Crom Carmichael on the Polarization of the United States of America

Crom Carmichael on the Polarization of the United States of America


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 original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who referenced a recent article by Byron York about the polarization in America and his take on market impact.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.

Carmichael: Morning Michael.

Leahy: Crom, you know I’m taking the next week off. A week from today is Memorial Day. We will have a best of programs. And Scooter we have so many great programs it’s going to be hard for you to pick the best of? (Laughter) Like there are so many great programs.

Then on Tuesday and when Wednesday sitting in my seat, the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report, Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party. And if all goes well, Thursday and Friday, co-founder of The Tennessee Star, Christina Botteri, will be sitting in for me on Thursday and Friday. So Crom, you’ll have a guest host on Wednesday and Friday of next week. I know you’ll miss me. Yes, I’m sure you will miss me desperately.

Carmichael:  Hope wherever you are it’s successful.

Leahy: So do I. Well, you are busy reading, as you always are. And you read a column by Byron York. A very good writer. Tell us about that column.

Carmichael: Well, what Byron York points out is that over the last gosh six decades and after 100 days, there are polls that are taken on the approval and disapproval or actually, it’s not even approval of disapproval. It’s the approval of the President.

Leahy: After a hundred days?

Carmichael: Yes. And they divide it by GOP and Democrat. And under Biden, the approval rate among Republicans is nine percent. The approval rate among Democrats is 90 percent. So the gap between the two is 81 percent.

Leahy: 90 percent approval of Democrats for Biden.

Carmichael: So don’t focus on that. Focus on the gap between the two because with Lyndon Johnson who was a pretty polarizing guy, the gap was 15 points. Now with Nixon had got to 39 points. Then it went back down to Gerald Ford 31.

Jimmy Carter was 27, and Reagan was 45. But then after that, it dropped back down to 39. And that was George H. Bush in ’89. So that’s three decades ago that it’s gone from 39 to 57 to 62 to 63. Trump was 77. Biden is 81.

So it shows that our country, this is the point, it shows that our country is becoming incredibly polarized. This is what is very disturbing. And this is what I talk about a lot since you had me back on the show. And that is that the Democrat Party is the party of government and those affiliated with the government.

And the Republican Party is the party of everybody else. If you perceive yourself to be affiliated with the government or benefiting from government and you don’t think you can benefit from government in a free society with less government, then you’re going to support Democrats.

But the effect of that over the last 20 years certainly is that the deficit. And the way Democrats have maintained their influence among voters is they just throw around money. And there is a limit to that. I don’t know what it is, but when we reach it, we’ll reach it in a hurry.

Leahy: Things will start really falling apart. Economically.

Carmichael: In my lifetime we’ve had at least five Black Swan event-type of things. In the ’70s there were two liquidity crises. Then you had in ’87, you had a real estate debacle. Then you had the dot com boom-bust.

Leahy: Boom then bust.

Carmichael: Boom then bust around the year 2000. Then you had 2008 to 2010 once again, real estate debacle. And when those things occur, everybody is surprised. For example, I have been asking, I have friends and then I meet people who are in the investment business.

They’re professionals with investment banking firms. And I asked them, I said, what is your firm’s position on how the market is. Where does it sit and where is it headed? And I get the same answer from every literally the same answer from everyone.

As long as the Fed is accommodating and interest rates stay low, then the market will go up. When all the professionals in the market and I’m not saying all of them, but a majority when all of them think the same thing, typically, whatever it is they think turns out to be incorrect because markets are contrary.

When the people are incredibly bullish, that means people are fully invested. So there’s not a whole lot more to drive the markets up. And as these people point out is that when you have the Fed providing liquidity, then there is a lot of money chasing assets. But if inflation pops up…

Leahy: Which it’s doing.

Carmichael: Well, if it pops up even more and it’s longer-term than one or two months, then all of a sudden the Fed will have to adjust its behavior.

