people. And we have no idea that there’s stuff like that going on where people are taking advantage or have betrayed or presented themselves much differently than they really are.

Leahy: The big question for you. Do you think you’ll have another opportunity to interview the President?

Baigert: He sort of alluded to that at the end because he gave me a pen and said that there’s a story behind that and we’ll have to save that for the next time. It would be hard to top this moment. It’s one of those things where you wish you could just have a movie of it. I’m still pinching myself for such an amazing opportunity.

Leahy: Well, you know what’s interesting, Laura? It seems to me that your reporting has been so outstanding and so fact-based that the left has been unable to refute your reporting on the irregularities in the Georgia election.

I think the President respects that. And my view is that I think you’ve entered the next level of reporting here. I think this is not the one great moment for you. This is the beginning of many great reporting moments, Laura.

Baigert: Well, I sure hope so. We did have a unique opportunity with this Fulton County story. And as you said, we got attacked from the other side trying to refute what actually the Georgia Fulton County elections official admitted to us. It wasn’t our wording.

Leahy: It was theirs, and they couldn’t bring the reporting down. Laura Baigert, great job. Congratulations on that great journalistic get. That great interview with the former President. Thanks for joining us, Laura.

Baigert: Thank you.

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 Clint Brewer Ponders the Fate of the Republican Party

All Star Panelist Clint Brewer Ponders the Fate of the Republican Party

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Clint Brewer to the studio to discuss the replacement of Liz Cheney and the mechanics of a Republican Party destiny.

(Rep. Elise Stefanik clip plays)

Leahy: And that is Elise Stefanik who is the Congresswoman representing the congressional district in far Northern New York, where I used to live as a kid. And now last week, the big news, the political news in Washington, they threw Liz Cheney out of the conference chair position.

The number three position in the House of Representatives and replaced her with Elise Stefanik. Now, I think from a messaging point of view, Stefanik is absolutely on point. And Cheney was absolutely off point. What does this mean for the Republican Party’s future, Clint?

Brewer: Well, I mean, it’s a gamble, right? You could say that about anything in politics. But for this moment in time right now, I think she’s more on message for that House caucus. And I think the move was made because the House members who always have to seek reelection every two years, I think they’re looking to talk more about Democrats going into the midterms than they are a person in their own caucus. It had to do more fundraising in taking the House back than it did anybody’s ideology.

Leahy: Liz Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney under George W. Bush. She kind of got handed that seat in Wyoming. She’s not really from Wyoming.

Brewer: I think a lot of people get handed their seats in politics. (Laughs)

Leahy: I don’t disagree.

Brewer: That’s not unusual.

Leahy: We can’t criticize her too much about that. What was her thinking to go so far in attacking President Trump, and do we counter to the leadership, why did she think that was a good idea that would have a good outcome for her?

Brewer: I’m not sure she cared. I don’t think she did it because she thought it was politically savvy or a good idea. I think she did because it was her conviction. I think she believes it, and it’s her honest viewpoint. I know that’s an outlier in politics to actually share your honest viewpoint, but I think she’s just being honest with people about what she thought because it certainly didn’t help her any. So she wasn’t doing some desire to get ahead politically. I think she’s just telling what she felt like to be the truth.

Leahy: I think her duty, though, to me, if you’re going to be the number three person in the House, you should follow the party line. I think she probably should have resigned and then criticized Trump. But then she wouldn’t have got the visibility.

Brewer: That’s the gamble. So you see Cheney on one end of it, you see Stefanik and McCarthy on the other end of it. The gamble is you’re going to double down on your position. And there’s a fight for the party right now and which way it’s going to break. The House is a what have you done for me lately environment. They got to run.

Leahy: They’re running all the time.

Brewer: They are always running. They never start running.

Leahy: My hats off to all of the Republican members of the House of Representatives serving now because it’s a very frustrating job because it’s all being run dictatorially by Nancy Pelosi. They can’t get anything accomplished.

The only thing they can really do is to try to help in a year and a half, turn the House over and get Republicans in control. I think it’s a tough job. A frustrating job.

Brewer: Look, it’s a tough job if you’re in the majority. I mean, you’re always running. I think the standard stat that’s out there is in order to get re-elected to the House, you have to raise about $10,000 a day.

Leahy: That is a miserable existence.

Brewer: Yes it is.

Leahy: It really is.

