Mayor Andy Ogles and Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Grant Henry Discuss the Cuban Protests and the Fight for Freedom

Mayor Andy Ogles and Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Grant Henry Discuss the Cuban Protests and the Fight for Freedom

 

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 Grassroots Engagement Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to review false narratives regarding the Cuban protests and questioned whether Americans value their freedom as many were seen marching with American flags.

(Antony Blinken clip plays)

It shows that they simply are not hearing the voices and will of the Cuban people: People deeply, deeply, deeply tired of the repression that has gone on for far too long, tired of the mismanagement.

Leahy: That’s the current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the poster child for the beta-male of American foreign policy under the maladministration of Joe Biden, formerly with that esteemed law firm Winken, Blinken, and Nod. Obviously, the guy is not ready for primetime. All these things going on in Cuba and all you hear from Biden and Blinken is, don’t do that.

Don’t do that. Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida, hitting back a lot harder. I don’t know why it’s so hard for the Biden administration to criticize Marxism.

Grant Henry and Andy Ogles in here. Grant, with Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee and Andy, mayor of Maury County. Here’s the story, Grant. I want to get you reacting to this report. Communists beat a dissident Cuban priest, drag him through the streets.

A Cuban priest reportedly remains in police custody as of Monday after police beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stripped him in his native Camagüey, Cuba for supporting peaceful protests. What do you make of this, Grant?

Henry: Here’s my statement. I actually wrote it last night. May God bless the brave Cuban freedom demonstrators standing up to their totalitarian Communist government.

It’s quite telling, actually, to watch Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the hard left who normally comment on everything, who say nothing now.

And it’s ridiculous to see mainstream medicine shortages and high prices. Note, the American flags, the anti-Communist, pro-freedom signs at the protest.

This is the grassroots uprising by courageous people who are risking prison, beatings, and even death in the hope of freedom.

I say, “what an inspiring sight.” And that’s a quote I got from a great man who shall not be named Michael. But I think it’s quite fitting for right now.

Leahy: (Laughs) Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County. Bernie Sanders, a great proponent of communism and socialism – the guy that spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union.

That gives you the idea of what kind of guy this was. He’s praised the Castro regime in the past. Where is he on all of this?

Ogles: I think when you look at the current education system in the United States and why critical race theory in this new agenda of propaganda that’s crept into our schools is such a problem because by rewriting history, we don’t learn from history.

And so you look at when the Bolsheviks, and the revolution that took place between 1917 and 1923, were revolting against the oligarchy.

And then the moment they seized power, they destroyed everything that they talked about. You fast forward to 1934, the three-day purge, the Night of the Long Knives, and when fascism swept Germany. We know how this story ends. It’s like the Bible. I read the end. I know the outcome. And you look at Russia, you look at Germany, you look at Venezuela, and you look at Cuba.

Marxism, socialism, and Faucism, whatever you want to call it, does not end well for freedom. And we’ve got to stand up to these governors that are more interested in photo ops. And they are a substantive change and fighting and are destroying our country by their complacency.

Leahy: There’s a story at Breitbart by my colleague Alana Mastrangelo. Over the years, there’s been no shortage of woke left-wing celebrities like Steven Spielberg, Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry, who have vacationed in Communist Cuba normalizing and spending their money in a country with a government that controls the flow of money as well as brutalizes and murders its own people.

Grant Henry, with Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee, what’s your reaction to that?

Henry: Look, I think we’re in a time of the Orwellian sort of foreshadowing of prediction that the heresy of heresies is common sense.

Do you know what I’m saying? We’re now in the time where even to question something in the realm of common sense is a heresy.

And I think that’s part of the allure. Conservatives would do ourselves justice to admit the fact that communism on paper is a presentation of a utopia.

That’s what we’re fighting against. What we’re fighting against is the lie of a utopia that will never really come to be. But I promise you all, I promise you, one of the reasons why I really love working for Americans for Prosperity – because our pitch is this:

Look, you are not a perpetual victim. You are not some liability that needs to be taken care of. You do not have to constantly and continually subsist upon the handouts of the government.

You can do it yourself. You are empowered. You are strong. You can start that small business. I personally believe the creator of the universe has chosen you specifically for this time here now to have a talent that only you can do. If you plug that in properly, incredible things can happen.

Leahy: Andy Ogles, a little touch of irony here. Do you want to jump in here?

Ogles: I just want to say, “Amen, man.”

Leahy: Amen, brother. Preach it! Preach it, Grant Henry! Are you sure you’re a political guy?

