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. 









Misrule of Law Blog Creator Mark Pulliam on His Recent Article Addressing the Renewal of COVID Restrictions Post Vaccination

Misrule of Law Blog Creator Mark Pulliam on His Recent Article Addressing the Renewal of COVID Restrictions Post Vaccination


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 retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to discuss his recent piece regarding the outrageous constraints that are now wearing thin on American citizens and the continuation of after vaccination.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by a good friend, Mark Pulliam from East Tennessee. He is a California and now Texas refugee. I guess you could say. Texas California and ended up in Tennessee making good upward movement all the time. Mark Pulliam, thanks for joining us here on The Tennessee Star Report.

Pulliam: Good morning, Michael. I’m happy to be here.

Leahy: So you had an article that first appeared yesterday at Law and Liberty. Obedience Fatigue got a lot of attention Instapundit and Powerline. John Hinder Acker friends up in Minneapolis intended. Of course, the great constitutional law Professor at the University of Tennessee, Glenn Reynolds, are good friends there. And then Real Clear Policy also featured it.

I could not agree with you more. The headline on your commentary here is Obedience Fatigue. And the subtitle is Over a Year of CDC flip flops and credibility Straining Pronouncements leave a compliant public, skeptical. Vaccinated Americans yearn for normalcy. What caused you to write this?

Leahy: Well, we’ve all suffered through this last year of uncertainty with our public health officials literally terrorizing us with the specter of a deadly pandemic. And if we even go outside and breathe any fresh air we will drop dead instantly. And this from the very beginning seemed dubious, and a lot of people questioned it.

But we are an obedient people. We do what we’re told by and large and particularly when the public health authorities are united in their recommendations. And so everybody was wearing masks. Everybody complied with these social distancing and stay-at-home orders. And it literally wrecked our economy and inflicted incalculable damage. Schools were shut down. It was horrific. It was unprecedented.

But people went along with it because they trusted their government. And now, after a year, it’s become clear that that trust was completely misplaced and that even after the vaccine has been rolled out and half the public has been vaccinated, and a good portion of the remaining half was infected and didn’t even know it, and therefore had the antibodies and was immune from reinfection, they continue as if this didn’t happen.

And every time we make an advance they moved the goal posts. So now they’re still saying people should wear masks even vaccinated people should wear masks outdoors. They just came out with some summer camp guide.

Leahy: Yeah, it’s crazy.

Pulliam: It’s insane! And at some point, people have to say, Dr. Fauci, we are not listening to you anymore. This is bogus. And I think it’s almost an experiment on their part to see how far they can push the public and get them to go along with it.

Leahy: Yeah, I think you’re probably right in that regard. It looks like they’re trying to exercise their power to control the public by being outlandish. It appears that way to me. Dr. Fauci is really, to me, a power hungry megalomaniac. That’s what it looks like to me.

Pulliam: And he’s got the whole deep state and the swamp behind him. But the summer camp thing, can you imagine everybody that went to summer camp and the whole point was to be with a bunch of people and do activities that you’re not ordinarily doing. They’re saying that kids who are basically at no risk at all from the Coronavirus have to wear masks every minute there at camp except when they’re swimming and eating.

They have to maintain six foot social distance. They can’t mix with other campers. They can’t share items like games and books and so forth. That’s crazy. They are literally trying to destroy these basic experiences that generations of youths have enjoyed. Just like they try to destroy an entire year of public education and wipe out many small businesses without any scientific justification.

And so now that many people have been vaccinated and a lot of people had the antibodies already, I think people are beginning to realize this doesn’t make sense anymore, even if it originally makes sense. And I’m not convinced that any of it ever made sense.

Leahy: The mask thing. Now, this is from the very beginning. I’m talking over a year ago when the first emergency was declared. And the science behind the efficacy of wearing masks simply is not there. There’s no study that I’ve seen that wearing a mask or mandatory mask-wearing has had any effect on limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Are you familiar with any scientific studies that say when they compare mask-wearing versus non-mask wearing, where they can demonstrate in a significant way, statistically, that wearing a mask actually improves the situation in terms of Covid-19?

Pulliam: I’m not aware of any such data. And I think scientists are united that wearing masks outdoors is completely outlandish and has always been outlandish. The Wall Street Journal last week did an article about the Asian flu epidemic in 1957. Everybody talks about the Spanish flu back in 1918. But this Asian flu epidemic in 1957 is much closer in time.