Brewer: But, I mean, look, to your point about the party, the party right now is fractured. It’s trying to decide what the long-term prospects of the Donald Trump worldview are. And I think there are some people in the party, like Cheney, who disagree with it vehemently.

I think that every day that passes that former President Trump’s out of power and I think that worldview probably has a little less impact.

Leahy: I disagree. I think it’s gotten even more. I look at the polls in terms of Republicans and his support is as high as it’s ever been. Number one. Number two. Did you notice this? He’s going to start doing his rallies again.

Brewer: I did. And it’s going to be interesting to see how they go. I think early on, they’ll go really well, I just don’t believe it’s sustainable. I mean, you saw Reverend Franklin Graham come out and say, I don’t know if he’s going to be well enough health-wise and have the energy and the vigor needed to run again.

Leahy: Really? I missed that part of it. I’ve not heard that there are any health problems.

Brewer: I mean, he’s just his age. He’s reaching into advanced age.

Leahy: He’ll be about Joe Biden’s age in 2024.

Brewer: And look at what everybody says about Biden. I mean, it’s not a dissimilar situation.

Leahy: But they are just so different in terms of energy levels, don’t you think?

Brewer: In a gentleman of that age, a couple of years can make a big difference.

Leahy: That’s absolutely true.

Brewer: From 74 on every year, you’re looking for diminished capacity. We’re witnessing it with Joe Biden. And I think the party has to decide if that’s really the direction it wants to go. I mean, you’ve got a lot of people stepping up.

We talked about it in the studio during the Georgia run-offs. You had a host of characters headed down there. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: A host of characters. I like that. The usual suspects.

Brewer: The usual traditional displaying of plumage and ceremonial dances (Leahy laughs) that go along with sidling up to running for a major political office.

Leahy: That’s very good.

Brewer: And that’s what you saw. So I think you’ve got a number of U.S. senators interested in running. I think you’ve got members of his former cabinet who are interested in running.

Leahy: Mike Pompeo.

Brewer: Pompeo. Nikki Haley.

Leahy: She kind of self-destructed back there a little bit. Didn’t she?

Brewer: I think she’s probably more attuned to Liz Cheney than she is to Donald Trump in terms of her values. I think Stefanik and McCarthy. I mean, look at McCarthy before Trump, he was just kind of a templated neocon.

Leahy: A templated neocon. That’s very good.

Brewer: He was not a Trump populist, but he got on the bandwagon, and that’s what it is. It’s a bandwagon and bandwagons run out of steam and they run out of gas. They stop eventually.

Leahy: Now you talked about governors and we have some governors coming to Nashville in a couple of weeks. The Republican Governors Association.

Brewer: Big event.

Leahy: That we’re trying to get a ticket to for interviews. The leadership now in the Republican Party of action is at the level of governors. And, of course, the number one guy people think of Ron DeSantis in Florida.

Brewer: Well, I agree. And I think DeSantis is an interesting position. A lot of the knocks on Republicans have been how we’ve comported ourselves during the pandemic, and Florida has done really well. He’s made all the right moves. He managed it very well at the state level.

Leahy: By the way, the legacy media in Florida hate his guts.

Brewer: Oh yeah.

Leahy: Totally hate him. That’s one of the reasons why we started as our seventh title at the Star News Network. We started The Florida Capital Star and getting great stories out of there. A big story today, Jeb “low energy” Bush former governor there, that guy. He has come out and criticized Governor DeSantis for his support of online gambling for the Seminole Nation.

That’s become a bill down there, sports betting. And Jeb Bush has come out vigorously opposing that. I don’t think that helps. I don’t know why Jeb is doing that. But I think it’s popular, frankly, down there. DeSantis is doing a lot of popular things.

Brewer: Well, it’s popular everywhere. Human beings like to gamble. I think that’s something you can say pretty affirmatively no matter where you are, people find a way to gamble. Is it the best thing for society? I don’t know. But not entirely. But is it something we really have a right to tell people no on? Not really. Can the government regulate it and tax it so it’s not completely destructive. I mean, there’s a role there.

Leahy: And it’s online all kinds of gambling, not just sports doing down there. Well, it’s very interesting. We’re going to try to get Governor DeSantis in studio here in the next couple of weeks. Maybe Kristi Noem and a few others.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Discusses the Future of the Republican Party

Crom Carmichael Discusses the Future of the Republican Party

 

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 to give his take on the future of the Republican Party.