Henry: What he’s calling me to.

Leahy: A little touch of irony here, Andy. Again, another story by Alana Mastrangelo, my colleague. She’s great, by the way, at Breitbart.

Twitter, I start off Twitter commenting on what’s going on in Cuba, already I’m laughing. Twitter describes the Cuban anticommunist hashtag as people, “helping to spread awareness of coronavirus.”

While thousands of Cubans were taking to the streets on Sunday to demand an end to the 62-year-old Communist regime and the #SOSCuba was trending, Twitter falsely described the hashtag as “people are helping spread awareness on the impact of COVID-19 in Cuba as cases hit an all-time high in the country.”

Ogles: I remember back in the day reading Huxley’s A Brave New World or Orwells 1984. And it was like, this is science fiction, right?

This is a parallel universe that could never come to pass. Then here we are in this era of COVID and we’re romanticizing Cuba?

Have you not been paying attention since the 1950s? That place has gone from a robust economy to devastation. And you’re going to blame America?

And it should be noted that the people that are in the streets crying for freedom, they’re waving American flags.

Leahy: Here’s another story from Breitbart. They were on a roll last night by my colleague Wendell Husebo. Grant, I want to get your reaction to this.  Joe Biden’s Cuba statement doesn’t mention beatings, shootings of protesters.

President Joe Biden issued a statement on Monday claiming to, “Stand with the Cuban people” against their repressive Communist regime, but failing to mention widespread reports of public gang beatings and live fire against unarmed protesters on the part of state security.

Henry: This is the Communist playbook, too. And not just what you mentioned. In the Communist playbook, you can see actually tracking data where the state government has completely cut off phone lines and Internet lines as well. And from something that Mayor Ogles just mentioned here a second ago – that they’re waving American flags.

Not just in Cuba, but they did the same thing in Hong Kong. It gets me at my core. It’s a guttural reaction that I think sometimes are we worthy of that.

Honestly, has anyone listened to this programmer of Americans, step back and really ask yourself, are we truly worthy of other people fighting for freedom in the name of our flag?

Do we honestly believe in freedom that much? That’s a thing that will get you to your core if you really think about it enough.

Ogles: And part of this, too, is again, going back to Critical Race Theory. This is a big deal. It’s destroyed our country as part of that supplemental material here in the state of Tennessee.

In Tennessee is George versus George,  George Washington versus King George. And the villain in the book is George Washington.

Leahy: This is a curriculum endorsed by Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn, the UC Berkeley graduate with very little classroom teaching experience appointed by Governor Bill Lee.

Ogles: So we’re teaching children in America in the state of Tennessee, in Williamson County and in Middle Tennessee, to hate America.

Leahy: Well, I think a lot of the kids that graduated from those kinds of schools go on to report for The New York Times. Here’s another story at Breitbart.

They were on a roll last night. The New York Times on Cuba protests. Freedom is an anti-government slogan. The New York Times described the chance of freedom as thousands of strong, peaceful protests in Cuba on Sunday as one of several ‘anti-government slogans popular among the congregated.’

The Times also erroneously reported the protests were about ‘food and medicine shortages.’ Grant, what do you think?

Henry: Again, that type of narrative is either purposely misleading, purposefully misleading at best, or malicious at worst. You get what I’m saying.

Leahy: Andy Ogles, here’s another one. In Cuba, police leave an AP photographer bloody after a public beating. Cuban authorities have cracked down on the international free press and mass demonstrations against the Communist regime, with police assaulting reporters and photojournalists in the crowd. Your reaction.

Ogles: You look at the state of our country and you look at people not wanting to respect the flag or to stand for the anthem and meanwhile, in Cuba, Venezuela, Hong Kong, China, and other parts of the world, they waive the flag because it means something.

It means hope. It means the opportunity. You have the right to disagree and not to be persecuted for it. And that’s the problem with the left, this double standard.

We are a Republic of free States. I’ve said this many times, I support California’s right to be liberal, to be socialist leaning. But at the same token, if you’re in Tennessee or South Dakota or South Carolina or Florida or Texas, you have the right to be conservative.

But they will persecute you, and they will censor you. They will try to silence you because that’s not how they view the world, nor do they value the Constitution.

Leahy: We’ll be back with more later. By the way, these Cuban protests, there are thousands in at least 16 cities who took part in these peaceful protests on Sunday.

So there is a movement going on in Cuba for freedom! Not a bad word. Freedom. That’s what we support here.