And it was a pandemic of an airborne respiratory virus that affected the entire United States. But nobody wore masks. It was not declared a national emergency that if you were sick you stayed home until you got better. And we have become from 1957 to now a different nation. And we’re a nation that’s led around that accepts things uncritically and that surrenders their freedom. People being told for a year you cannot go to Church?

This is insane. In hindsight, we should look at this as a horrible experiment that went wrong and something that we can never allow to happen again in the United States.

Leahy: Let me play a little bit of Devil’s advocate on this with you, Mark. Perhaps you could respond to a bit of mystery. I think in the way people look at this, if you look at polling of the public about attitudes towards mask-wearing, and this has been consistent, I think, pretty much from the beginning, even though I am in a crowd that says there is zero zip, not a shred of scientific evidence to show that this wearing of masks has any impact limiting the spread of COVID-19 and whether it’s indoor or outdoor, this is just my view on it.

The public, when you do polling on it, about 60 percent favor regulations wearing masks. Here’s my theory on that. I think it’s just simply because it’s a visible action, right? I don’t know what to do, but I can wear a mask. And they tell me it has a good impact on limiting the spread, even though it’s not backed by science.

I think that’s what the Democrats are doing. They understand that the public perceives that it has a positive effect, and that’s why they keep supporting it, even though the science doesn’t back it. What’s your thought on that?

Pulliam: Well, I agree with that. I think the nation has become deeply polarized, and during the Trump administration became more polarized than ever. And so the nation kind of divided into two camps. The camp that is going to treat COVID almost like wearing a mask was political resistance. If the President discounts it, then we have to treat it as if it’s even more important.

And then also, the thing that’s happened between now and 1957 is that we have this concept of virtue signaling. People want to show that I’m sanctimonious I follow the rules of it’s almost become like a religion, like Catholics wearing ashes on their forehead. It’s a symbol of fealty to the big state.

So you put all these things together, the natural obedience that we have as part of our patriotism. You’ve got this polarization that the people doing it as a political symbol, the virtue signaling. And it’s sort of taken on a life of its own. And also, I think these Karens who want to scold people, that’s something that we didn’t use to have.

Leahy: Karen’s are all over the place.

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.







Independent Women’s Forum President Carrie Lukas Discusses Newsweek Piece and Strings Attached to the American Families Plan

Independent Women’s Forum President Carrie Lukas Discusses Newsweek Piece and Strings Attached to the American Families Plan


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 President of the Independent Women’s Forum Carrie Lukas to the newsmakers line to weigh in on her recent Newsweek piece and concerns over the American Families Act proposed by Joe Biden.

Leahy: Now on the newsmaker line Carrie Lucas, who is the President of the Independent Women’s Forum, has a great article out on Friday about three things to look out for in the American Families Act.

I’ll just read the first line. The media’s hyping President Biden soon to be unveiled, American Families plan as the surefire way to not only solve the problems of stressed-out working moms and dads but also to usher in a permanently booming economy. Carrie, what’s wrong with that picture?

Lukas: Doesn’t it sound just lovely? The problem, of course, is that all of this is imaginary, especially when it comes to the idea that President Biden is not talking about how to pay for any of this, other than taxing the fabled rich. But of course, we all know that the rich become a lower and lower threshold, and then it ends up being the income creators and job creators.

So that backfires on just about everybody. But parents should be warned about if this is really what they want for their kids, kind of being forced into this government program. That’s really is what it is. It’s a very big government view of how our family should run.

Leahy: What’s interesting about this is that I was talking with Steve Glover here in the studio during the break about the utter failure of American institutions and the institution of the federal government it looks like under Joe Biden is just spending and spending and spending. I’m tempted to say, like drunken sailors, but that would be an insult to drunken sailors. So this child care spending one trillion dollars. But for what?

Lukas: Yeah, it’s funny. I feel like one of the things I found most telling and that people should pay attention to when they hear this talk about especially about the child care and the preschool program that it’s free preschool now is one of the things that’s going to be promised. And it’s funny because the Biden administration and their paperwork promoting this, they point to a really obscure study saying gosh, you see, this is so great when we invest one trillion dollars in preschool and seven dollars in return, because kids are so much better off, et cetera.

But the funny thing is that they pointed to this kind of a really small study of 80 kids, and it was from the 1970s or something really long time ago, not at all applicable to a program that’s supposed to provide a preschool for every American child. And what they avoid talking about is the existing pretty big federal program that is specifically about providing a preschool to thousands of three and four-year-olds today. And that’s Head Start.