(Liz Cheney clip plays)

Leahy: That’s Liz Cheney trying to explain why she’s gone anti-Trump and is parroting the lines of Nancy Pelosi. She was elected as a Republican in a state that loves Donald Trump in Wyoming.

Carmichael: Well, and also, apparently, she is completely oblivious to what the Democrats are trying to do to destroy our democracy in Washington. Apparently, she’s completely oblivious to that. Let’s assume that she believes what she’s saying. I don’t believe politically that it is sustainable in the Republican Party.

I just simply don’t. I think she thinks that the last election was a perfectly fine election and that all the mail out ballots and all of the stopping of counting of voting from midnight to 4:00 a.m. in the morning and all of the irregularities and all of the Zuckerberg drop boxes, all of those were perfectly normal.

Leahy: She obviously missed all of our reporting at The Georgia Star News, where we documented more than six months after the election that there still is no chain of custody for more than 300,000 absentee votes by mail-in ballots placed in drop boxes.

Carmichael: Right. There’s a guy named Miles Taylor. Now, I never knew who Miles Taylor was, but it turned out he’s the guy that wrote the book Anonymous.

Leahy: He’s like a very low level.

Carmichael: Low-level guy, but he was part of the internal government ‘resistance’ while he was a member of the Trump administration. Now, here’s the question to me. If you’re working in an administration and you don’t like what the administration is doing, it seems to me that you have a duty to quit.

If you want to criticize quit. But you shouldn’t be a member of the administration and trying to thwart what the administration is doing. And I’ll guarantee you that anybody in the Biden administration who’s acting like that…

Leahy: They are out.

Carmichael: They are not only out, but their lives are also ruined.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. By the way, Crom, we just got a statement from former President Trump hot off the email presses.

Carmichael: What does it say?

Leahy: Statement by Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States. The Republicans in the House of Representatives have a great opportunity today to rid themselves of a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart. As a representative of the great state of Wyoming, Liz Cheney is bad for our country and bad for herself. Almost everyone in the Republican Party, including 90 percent of Wyoming, looks forward to her ouster. And that includes me.

Carmichael: Well, there you go.

Leahy: But tell us what you really think, Mr. Former President. (Chuckles)

Carmichael: It’s statements like that that bother people because there’s no nuance. (Leahy chuckles) And by the way, there’s no nuance in what Liz Cheney has said. There really isn’t. You have Liz Cheney essentially calling out former President Trump, and you have Trump responding.

Leahy: Punching her right in the nose basically.

Carmichael: But she punched him in the nose too by calling him a liar. Now the Republicans in the House will determine whether or not she remains in a leadership position.

And assuming that the Republicans vote today that she does not stay in a leadership position, then it’ll be up to the voters of Wyoming to decide if she stays in Congress.

I’m betting that she doesn’t even run. I’m betting that she’s angling for a different position. Just as a House member with no committee chairmanships and no power that just doesn’t strike me as appealing to her. Plus, I don’t think she’ll win reelection. I don’t think she’ll win the primary.

Leahy: She’s got a lot of money and she loves the power just like her dad did. But I’ll tell you what I’m tempted to do, Crom.

Carmichael: What are you tempted to do? A lunch bet?

Leahy: Not a lunch bet because, you know, we’re expanding. We’re now in seven states. The Tennessee Star, and we’re in Florida. We’re in Virginia. We got The Virginia Star, The Michigan Star, the MinnesotaSun, The Ohio Star, The Georgia Star News. Now we are planning to add the Arizona Sun-Times, The Wisconsin Daily Sun, and The Texas Loan Star in the near future.

Okay, but I’m really tempted. I am tempted to open up The Wyoming Daily Star in Cheyanne just to track what ole’ Liz Cheney is up to over the next year or two. I am tempted to do that.

Carmichael: We probably could find somebody up there.

Leahy: We could find somebody.

Carmichael: Who could do that.

Leahy: In all of our states, we have reporters in those states who know the states. So if you know anybody in Wyoming who is interested in reporting, we might like to talk to them.

Carmichael: It’ll be interesting. But the future of the Republican Party had this Miles Taylor who I mentioned earlier. He was in the Trump administration and he resisted.

Leahy: He was in the Homeland Security Department as an aid, to an aid, to an aid, or something.

Carmichael: Yeah, and he was part of the resistance. So he wrote this book Anonymous, which is a really childish and cowardly way of doing things. He is now organizing a group of 100 Republicans and former members of Congress and former Bush administration people who will ceremoniously leave the party.