Listen to the full third hour here:

– – –

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 “Cuban Protesters” by BBC. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans for Prosperity’s Grant Henry Talks Communism and Its ‘Useful Idiots’

Americans for Prosperity’s Grant Henry Talks Communism and Its ‘Useful Idiots’

 

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 Grassroots Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry to the studio to discuss his in-laws’ experience with real communism and how Americans are born with liberty and freedom in their DNA that is being diluted by left-wing government propaganda its useful idiots.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend Grant Henry, the grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity, Tennessee. Good morning, Grant.

Henry: Good morning, sir. I’m happy to be back.

Leahy: Well, the fourth of July. You take a look at this fourth of July. The public demonstration seemed to be a little different than in the past.

There was a report that several members of the US women’s National Team turned away from the American flag as a 98-year-old World War II veteran played the National anthem on his harmonica.

And then Democrat Cori Bush went out and said, America’s a terrible country on the Fourth of July. Not exactly the way I think we should celebrate the Fourth of July. Grant, how did you celebrate your Fourth of July?

Henry: Completely opposite from that. I celebrated my Fourth of July, obviously spending time with friends and family. And in particular, having a conversation with my in-laws. My wife is her entire family is from Romania.

Leahy: Romania. Formally under Communist dictatorship. What? Ceaușescu is a terrible guy who was running it while the Soviets were they were part of the Soviet block.

Henry: Yes. And to hear them discussing it is an enlightening conversation, to say the least. And I’ll say right now if you have never had the pleasure of doing so, I would strongly recommend having a conversation with anybody you know in your life that may have fled communism.

My wife’s family did. My wife was the only first person in her family born in America. The rest of them grew up under communism. They fled Communism.

Leahy: Her parents were born in Communist-controlled Romania?

Henry: Well, obviously born in Romania prior to Communist control.

Leahy: Prior to Communism.

Henry: Prior to Communist control. And then tell stories about what that overtake looks like.

Leahy: That happened from the period of 1945 post World War II.

Henry: 1947 is when it started.

Leahy: When did the communist regime end there? 1990?

Henry: ’80 something. Don’t quote me on that but around that.

Leahy: So they were there during the period of the Communist take over. What was that like for them?

Henry: They told me a story yesterday in particular which somehow stumbled across this. Obviously, we were talking about July four th what it means to be an American.

We stumbled across this conversation of a term I’m sure everybody has heard before called a useful idiot. Which is a strange thing to bring up during the July Fourth conversation.

Leahy: Well, it’s a phrase. First, I think Vladimir Lenin wrote about useful idiots and he talked about people who were well-intentioned but ill-informed, and they advanced arguments that help Communists take control of Russia.

Henry: My father-in-law, his father owned a farm, and in the community was large enough that it actually fed the rest of the community with vegetables.

Leahy: Really? That’s a pretty large farm.

Henry: It is. And unlike other farms in the area, we just feed your own family. He said, right after the Communist take over, the strangest things started happening where one day a judge came back and just happened upon his farm.

And he said, hey, listen, I was just fired yesterday. I can’t find work anywhere. Can I have work at your farm? A couple days later, a couple of weeks later, a University Professor came back. Same exact story.

I was just fired from the University, and I can’t find work anywhere. Can I work at your farm? Eventually, a high-level banker came back.

Exact same story. And he realized that across the nation, the nation’s most intelligent had been fired from their positions and replaced by people that would not ask questions.

They had been replaced by people that certainly were not qualified for those jobs, but simply followed orders. And I’m telling you, Michael, it illuminated this term useful idiot for me in a way that I had never heard before.

He followed this story by saying, listen, Grant. You see, he has a little bit of broken English, though. But he said, you see, there’s something that you Americans tend to forget.

You Americans have liberty and freedom in your DNA. You are born with it. You’re born into it. You’re all born with the will to fight for what’s right. And it caused me to think. We’re missing this message.

Leahy: Well, that DNA, each generation is being diluted. It seems to me. And intentionally being deluded by all the folks on the left who are promoting the falsehood that America is bad.

America is actually the greatest country in the world. But they are making it so that kids going to K-12 public schools feel embarrassed about their country.

Henry: And we need to tell people again, this is one of the reasons why I love working with Americans for Prosperity. We find social change entrepreneurs.