And guess why they don’t want to talk about Head Start? Because there have been studies of Head Start’s efficacy to see what are the results. Does it help people or kids who participate in Head Start better off later in life? And that’s because they can find exactly zero evidence that anybody has any lasting benefits from Head Start participation. So this is a lot of money, and it’s a lot of money that will have very little impact.

Leahy: Steve Glover in studio here, who was formerly a member of the Board of Education here in Metro Nashville. Carrie is saying something interesting. You’re shaking your head up and down.

Glover: Oh, yeah. Headstart has no impact. Now I’m going to get in trouble for saying that but Carrie’s exactly right. When I was on the Board of Education, we talked about this, and I don’t want to interrupt her time, but we’ll talk about this as we go forward, but everything she’s saying is spot on. Everything. I agree. That’s why I’m shaking my head.

Leahy: Yes. Carrie is absolutely right. Is this just basically another handout to teachers’ unions?

Lukas: You know, it’s interesting. Yeah, I think it is. And it’s funny that it comes out and it comes after the tremendous you think about the institutions that failed us during COVID. Well, I’m a mom of five here. I got five kids in a public school in Virginia, and my kids just started going back to in-person school about a month ago.  I’m lucky that I could work from home.

I have the wherewithal to help my kids through it. But, man, these public schools have let down kids, especially kids without much parental support just unbelievably. So what is the government doing now? They say, let’s double down on this model and have it expanded so that we have three and four-year-olds being failed by the same horrible government school approach.

And let’s extend it on the other end and have community colleges basically be defacto in a free to the taxpayer responsible to no one. It’s really terrible. And I think the problem always is that Democrats are in a constant bidding war. There’s no amount of money that they will ever offer that they say is enough.

The Republicans can never outbid them. But I think parents should think about it for a second and say, do I really want the government to say that I can essentially have free or heavily subsidized child care starting at the first moment of my kids’ birth?

Is that really what I want? Do I really want the government telling me, because obviously, this is going to come with a lot of strings. It’s going to be a government-approved facility that is heavily regulated and comports with all of these government requirements. That means that you can no longer, if you’re out there and you can take time off from work all of a sudden to care for your own kids, it’s going to become foolish.

Why aren’t you going back to work right away? They don’t need mom and dad, you can just stick them in a daycare center for free. Why wouldn’t you do that? Why would a grandmother who’s currently helping out that’s stupid. You should go ahead and just use the government-run schools. It’s a really weird moment in America where we’re saying that the government’s going to pay people to get out of the house and take over child care for you. I don’t think that’s what a lot of Americans want.

Sure, they want more support. I think there’s a lot of recognition that working parents need help. They should be able to keep more of the money they earn so that they can make choices that make sense for them. And that may mean child care for people. I wish we would focus on increasing the supply of child care and different kinds of child care. Things like home-based care so that people had more options and better flexibility. But I don’t want to put the government in charge. And I bet a lot of mom and dads are going to agree with that.

Leahy: You said something interesting. You have five children and they are currently enrolled in Virginia public schools. When you look at what’s going on right now, do you begin to have second thoughts about keeping them in public schools?

Lukas: Yeah, I sure do. And in some ways, we could probably swing pulling a kid or two from public schools and moving them to private school. But I sure wish I was given a voucher. I wish I had access to the public school money and the taxes that we’re paying to support our public schools and could take it back and make a different choice for my kids.

Or at least had schools that were that cared about me as a parent and were responsive to us. And I really think that this is a moment where people have asked absolutely seen the problem with the government assigned public schools, because the schools here in Virginia, have not seemed to care at all. They’ve been hemorrhaging students.

A lot of families who have the capability have pulled their kids from public schools. There’s a lot of families who really can’t afford it financially, and they’re stuck with it. They’re not responsive to places like us. I sure wish they would. I feel like school choice is an issue that’s time has come. And we should all be demanding money that should follow the child. The private schools here in Virginia all opened in September and are providing five days a week full service.

Leahy: So they’ve been doing the job. Steve Glover, Metro Council Member-at-Large here in Nashville, has a question for you.

Glover: Very quickly. Alexandria, Virginia, I think used to be, I don’t know if they still are, but it used to be the top public school system in the country. Just out of curiosity, are you even close to that one? Is that part of the one you’re talking of, or where do you think it is now?