Now, among those people are Charlie Dent. Now, these are all people who used to be in the House who either quit or got beat. Charlie Dent, Barbara Comstock, Reid Ribble, and Mickey Edwards.

Leahy: Mickey Edwards, he’s a Democrat.

Carmichael: Is he a Democrat now?

Leahy: He’s a Democrat.

Carmichael: Okay, well, he’s already left the party. And then former governors Tom Ridge and Christie Todd.

Leahy: Oh, Tom Ridge awful. Mickey Edwards was a Republican. I stand corrected.

Carmichael: What I’m saying is these are a bunch of has-beens. They really are. They really are a bunch of has-beens and they’re going to ceremoniously leave the party going back to the 70s and what you and I think is Biden is doing a replay of the Carter years.

Leahy: Except worse.

Carmichael: Yes, I agree. There were millions of Democrats who left the Democrat Party and voted for Reagan. And so I’ll trade millions for 100. (Leahy laughs) I’ll trade out millions for 100 because Trump has inspired millions of people who previously didn’t vote at all to come out and vote and support policies that put America first.

Depending on how you want to describe it, that’s not a nationalist isolationist policy. What it is is just saying that when he’s negotiating with foreign powers, Trump always put America’s interests ahead of the interest of those that he was negotiating with. And he said I expect them to do the same thing.

Leahy: That’s the way sovereign countries should work.

Carmichael: And that’s how you end up with an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. They may be a win-win, but at least it’s satisfactory. And one party doesn’t capitulate.

Leahy: The Biden Harris Winken, Blinken, and Nod philosophy, and I say that because Tony Blinken is Secretary of State. Their philosophy is basically to concede America’s interest to the other party. That’s basically it.

Carmichael: Yeah. And then they’re also interested in only the politics. If they can bring in two or three million people into this country, that helps them win reelections even if bringing those people in increases drugs, increases the death from overdoses, increases rapes, murders, and crime in general. Even if it does all those things, they literally don’t care.

And that’s really the difference between the two parties. One is a party of government, and anything that empowers government is something that Democrats will do. Republicans have become the party of the working men and women of this country and stand up for standing up for the American worker.

Leahy: The Biden, Winken, Blinken, and Nod’s foreign policy is weakness and appeasement. And we’ve seen what happens with that. Iran is taking advantage of us and then Hamas is bombing Israel. And they’re trying to now appease them both. It’s just ridiculous.

Carmichael: Bad policy.

Leahy: Weak, weak, weak.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Trump Move to New Jersey and Next House Freedom Caucus Speaker

Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Trump Move to New Jersey and Next House Freedom Caucus Speaker

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line who speculated Donald Trump’s move to New Jersey, a Ron DeSantis VP ticket, and his recent article about the choice for House Freedom Caucus Speaker.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the very best Washington correspondent in the country. The Washington Correspondent for The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: How you doing, Michael? Very good to be with you.

Leahy: Well, you have a great story on Mark Meadows. But before I get to that, here’s the big question for you today. A report in The Daily Caller that President Trump is moving his residence from Florida to New Jersey. Former President Trump. Does that have any possible implications for 2024 Neil McCabe?

McCabe: Well, I think as a practical matter with his location in Bedminster, New Jersey basically puts him an hour from Manhattan and three hours from D.C. So it just facilitates moving, meeting with people. Whether it’s fundraisers or operatives or even members of Congress and being able for him to reach out to people or people being able to reach him within a three-hour drive.

Or if you take a private jet or even if you drove from D.C. all of a sudden, meeting with Trump is a day trip. It’s not an overnight stay or something like that, which is what’s going down at Mar-a-Lago. But the second thing is that it is just practical. I lived in Tampa, Florida, for two years. I thought the summers were going to kill me.

To survive in Florida you basically move from one air-conditioned space to another air-conditioned space. And there are moments when you leave the car and in between leaving the car and getting into the Starbucks, you’re attacked by the heat down there. And if it wasn’t for air conditioning, you wouldn’t even have Florida. (Laughter) Seriously, the heat there will kill you.

Leahy: So let me tell you what I read into this. If Donald Trump is a resident of New Jersey and not Florida, that means there is no political penalty to him if he runs in 2024 in a ticket that he heads as president and Ron DeSantis the governor, Florida as vice president. What do you think of that?

McCabe: Well, I think that that is very much in play. And I think you saw the same pictures that I saw of President Trump talking with De Santis at that fundraiser for the National Republican Senate Committee. And there’s definitely a primary going on for vice president. I think Pompeo is very excited about that. And it’s like in NASCAR, you ride behind another car. Basically, he’s breaking through the wind and you’re just sort of hiding behind it.