We need to pitch the message that you are not a liability that needs to be taken care of or not some type of victim that constantly needs to rely upon the government for some type of handout or hand up. You can do it on your own. You are empowered.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crowd Size Matters: Host Leahy and Mayor Ogles Validate Trump Rally Attendees in Wellington, Ohio

Crowd Size Matters: Host Leahy and Mayor Ogles Validate Trump Rally Attendees in Wellington, Ohio

 

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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss the actual crowd size and reporting by the fake news media at former President Trump’s rally on Saturday.

Leahy: In studio, the mayor of Maury County, the bastion of freedom, here in Tennessee. Andy Ogles. Good morning, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning.

Leahy: We were talking, of course, about Laura Baigert, The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star reporter who had the exclusive interview on Saturday for half an hour with former President Donald Trump.

Road in the limousine from the fairgrounds rally to the airport with him. It was a great interview. She wrote it all up. And now it’s interesting, the president has done a couple of things, former president, to get out there in the public.

First, this rally, we’ll talk about that rally in a bit. Then the interview with Laura, the exclusive interview. Today at noon former President Trump will be guest for much of the hour I am told here on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show broadcast here on Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC from noon on.

So again, I think the former president has said, okay, I’ve had my five months of rest and relaxation. I am ready to take on the maladministration policies of Biden-Harris. Any thoughts on that, Andy?

Ogles: I think what they’re doing and the president has stated publicly is the 2022 election is critical. Obviously, I think he would like some closure with the 2020 elections. But you also have to look forward to 2022.

And I can only speak anecdotally as I’ve been speaking to communities across Tennessee. But there’s a lot of angst. I think for some, it’s these critical race bananas that are going on. You’ve got the election and the turmoil there, and then you just have COVID fatigue.

People are sick and tired of the shutdowns and the lockdowns and the infringements on liberty and freedom, even if they were scared of the virus. Instinctively, we’re a nation of people who believe in freedom.

And so people are fed up. And I think what you’re seeing is former president is on a full-court press to make sure that we take back the House, we take back the Senate. Sometimes people will fret about gridlock in Washington, D.C. Gridlock is a great thing because the more gridlock there is, the list of our money they’re wasting.

Leahy: Yes. I  could not agree with you more on that. Let’s go back to the media misreporting on former President Trump. Now I have a couple of little funny stories here. Do you know how in those rallies the media is in what they call the media pen?

It’s usually a set of risers. And you’ll have the usual suspects there, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, they all have cameras there. Now, increasingly, I’m seeing more kinds of conservative news outlets. The Star News Network was there.

Of course, we were there. We didn’t have video cameras, but we were there. And Real America Voice News, for instance, was there. I think One America News was also there. Those are more kind of conservative outlets.

But what’s interesting and was kind of fun and it’s a bit of theater in every one of Trump rallies. And he did it again, this first post-presidency or the interim presidency. The interregnum, shall we say, between Trump 45 and Trump 47, which is what would happen if he were to run and get it elected in 2024.

He always rails at the fake news media. And you know what happens when he does that? He points to the media in the media pen. And the crowd turns around. And with a variety of hand gestures, shall we say, indicates to the press their opinion of them. (Laughter)

Visually, you can understand what those hand gestures might look like and they give them boos. Now we’re there. And we’ve been reporting fairly on the former president for all this time.

And it’s just sort of fun because there’s a crowd yelling at us, we’re standing next to the CNN people. And CNN people are shrinking and scowling. I’m just laughing. It’s just like it’s a wonderful moment to be there and experience that.

And, you know, you don’t say, hey, we’re not like them. (Laughs) It’s kind of fun. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those. It’s kind of fun to see the way they react shall we say.

Ogles: Sure. But he’s right. I think we all get fed up with journalism and journalistic integrity, by and large, is dead right now. And I don’t know how you get that back. The old days of good journalism.

Everybody has an agenda. Everybody has an opinion. But people actually trying to report the news versus every news piece now seems to be more commentary. It’s like, where do you get good, honest news?

Leahy: Well, of course, at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. But, of course! but, of course! now a little thing that I’ve been working on for some time. There’s always this crowd size game, right?

There’s always a crowd size game. And the establishment media will kind of report in a way that minimizes crowd size, Ridiculously. For instance, with this particular crowd what I’ve always found is when you’re trying to report crowd size, the very best thing to do is go to a police officer.

And when you’re reporting it, instead of you saying the crowd size, go to a police officer and say, do you have any estimates on crowd size? And often the police have a pretty good sense of that, and they’ll give you something sometimes.