Leahy: Interest rates will have to go up.

Carmichael: They’ll have to push them up and they’ll have to tighten liquidity. And when that happens, then that’s when the markets will adjust, because the investment community thinks that the Feds are going to keep interest rates down and provide liquidity.

If they do, then the markets will continue to go up when everybody thinks the same thing is going to happen. So I want to get back to what this article is, which is so interesting to me is that even Democrats invest in the stock market. Republicans invest in the stock market.

But you see this huge difference in opinion. The Democrat party is now revealing itself in that it does not look right now from where I sit, I think that Biden’s tax package is all but dead. I think that his infrastructure program is all but dead.

And if those two things are all but dead or actually are dead, then his family Bill will never even get on the runway. And so what we’ll have is we’ll be going into the midterm, where the leadership of the Democrat Party was pushing an incredibly reckless agenda.

But it was three or four Democrats in the Senate who stood their ground silently, along with Republicans who stood their ground vocally. They kept the left that controls the Democrat Party now from doing some things that would just wreak havoc on the economy.

It will be interesting to see if things don’t do well. First of all, if Biden doesn’t get his big tax package passed and doesn’t get infrastructure and doesn’t get anything done, whether or not he will remain as popular among Democrats. I think a big part of his popularity among Democrats is he’s not Trump.

Leahy: Bingo.

Carmichael: And as long as Trump exists as a political force, which is going to be…

Leahy: Unless something happens.

Carmichael: Unless something happens to him, he will, then Biden’s popularity among Democrats. There are still Independents’ out there, which probably represent among these people who are polled. I’m going to say maybe 15 to 20 percent who don’t claim they’re not either one.

In which case they don’t participate in the poll, as long as Trump is out there than Biden’s popularity, regardless of what he does. And this is to me, what’s a little bit different because when George W. Bush was President, he lost his popularity in his last two years with Republicans.

When he left office, his popularity was 29 percent. And that’s because everybody had lost confidence in him. And I was among those. And the more time passes, my sense of it is he will be as a President.

Leahy: Absolutely. His ratings are going to continue to plummet.

Carmichael: And he’ll be down in the bottom third of presidents all the time fairly soon. And I think he’ll continue to drop below that. There are some people who think the world of George Bush. He was a fine gentleman. And even when people attack him, he would respond by turning the other cheek. And some people see that as a virtue. I think it’s virtuous in some professions.

Leahy: No not at all.

Carmichael: I don’t think it’s effective as a politician, especially as President. I think if you don’t fight for what you believe in, then the public soon begins to believe that you don’t believe in anything at all. This poll with Byron York shows the polarization in the country, and we’ll talk about that more when we get back.

Leahy: I completely agree. The question is, what does this mean for the future? We’ll talk about that.

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.
Photo “Crom Carmichael” by Crom Carmichael.












State Senator Janice Bowling Talks Priorities: Abortion Remains Burial and Fiber to Premises for Rural Communities

State Senator Janice Bowling Talks Priorities: Abortion Remains Burial and Fiber to Premises for Rural Communities


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 (TN-16) Senator Janice Bowling to the newsmakers line to discuss her priorities in the current session with common-sense bills that she’s passed and continues to work towards.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by our good friend, State Senator Janice Bowling from Tullahoma. Good morning, Senator Bowling.

Bowling: Good morning, Michael. How are you in Nashville?

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted that we have this time to chat with you. Very busy time in the Tennessee General Assembly. You’ve been pretty busy at it as well. Tell us what your priorities are and how they’re doing so far.

Bowling: Well, I’ve had several priorities with this session, and one was to get the bill passed that allows for the burial of the human remains of a child after an abortion. And that sounds like, my goodness, what were they doing prior to now? But that legislation has passed out of committee very handily. And hopefully we will get that on the floor and that will be passed in Tennessee. There had been no regulatory oversight for that. And even though we had regulatory oversight for veterinarians on what to do with animals, we had nothing for the human remains, even abortion.