Lukas: I’m in Fairfax County right next to Alexandria. But the thing that is very telling is that Alexandria has even done a worse job than Fairfax County. We’re at least now providing in-person service. I believe that Alexandria still has zero. And throughout the entire year, they are not opening their doors to kids in person.

Glover: Democratically run state.

Lukas: It’s been really unbelievable. So they’ve been a Democratically run state situation I have lived here.

Leahy: Kind of crazy. So, Carrie Lukas, a great, great article that you wrote for Newsweek, and we look forward to having you on again. What’s next on your agenda? We have another minute in the interview here.

Lukas: The other one to really look out for is this idea of government paid leave because that’s one that sure sounds nice. It sounds like, who doesn’t want a lot of paid time off from work. But that is going to come with a lot of strings, a lot of costs, particularly women who are going to be losing some flexible work opportunities. That’s one of the things I’m going to be really focused on.

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.







Crom Carmichael Defines Conformity and Its Goal as It Pertains to Democrats, Government and Corporations

Crom Carmichael Defines Conformity and Its Goal as It Pertains to Democrats, Government and Corporations


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 who discussed conformity among Democrats and corporations citing its detrimental effects on innovation in America.

Leahy: We are joined as we almost always are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at this time. We welcome back our good friend Crom Carmichael, the original All-Star panelist. Welcome back, Crom Carmichael.

Carmichael: Hello, Michael. How are you, sir?

Leahy: I am great. I am looking forward to you and I having a bit of an adventure together. Today we are Mike and Crom’s great adventure. Mike and Crom’s great adventure. We are going to the Clock Store. Our friend Lenny McGill, who’s moved his headquarters from San Diego to Nashville. We’re going to go to his facilities and get a little training on how to use them.

Carmichael: Oh, we are going to get some training?

Leahy: We are going to get some training.

Carmichael: Oh my.

Leahy: Crom, I’ve never told you this but I told our audience earlier. Never in my life have I fired a gun.

Carmichael: Oh. Well…

Leahy: Never.

Carmichael: You won’t be able to say that tomorrow.

Leahy: Tomorrow I will not be able to say that. And this is the perfect time. I’ve always thought about it. But now is the time. I grew up in upstate New York.

Carmichael: That’s the next best thing.

Leahy: What’s that?

Carmichael: Shooting a gun.

Leahy: What?

Carmichael: Thinking about it.

Leahy: (Laughter) You got me again Crom. Crom comes in sharp.

Carmichael: That’s because I’m better rested than you.

Leahy: And I fall for your jokes every time Crom.

Carmichael: Well thank you. I appreciate that. My mother appreciates that.

Leahy: I heard your mom listens to the program too.

Carmichael: She’s 93. She used to get up in time to listen to the show. But now she sleeps in. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: We’ll make sure that she gets the recording. Because she needs to track her young son.

Carmichael: Yes.

Leahy: You are going to give us a lesson on the dictionary today.

Carmichael: A word. A word that I don’t remember exactly which article I was reading or who I was reading but there is a word that describes the Democrat Party and the goal of the Democrat Party. And it’s extremely important to understand this in its entirety. And that word is conformity.

Leahy: Conformity.

Carmichael: Conformity. It wants everyone, everyone to conform to its world view. Everyone and in every way. So think about this for a second. If you are a teacher in a government-run school in a state where you are required to be in a union, you can’t do anything that the union does not allow you to do. So everyone who teaches in a union-dominated state teaches the same way. They conform or they have to quit.

Leahy: Conform or quit.

Carmichael: Conform or quit.

Leahy: Conform and submit.

Carmichael: And if you don’t then you can’t conform. I mean, you cannot conform if you’re not submissive.

Leahy: It’s interesting you bring that up, Crom because I was thinking along those lines a little bit, as I’ve reported on all of these stories about how the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that would be Joe Biden, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party and Big Tech has characterized the common sense of election reform laws being passed in Georgia under consideration in Texas and Arizona. The CEOs who are condemning this loss aren’t even reading the laws. They don’t know what’s in the law, but they’re calling it a racist Jim Crow two-point zero.

Carmichael: Because they must conform

Leahy: They must conform.

Carmichael: If they don’t conform, they will lose their jobs and the amount of money that they make. So the question is, and this is true. And let’s look at the history of conformity. The history of conformity and this is true in the private sector unions, private sector unions serve a purpose up to a point, and then their purpose becomes destructive because here’s what historically has happened in private-sector unions.