In this particular case, as we were exiting, we saw several law enforcement officers and we asked them specifically because we had our own estimate in mind about the crowd size. And so I asked the law enforcement officers what was the crowd size?

They said, well, we were far in the back, we weren’t able to see, but I’ve heard estimates of 25,000 to 30,000.

Ogles: Wow.

Leahy: I just can’t use that. We were too far in the back. I can’t quote a police officer saying that. If they had said, yes I’d estimate 25,000 to 30,000 I could use that. We actually had heard from one of the wire services, I won’t say the name AP.

I won’t say the name AP. One of the wire services there looked at the crowd and they said it’s about 500 people. Are you nuts?! I’ve been doing the crowd size thing for 15 years since I started the Tea Party movement.

And so I kind of tried to do my best crowd estimate. And looking at the various elements in the venue, the people and the chairs and the main venue and the people along the sides and in the back, I said it was at least 15,000.

So when I wrote a separate story at Breitbart News about it, I said an estimated crowd of 15,000. Interestingly enough, we’ve reached out to the folks there at Lorain County Fairgrounds, and apparently, we got back today an official estimate of 28,000 to 34,000.

Now you just showed me a photograph taken from the very top of the grandstand behind the stage where the president spoke. And I’m looking at that. And it is basically people as far as you can see.

Ogles: I compare that photo to MuleFest that we had in Maury County with Trace Adkins and the estimate from that concert that Friday evening was between 20,000 to 22,000 people.

And what I can tell you is if you were to overlay that photograph on top of that one, there are more people there than that were MuleFest. So, you know, there were at least 25,000 people based on that. Again, we have an accurate count of our event. That’s more. That’s incredible.

Leahy: What I was going to say about that is because there were no official estimates when I wrote that for my Breitbart story on it. And so I put that out as sort of the floor an estimated 15,000.

I felt very comfortable with that number. But now, looking at it, I think the number of 28,000 to 34,000 that Lorain County has given us is probably more accurate.

Ogles: Right.

Leahy: I bring that to your attention because the establishment media are saying, well, it was a small crowd. (Ogles chuckles) I don’t know if this surprises you, Andy, but they are a bunch of liars. It was a huge crowd.

Ogles: That goes back to my other comment and everything’s relative, right? You have 30,000 people show up in this little small town. So it wasn’t like it took place in Legislative Plaza and Nashville in a big city. You have people who drove 30 minutes, an hour and a half, two hours to get to this venue.

Leahy: People came from Iowa, people came from Florida, all over the country because they wanted to see the president.

Ogles: Amazing. There’s a wave coming in 2022.

Leahy: The bottom line is there was a huge crowd in Wellington, Ohio, on Saturday to listen to an hour and a half vintage Donald Trump. (Laughter)

Ogles: Let her rip baby.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha Fillmore of the Heartland Institute Explains the ‘Asphyxiation of the American Economy’

Samantha Fillmore of the Heartland Institute Explains the ‘Asphyxiation of the American Economy’

 

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 Samantha Fillmore who is the state government relations manager at the Heartland Institute to the newsmakers line to discuss the federal governments’ legislative policies that prevent people from wanting to work and stifling small businesses from hiring employees.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line, Samantha Fillmore, the head of government relations for the Heartland Institute. Good morning, Samantha.

Fillmore: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted to have you on. We are aligned because at the Star News Network, where we own and operate seven state-based news sites, soon to be eight, because we’re moving to Arizona, too.

We’re going to open The Arizona Sun-Times next week. We focus on state and local government issues just like you do at the Heartland Institute. But you’ve been doing it a lot longer than we have.

Fillmore: That’s true. But yes, I am the state government relations manager with the Heartland Institute, which is working on 40 years of working in all states nationwide.

Leahy: 40 years!

Fillmore: We’re working on it.

Leahy: Wow! And we’ve only been up for four years. So you’re way ahead of us now. You have a terrific piece, I think it was at the Washington Examiner about federal unemployment bonus benefits. What’s your argument there?

Fillmore: Absolutely. Thank you for asking. In March 2020, as we know, Congress passed the two-point two-trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the Cares Act.

Included in this federally subsidized additional unemployment benefits was known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. And this program automatically provided an additional $300. per week and unemployment benefits for all individuals on top of their state-based unemployment benefits.

Some of the arguments from people who work in economics said as I do from the beginning, particularly from the right side, was that this was always going to end up de-incentivizing millions of Americans who eventually reentering the workforce because of the unemployment with these new bonus benefits, some individuals, in fact, money, we’re making more staying at home than they were at their previous job.