Leahy: That sounds like common sense legislation to me, Senator Bowling.

Bowling: It really was common decency, common sense. I think it was Supreme Court Justice Thomas and his talk with the majority when it was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court that he said the insane thing is that we would have to be even discussing that this would take place and would be appropriate to take place.

Leahy: I agree with Justice Thomas. I almost always agree with him.

Bowling: So do I. I really admire him so much. And then another bill that I’ve carried now for multiple years, Michael, is the expansion of fiber to the premises in Tennessee, particularly in rural Tennessee. Fiber to the premises. And at one time I said high-speed Internet. But then you get into discussions with all of the providers about what constitutes high-speed Internet.

And they were trying to say 10 megs down and three megs up. Well, you need symmetrical these days. You’ve got to have upload and download speeds. The only thing that really gives you symmetry is fiber. So rather than trying to argue the points that 10 megs down and three megs up is more like a tom tom drum or kerosene lantern that you waive in the window it’s really not appropriate for 21st century needs.

I just left off anything that said broadband and went straight to fiber to the premises because, with that, you can stream videos. You can do voice over Internet. You will have more than adequate bandwidth and speed for everything. And it’s really 80 percent of your cost is going to be in the installation of the product. So go ahead and put in what’s future proof. You don’t need radio waves in rural Tennessee. Hills, hollers, trees, and weather, those things all interrupt. Plus they’re not secure. So that was one thing. And I did get four votes in committee this year.

Leahy: So you keep making progress on that. Senator Bowling, you know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of the Rural Electrification Act in the 1930s.

Bowling: 1937. You are exactly correct. And what some of my colleagues say incorrectly, in my opinion, is that you’re trying to interfere with the free market. Well, I would submit to you that when a company has regulatory protection and has tax subsidies, which is what the legacy providers, as they call them have and they’ve gotten the benefits of universal tax since the 1990s.

About five years ago, one of the largest providers had received over nine billion dollars of tax subsidy in order to expand broadband into rural America. And one of the providers gets $500,000. a month from Tennesseeans to expand the product. And we are still without it.

Leahy: What is the state of that in the status of fiber to the premises in rural Tennessee right now?

Bowling: Well, right now, the sad tragedy is that if you have electricity anywhere in Tennessee, you have fiber running in front of your home because TVA requires SCADA systems and those are internal auditings if you will. They determine if there’s an outage. Where is it? It’s an internal ability to know exactly where you are online, where you’re not, and many other facets of the provision of electricity.

Now, Chattanooga got a grant back when Obama was President, and fortunately, they used it successfully. They created the SCADA system for Chattanooga, and they then expanded that into fiber to the premises. And we all know what has happened in Chattanooga since that happened. Someone complained about the source of the original grant. And my theory on that is, I don’t like for the government to pay for things, but once they roast that hog, I want to make sure that my people, my constituents, get as many ribs as they can.

Leahy: (Laughs) I’ve not heard that phrase, but where did you pick up that phrase? That’s a good one.

Bowling: That is a Janice. I have lots of phrases.

Leahy: Do you? I love that phrase. That’s very good.

Bowling: But it’s very common sense. And on my mountain, within my district and the rural seven counties, they have a lot of sayings that I have picked up on, such as plain talk which is easily understood. And when you talk plainly it is. Everyone knows exactly what’s being discussed, and you don’t need to flower things up. Sometimes you just need to give the truth, the plain truth, and nothing but the truth. And they also say if there’s a problem, there’s a solution. If there is no solution, there is no problem. Think about it.

Leahy: Well, I think also, your ability to craft a phrase may come from your long experience as a teacher. You were a teacher. And now you represent the Tullahoma and the surrounding counties in the state Senate.

Bowling: Yes. As a matter of fact, I taught when my husband was in graduate school, then he went into the Air Force and we went to California, and we began our family…

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.