When times are good, they ask for more. When times are bad, they don’t ask for more, but they won’t take less. So when times are good again, they ask for more. And then when times are bad, they don’t ask for more. And eventually, that cycle ends up with bankruptcy. General Motors has gone bankrupt. I don’t know if Ford went bankrupt. Chrysler went bankrupt.

Leahy: Ford did not go bankrupt.

Carmichael: Ever?

Leahy: Ever.

Carmichael: Okay. Chrysler has gone bankrupt. General Motors has gone bankrupt. Virtually every steel company went bankrupt. Many of our airlines have gone bankrupt. They’ve reorganized. But when they reorganized, the unions are set back. But it’s not until the bankruptcy. So the shareholders are wiped out by unionization.

The Democrat Party in the House is the definition of conformity. If you don’t conform to what the Democrat Party wants in the House, then you are thrown out. Now you may lose the next election to a Republican. So the Democrats are doing everything they can to rig the election so that can happen so that they can maintain their conformity.

Leahy: It is a soul-crushing destruction of the American character.

Carmichael: And not only that, but it also will be the end of prosperity as we know it because non-conformity is part of the innovation process. The process of innovation requires that people who don’t conform intellectually are allowed to search for new ways of doing things.

Leahy: Most great advances in the industry, in every aspect of life, has come from the non-conformity.

Carmichael: Correct. Correct.

Leahy: Because they see the world, not as it is but as it could be. And they create possibilities. And some of them don’t work. But some of them do. And those that do transform our world dramatically.

Carmichael: And sometimes they see a problem that others don’t even see as a problem at the time because the way they do things falls into a routine (i.e. conformity). And people are used to doing things a certain way, and somebody comes up with a new and better way. 3M turned down the original idea of the Xerox machine because they believed at that time that carbon paper was sufficient. IBM turned down the original personal computer. Bill Gates shopped his company for a few million dollars and found no takers before the personal computer took off and Microsoft took off alongside it.

Leahy: Had he found a buyer, all of the innovations that came from Microsoft probably wouldn’t have happened.

Carmichael: Well, that’s conjecture, I don’t know. But Bill Gates would not be the multi-billionaire that he is. You’d think that IBM would have recognized the advance of the personal computer. But they didn’t because a personal computer also was contrary to its business model of selling system 34s and system 32s.

Leahy: By the way, when you and I were growing up in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, there was one dominant computing company, IBM.

Carmichael: Now there were others, but IBM was the dominant player. So this word conformity is very, very important for us to understand. Now, let’s look at what’s going on now with this Georgia law. Now, many of the executives who have denounced the Georgia law are members of Augusta National. They should resign.

Leahy: That’s what Marco Rubio suggested which was that Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of MLB baseball should do.

Carmichael: Is he a member?

Leahy: Yes.

Carmichael: He should resign. In fact, they should demand that he resigned every day. They should shame him. And they should shame the board of Augusta for not kicking them out publicly.

Leahy: Exactly. Kick him out.

Carmichael: Same thing I would imagine with the CEO of Coca-Cola. I would imagine that the CEO of Delta. Captains of industry are members of Augusta National. Now, Augusta National is ignoring the politics. But these people who won’t ignore the politics who cave to conformity, they should be kicked out. And freedom-loving people like you and me should be invited to join.

Leahy: By the way, a little interesting twist on all of this Crom.

Carmichael: You went right over that part where I’m trying to get in Augusta.

Leahy: Because you love golf.

Carmichael: Because I’m a freedom-loving person. Don’t just gloss over that. It’s my day in the sun. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Because you want to be in Augusta, I got it. To me, I don’t care about Augusta.

Carmichael: But I don’t want to exclude you. Forget what I said about Michael becoming a member. (Laughter)

Leahy: What’s that old Groucho Marx line? I would not want to be a member of any club that would let me join it.

Carmichael: That’s a good one.

Leahy: That’s my story on Augusta.

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.





Host Michael Patrick Leahy Discusses Election Integrity and America’s Path Forward with Caller Jasper

Host Michael Patrick Leahy Discusses Election Integrity and America’s Path Forward with Caller Jasper


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 calls from listeners to discuss how 2021 has started off worse than 2020 and America’s path forward to free and fair elections.

(Devin Nunes clip plays)

This is clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights, the RICO statute. There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company but on all of those like us. I have 3 million followers on Parler. Tonight I will no longer be able to communicate with those people.