And so what was going to happen when God willing, at this time, we were hoping that there was an end of the tunnel for the Coronavirus Pandemic. What was going to happen when we needed more than ever to saturate the job market.

And now, unfortunately for many economists, our worst fear is coming true. And we’ve created a choking hazard in the labor market that could asphyxiate the economy.

Leahy: A choking hazard that could asphyxiate the economy. Now, for an economist, that is a very descriptive and colorful way to talk about the problem. Congratulations on being able to articulate an economic argument in ways that most people can clearly understand.

Fillmore: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I have a little bit of practice. I’ve been trying my best, but I am so passionate about this because this is why we see the unemployment level still very high despite the fact that businesses are struggling to fill vacancies and fill unemployment quotas.

I’ve talked to many business owners and they want to fully reopen to full capacity seven days a week and the full hours they had. And they just can’t because they cannot fill the quotas for a staff large enough to do that.

Leahy: Here’s sort of the other thought about this. This is an excellent example of the unintended consequences of government policies. Now let’s step back. Why did Congress pass all these additional bonuses and unemployment benefits?

Because state governments there shut down small businesses and were putting people into the unemployment line. This was the state government’s policy all across the country. So they harmed the ability of these workers to make money. So you can understand, oh, well, we’re going to have to compensate for that. Not so fast right?

If you’re a logical person and let’s say you work in service in the food industry, and Draconian government policy shuts you down and you lose your job and you’re making a certain amount of money, and then the federal government pays you a little bit more than that to sit on your you know what and do nothing, even when you can go back to your job, it’s illogical to go back if you’re going to make less money.

Fillmore: Absolutely. 100 percent. That is exactly the case. If I could make more money from staying at home, I certainly would. I’m not afraid to admit it. (Chuckles) I’d pick up hobbies.

Leahy: Let the government pay for your hobbies. (Laughs)

Fillmore: I’d get better and it would be great. (Chuckles) No, but that’s the argument. And that is the issue. It’s actually fascinating is according to the Business Insider, companies have begun offering signing bonuses and wage increases not limited to but including Target, Hobby Lobby, Starbucks, Wayfair, Costco, Walmart, Chipotle, McDonald’s, and Bank of America.

It is so apparent. And if you were to just drive, I’m sure, across Nashville or across Tennessee and certainly where I’m at here in Chicago, there are help wanted signs in every window.

 There is no shortage of the desire in the demand for labor. And yet we’re struggling. And it’s so clearly because of this. An analysis by an economist at the University of Chicago, the Tent School of Economics estimated that about 68 percent of unemployed workers for the bonus receiving payments greater than the earnings before. So that’s exactly what’s happening.

Leahy: Here’s the other thing, Samantha. If this would happen to me and we didn’t know what would happen, but I’ve got an easy job. All I have to do is talk here on the radio. And then write at The Tennessee Star and Breitbart, where I’m a columnist and a reporter there as well.

I don’t serve in a situation where the government could force me out of a job. But if the state government, in most cases, force me out of a job for no good reason, would be my thinking back in March of 2020, you know what? I’d be pretty angry about that.

And then my attitude would be, well, if you were stupid enough to force me out of my job when I wanted to work and if you’re stupid enough to pay me more than I paid when I was working I’m just going to sit here until you change your mind and I’m going to take your money. That’s I think, how most people think about it.

Fillmore: And that flow of logic would not be lost on me. And I understand that completely. Thankfully, to that point, many governors and state lawmakers have recognized that this is happening in the harmful nature of this program.

So right now, this federal bonus unemployment benefit is scheduled to end on September 6. Now it’s scheduled but that doesn’t mean that it will end on September sixth because we know the federal government loves to continue to roll out, especially under this administration printing money like it’s going out of style.

Will it actually end federally on September sixth? That remains to be seen. However, many governors have decided to opt out of this program before September.

Leahy: Our governor here, Governor Bill, is opting out, I think, in July. At a national level, I think you’ve argued that this could possibly turn into a frightful campaign for universal basic income as proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, The Squad, Andrew Yang, and all that crowd. What do you see there?

Fillmore: UBI’s have been so short. They’ve been proposed for a while. And the fear around many of what I do is that if this were ever to catch on if there was ever an ability for people to realize that Uncle Sam could subsidize the lifestyle without actually working, that it would do exactly what is happening now.

It would disincentivize employment and promote dependence on the federal government. And ultimately, it does what a lot of people on the left do, which is give the federal government even more power over individual liberties and individual lives than anyone I know would want.