Leahy: Drafting off them.

McCabe: Right. This is what Ted Cruz tried to do in the 2016 campaign, but just Trump got too far ahead and Cruz could never pull the move that he wanted to pull. I think that definitely, that’s what Pompeo is doing. I think DeSantis is very busy being the governor of Florida right now. But there are some other people in the veep sweepstakes. But I think that definitely, that is in play, Mike. But I think transferring your residence from Florida, which has no income tax, to New Jersey, which has nothing but tax, he may put that off for a year or two.

Leahy: Exactly.

McCabe: And keep some money in his pocket.

Leahy: Your story at the tenesseestar.com and throughout our constellation of Star News Network sites now in seven States, Mark Meadows Vows: ‘The House Freedom Caucus Is Choosing the Next Speaker. Tell us about that story.

McCabe: So Saturday, there was a fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund, which is the political action committee associated with the House Freedom Caucus. And so Trump was there and Meadows was there who spoke after Trump. And as he was walking off the platform, it wasn’t really a stage, but there was a platform set up.

And as he was walking back to his seat, he told people within earshot that the Freedom Caucus is choosing the next Speaker. This is not an idle boast because Mark Meadows is the guy who took down John Boehner. And Mark Meadows was also working behind the scenes to block Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker. Unfortunately, as things were moving around and our dear friend Matt Boyle was covering this at Breitbart, Boyle told me that Marsha Blackburn was going to be set up to be the conservative candidate for Speaker.

And they scrambled to get Paul Ryan before Blackburn could put things together. When Mark Meadows says he’s going to choose the next Speaker, there’s a very good chance he is going to choose the next Speaker. And what it means is that Kevin McCarthy does not have the confidence of Meadows or Trump or Jim DeMint, who was also at that fundraiser Saturday. And remember that the House Republicans at their annual retreat in Orlando, which is about two and a half hours up the street from Palm Beach, didn’t invite Trump.

Liz Cheney, as the head of the Republican Conference, she owns that retreat. That’s run by her staff. That’s like her event every year. So obviously, Liz Cheney, who basically tells anyone who will listen that Trump is a criminal and a traitor, didn’t want him there. But the fact that McCarthy would not insist on bringing Trump tells you that McCarthy is afraid of his own shadow and he’s always going to take the coward’s choice.

Leahy: I think you’re probably right on that. Ben Cunningham has a question for you.

Cunningham: Hey, Neil.

McCabe: Hey.

Cunningham: James Carville has been getting a lot of press with his critique of Democrats and the threat of wokeness to their 2022 prospects. Is that reflective of the Democrats in general? Do they understand this as a real threat or is Carville just kind of trying to get back into the news cycle now?

McCabe: No. He’s correct. Everyone understands that this is not a mystery. It’s just that you have to choose. Are you going to play the long game or you’re going to play the short con? And right now, Biden is playing the short con. He is playing smash and grab.

Cunningham: That’s a great point.

McCabe: And this is typical that all of the consequential Democratic presidents. If you look at what Barack Obama did in his first two years, Dodd Frank, ObamaCare is the law of the land. Obama may have lost the Senate and he may have lost the House and he may have been embarrassed, but his priorities and his legislation are the law of the land.

What Johnson did in his first two years, Medicare and all that other stuff, that’s the law of the land. And it’s been 60 years. In the first two years, the Democrats have learned to just go for it. Smash and grab. And if they lose the House and they lose the Senate, who cares? Democrats are worried about the agenda. Republicans are like, oh, no, we’ll lose our majority.

Republicans would prefer to have a majority and do nothing with it because they’re afraid of losing a majority. This is the problem that Conservatives have because we’re stuck with the Republican Party. But the Republican Party has no interest in advancing our concerns.

Leahy: What is the impact, Neil, of the redistricting now with the census? Texas picks up two seats. Florida picks up a seat. New York loses one. California loses one. Michigan loses one. We got one minute left, Neil.

McCabe: I was surprised that Florida didn’t pick up an extra one. But what you’re seeing is that old blue States are losing out, and it’s going to be critical in their culturally conservative States where the unions are very strong. And that’s why Biden is pushing this pro-union legislation because States like Kentucky, Colorado, or Montana have active Democratic parties even though they’re conservative States because of the union.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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