Leahy: That’s a representative Devin Nunes. I didn’t know he had three million followers on Parler. Wow. Well, Google wants to get rid of Parler and because you know, you can’t say anything that the left doesn’t approve of these days. According to Google and Apple and you know these Silicon Valley Tech oligarchs are just awful. Facebook, Twitter, and that whole crowd. And by the way, you know, Twitter banned President Trump permanently.

We will have something to say about that and what The Tennessee Star is going to say about that action. We’re going to take about that. We’re going to have something to say about that later today on our website. The question today is do you agree with me that 2021 is so far been worse than 2020. It’s hard to imagine. (Gives call-in number)

Jasper in Ohio wants to weigh in on that question. Good morning, Jasper. You’re on the Tennessee Star Report.

Caller Jasper: Good morning, Michael. And I want to say that absolutely I agree with you a 1000 percent that ’21 is worse than ’20 for the very reason that you outlined earlier. The 75 million people and Trump supporters have lost their ability to have any political effect because the voting system is now rig completely and set in place. There has been nothing to get to the bottom of the Dominion Voting Systems software fiasco. And it is in place. And so while plenty of people want to make amendments and straighten this out there’s no mechanism anymore to guarantee that your vote will ever be counted.

Leahy: Well Jasper, I agree with your assessment right now, but I’m actually going to say I believe there is a mechanism. And I’ll be talking more about this in the future. But where we go as a country – do you have a minute to let me outline this? It’s a broader discussion. I want to give you sort of my view of where we are as a country. Then I’ll tell you what the actions are. If you can listen for a few minutes.

Jasper: Oh, absolutely. I’m interested in this.

Leahy: Okay. So here’s the thing. The constitutional conservative movement in America, really the modern constitutional conservative movement began in 2009 with the Tea Party Movement. And I was involved in the starting of that. And that movement had many leaders around the country and we were united by the ideas and principles of a constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. That movement has morphed into the MAGA movement.

The Make America Great Again movement and had one leader: Donald Trump. And it added to it elements of American sovereignty, if you will. But we’ve seen – and I’ve been a big supporter of President Trump – but if you have one leader in any system that has only one critical link, if there are problems with that critical link, the entire system has a problem. And President Trump has had a tendency to, you know, occasionally say things that are problematic.

The things that he said at the Capitol rally have basically been distorted by the left to try to make it appear that he has incited the riot. He didn’t, but they are effectively using their tools to say that he did. But also related to that is, you know, when Trump supporters were among those who breached the Capitol however you see we lost the moral high ground there.

And my theory is actually that the people that breached the Capitol that were Trump supporters we’re not really part of the original Tea Party Movement because no one who had been in the Tea Party Movement and who loves the Constitution would have broken the law in that way. So the question is, where we go from here? And there is a way to go at least in – shall we say, the 35 states of the 50 states – where freedom is still possible. And you know the names.

It’s not New England and it’s not the West Coast. But the rest of the United States is still possible. And you talk about election integrity. I agree with you entirely. People have to be confident that their votes will be counted honestly. And the way to do that in my view is to get rid of drop boxes which are filled with fraud I think and have problems with the chain of custody. And get rid of absentee ballots also are fraud opportunities.

The people that do that are out of the state legislatures. and in Ohio, you should do that and get back to actual paper ballots so you can actually audit these election results. This should happen in every state legislature. Georgia should do that where they’ve been usurped or the election processes for the 2020 election were unlawful.

Change it. Reassert your authority in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. That to me, Jasper, is the answer and a beginning of a real reinvigorated assertion of traditional federalism. The founders’ federalism where states take back the power that has been usurped by the national federal government. That’s my view of the future, Jasper. I’d be curious to see what your thoughts are on that.

Jasper: Michael, I can’t disagree with any of that except all of it comes down to the single mechanism to implement any kind of correction. It comes down to one thing: vote. And in at least 27 states Dominion software is the mechanism. And so 27 states are automatically disenfranchised.

Leahy: Well, let me just stop for a moment. Actually, I am not sure if that’s quite the correct number. You make a distinction, too, in terms of Dominion software because in some states like Georgia the entire state uses it. In other states only certain counties use it. But we can get back to the Dominion software. But State legislatures can address that by the way – and they should, I think. So on that note, Jasper. One last question: in Ohio, do you like or not like Governor Mike DeWine?

Jasper: I don’t like him. He’s a Democrat.

Leahy: Who do you think should be the governor up there? Who would you suggest?

Jasper: Jim Renacci would be an excellent choice.

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