Then that snowball into so many things. Not only would the federal government be subsidizing your income for living, but at what point does that stop? What other powers have we given away to them to allow them to get to that point?

And the coronavirus pandemic is a pure example of that. We were told what to do with our families and our friends and our bodies and our health care and our homes. And now our employment ultimately is this frightening and heroing image of totalitarian control.

And that’s something I definitely do not want. But now it’s going to be hard to get these people off. And I think it’s been a strong pitch for UBI’s.

Leahy: Absolutely on that. I look at this, and I think you’re up in Chicago, and there are all sorts of problems down in Chicago Samantha.

Fillmore: Yes.

Leahy: What a mess. Is there a bigger mess than Chicago?

Fillmore: That’s a wonderful question. (Laughs) Perhaps, no. I mean, maybe in New York but at least 16,000 senior citizens’ deaths weren’t swept up under the rug in Chicago. So maybe in New York or California.

But no, Chicago is definitely a liberal bastion. I guess I’m seeing the height of help wanted signs and people really contingent to lean onto the government here.

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.
Photo “Samantha Fillmore” by The Heartland Institute. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Candidate for Nashville’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck Explains His Top Legislative Priorities

GOP Candidate for Nashville’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck Explains His Top Legislative Priorities

 

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 GOP candidate for Nashville’s Fifth District, Robby Starbuck in studio to discuss his top two priorities if elected to Congress in 2022.

Leahy: In the studio with us, Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck, running for the Republican nomination in the Fifth Congressional District. We asked you this question before the break, Robby. If elected to Congress and sworn in January of 2023, what would be your number one legislative priority?

Starbuck: I’ve written two already that would be immediately put forward. Number one would be banned Critical Race Theory, not just in public schools, but also if you want a government grant, you want a government contract, you cannot train your employees with Critical Race Theory, and you cannot impose it on anybody within your business.

Leahy: Now that is a very good idea, number one. And what you’re combining, it’s interesting, the way you’ve structured. It’s not just banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

But what you’ve done there is you have incorporated in the legislative proposal Donald Trump’s executive order that banned federal funding for contractors that taught critical race, of course, the legal but not legitimate occupant of one those hundred Pennsylvania Avenue to Biden. One of the first things he did was to reverse that executive order.

Starbuck: And every other executive order.

Leahy: That particular idea, I think, is very, very interesting. And so that would be the bill that you would introduce.

Starbuck: That I would introduce right away.

Leahy: That would be your number one priority.

Starbuck: It’s essential to freedom. Education helps define what our national identity is. And so if we’re educating our kids to hate our country, then guess what? In 20 years, our national identity is going to be hating our country.

Leahy: By the way, that’s what public schools are doing right now.

Starbuck: 100 percent.

Leahy: They’re teaching kids to hate America, and your tax dollars are paying for it.

Starbuck: And we’re the adults and it’s our job to step in and stop it. And so that’s why that would be the first thing. The second thing would be a very simple immigration bill that says if you come here illegally, you will never, ever be allowed to become a citizen of the United States, and you will never be entitled to benefits.

Obviously very small caveats to that. If you’re being hunted down by your government or something along those lines, then maybe we have a different path.

Leahy: Well, there’s existing law for allows for asylum,

Starbuck: For true asylum. But there’s a process.

Starbuck: Exactly. There has to be a process. Merit-based. But our big problem with immigration is we’ve changed everything from incentivizing legal behavior to incentivizing illegal behavior.

When you have the Democratic candidates, now the person occupying the White House saying, we’re going to give you free health care, free this free that free everything. And then they act shocked when you have the borders getting flooded on a daily basis.

Obviously, they’re not shocked. They knew what that was going to do. We have to incentivize legal behavior again, which means saying, hey, if you ever want to be in America legally, you need to do this the right way, because if you do it one time the wrong way, you’re not going to be able to ever become a citizen here.

That will change the migration patterns right away. I’m not saying it’ll stop it, but it will change that pattern.

Leahy: Let’s talk a little bit about how successful such legislation would be. Now in the current makeup of Congress, where the Democrats have a nine or 10 vote margin and Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, such legislation would go nowhere. She wouldn’t even bring it forward.

Starbuck: She wouldn’t bring it forward or allow it to be.

Leahy: If Republicans maintain a majority, that legislation would have a chance. What do you think the odds are that the Republicans will win back the House of Representatives in November 2022?

Starbuck: We are going to win back the House in 2022. The Senate, I’m not making any promises, but the House I feel 1000 percent that we are going to take the House in 2022.

The energy on that level and just the wind is in our sails in many ways in terms of redistricting happening. And you saw a bunch of blue states lose districts as part of the census consuming New York. And people have fled their States.

Leahy: California lost one district.

Starbuck: And New York lost one or two. I don’t remember if it was one or two. I’d say it was I think seven states that lost seats were blue states and they went almost entirely red.

Leahy: We kept the nine congressional districts, but probably were right on the edge of adding a 10th.

Starbuck: Yeah, we right on the edge. And I would guess that in 10 years we’ll add another one.

Leahy: I think you’re probably right about that. Now, our listeners looking at this could say, you know, if a Republican won the fifth congressional district in November 2022 that would be a plus one for Republicans and increase the likelihood that Republicans win a majority of the House. And I think your argument would be…you can do it, right?

Starbuck: Absolutely. I’m a different candidate than we’ve ever had in this district before. And where has it gotten us running the same people from the same schools with the same backgrounds? We haven’t won this district.

It hasn’t done any good for the people here. We have to think outside the box. I’m an outside-the-box candidate. I’m fully, fully cognizant of that. But I can win this. We can flip Independents.

We can take a message in about freedom, especially after COVID. And with the background my family had fleeing Cuba and Marxism to be able to say, did you enjoy this free trial over the last year and a half of Marxism and socialism?

Leahy: We had a 15 month free trial of Marxism.

Starbuck: You got a free trial and I think a lot of people are ready to make the return. And you saw how the Coopers treated you like they were Kings and you were just their pawns that had to do whatever they told you to do. That’s not what America was founded on. We’re supposed to be free.

Leahy: First, would you engage in a debate if I don’t know, The Tennessee Star were to host it between you and any other candidates who are seeking the Republican nomination?

Starbuck: Absolutely. I will always debate people.

Leahy: Okay. So if we had one in-studio here at five in the morning and or six in the morning, we could do a two-hour debate from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Starbuck: Absolutely. I’ll just pray for them beforehand.

Leahy: We’ve got enough room in the studio. We will start identifying other candidates and we’ll start putting that out here. We might even, like, do it on a monthly basis.

I’ll have you in here from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and all the Republican candidates, and we’ll just have a nice conversation. And then after the August 2022 primary, we’ll invite the incumbent, Jim Cooper.

Starbuck: I’m not so sure Jim is going to be the person in a general election.

Leahy: Now, that’s interesting because he does have an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes type challenger.

Starbuck: He does. AOC backed a socialist to run against him. And if we’re being perfectly honest, the energy on the left in Nashville is the Progressives. It’s not the Blue Dog Democrats.

Blue Dog Democrats are being pushed out of their party. So who is his constituency? Especially after the last year and a half. The far left and the groups that have all this grassroots energy on the ground, they’re going to be backing AOC’s candidate.

They raised $100,000 in a week, which is, you know, they’re going to make him spend money. They’re going to make him spend a good deal of money if he decides to run. I think after redistricting it’s not a foregone conclusion that he even doesn’t retire.

Leahy: He did kick off his reelection campaign.

Starbuck: He could always quit.

Leahy: He also has had some personal problems with his wife who passed away.

Starbuck: I was very sorry to hear that.

Leahy: And again, our condolences to Representative Cooper about that, and we criticize his policies.

Starbuck: But he’s a human being. It’s terrible. I can’t imagine losing that person you love the most.

Leahy: Now the challenger on the left is Odessa Kelly. She did play ball for Tennessee State University. But she’s worked for the city government most of her career. That’s her main accomplishment.

Starbuck: And she would like a bigger government.

Leahy: And she’s not Jim Cooper. That’s her other accomplishment.

Starbuck: You know what? On that one, I will say that’s gonna help her out. I don’t understand how anybody can work in the government and then at the end of it, go, you know what’s going to fix things? More government.

Leahy: Well, that’s how they think. Whoever wins, whether it’s Odessa Kelly or Jim Cooper, or whoever their Democratic nominee is, we will invite them to a debate with the Republican nominee. Will you attend?

Starbuck: Oh, I definitely will. I think the question is, will they attend?

Leahy: I don’t think they’ll attend because they don’t believe in a free exchange of ideas, because their ideas are so very bad.

Starbuck: Absolutely.

Listen to the 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.
Photo “Robby Starbuck” by Robby Starbuck.