Mayor Andy Ogles Discusses the Incremental Marginalization of State Governors by the Federal Government

Mayor Andy Ogles Discusses the Incremental Marginalization of State Governors by the Federal Government

 

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 Governor Bill Lee and 26 other Tennessee state Republican’s letter to Joe Biden regarding Afghan refugees and the administration’s bias against southern states.

Leahy: And that is Behar County Sheriff Javier Salazar commenting about the border crisis. Andy Ogles Mayor of Maury County, there’s a story sort of related to that at The Tennessee Star. Right now, Governor Bill Lee has joined 25 Republican governors and requesting a meeting with Joe Biden regarding the border crisis.

The letter reads, as chief executives of our states, we request a meeting with you at the White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders. Do you think Joe Biden is going to take that meeting Andy?

Ogles: (Sighs) Who knows? But even if he does, what does anyone really expect to come out of it? That proclamation, that announcement is nothing more than a campaign soundbite. It doesn’t have any action attached to it.

What I would love to see is governors across the country refuse services to illegals or migrants settled in states without the state’s permission.

Don’t give them any state Medicaid or dollars or those sorts of things and put it back on the federal government.

Leahy: This is interesting because Governor Lee has signed this letter, along with 25 other Republican governors. Say, pretty, please, Mr. President. Meet with us so we can complain about what you’re doing, which will have zero zip nada effect.

And yet at the same time, he appears to be welcoming with open arms, a wave of unvetted for security or health purposes Afghan refugees. Already over 400 have arrived in Tennessee.

More than 300 apparently have been resettled in Tennessee. Governor Lee has said, well, gee, I’m not so sure I like this, but he’s doing nothing to change it. Your thoughts on that?

Ogles: Well, keep in mind, those numbers are just for Nashville. And we have documented cases in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville now where Afghan refugees have been resettled there, so one can only guestimate.

There’s not a lot of clarity here that that number could be closer to 1,000, if not more. But again, I appreciate their service for those that actually may have helped us.

Leahy: Well that’s a very, very limited number. The reports are 95,000 Afghan refugees are coming to the United States of America. A very small percentage of them were the interpreters that helped us.

Most of them are unvetted, possible terrorists, and certainly possibly unvaccinated. (Chuckles) And they’re going to be paid with all their social welfare. In the beginning, I think it will be covered by the federal government. But after eight months, it’s all on Tennessee taxpayers.

Ogles: Yes, that’s right. Look, again, I appreciate your service. But for those that helped us in Afghanistan, why didn’t we help resettle them to Kuwait or Jordan, the UAE, or somewhere else like that?

And at the end of the day, you have to be a fool if you don’t understand that Islam and Christianity, just don’t mix. Islam and a free Republic don’t mix.

And so we now have imported hundreds of thousands of people who at the end of the day, the religion hates America.

Leahy: That’s interesting because now we’re about maybe two percent of the American population is Muslim. My view is that there are those of that background who assimilate to America.

But there are quite a few whose general worldview is not consistent with the American concept of a constitutional Republic. They want to have a caliphate.

Ogles: And that goes back to the whole unvetted problem. And that is you have so many of these folks who are truly unvetted. We have no idea who they are.

All they came with is scraps of paper. And so who they claim they are, it may not be who they actually are. There’s no way to know. And we’ve just opened the door. Come on in.

Leahy: We have a law called the Refugee Act of 1980, which set standards for the legal admission of refugees in the United States. It’s a lengthy process, and they have to be reviewed and vetted.

I have yet to figure out why these 950 Afghan refugees are not going through that legal process. Apparently, the Biden administration is bigfooting American governors and bringing them all in. Here’s the story.

Andy, from Eric Lender at The Tennessee Star. We have only one story that says 26 Republican governors sent a letter to Biden. Please meet with us so we can talk about the southern border.

But 18 Republican governors apparently support Biden’s Afghan refugee settlement plan. Last week, the White House declared that at least 360 Afghans will be resettled in the US across 46 different states.

The only states that will not be receiving refugees or Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C.

Ogles: Again, why is Tennessee not in an opt-out position? When I look at this and you mentioned the federal government kind of pushing the governors around, I think this is part of a larger problem and a larger agenda where you have the federal government overstepping its authority and forcing the states to become co-opted into a program and co-opted into a policy.

And so it’s incrementally marginalizing our governors in our states. And keep in mind, we are a free Republic. We have the 10th amendment.

And whether it’s COVID or refugees or whatever, these governors have to stand up and start fighting. And playing footsie with a President who does not like us is not getting us anywhere.

Leahy: Yeah, it’s and it seems to be pretty transparently not liking the southern states.

Ogles: It’s blatant.

Leahy: Here’s an example. This is a story from Fox 17. Distribution changes in monoclonal antibody treatments may cause shortages in Tennessee hospitals. Did you see this story?

It seems to be a blatant political punishment of his opponents by the Biden maladministration. Here’s the story from Fox 17. The demand for the monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients has led the federal government to change the way it allocates its supply. This is a very kind of neutral reporting from Fox 17.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced they are distributing the antibiotic treatment doses based on state and territory, instead of allowing hospitals to directly order the number of treatments they need. And, yeah, a week and a half ago, if you wanted it, they distributed it to you. What’s wrong with this picture?

Ogles: They’ve kind of danced with this idea that they’re going to ration it to the states that don’t have the highest vaccine rates. It’s a dangerous position they’re putting themselves in. They being the federal government.

And so I think they’ve walked that back a little bit. But what you’re seeing, what they’ve done is you have a time of increased demand for the monoclonal antibodies.

The federal government is stockpiling a reserve, which is creating a choke point in the distribution. And so that they’re making states feel the pain through a kind of a stockpiling measure knowing, at the end of the day, you’ll start refusing treatment.

You’re going to have anarchy on your hands when you have someone who is sick. There’s a known treatment and they’re not able to get it.

I did see a different kind of on the idea of COVID that Israel is now beginning to recognize a natural immunity. It’ll be interesting to see if other states, businesses, et cetera reacts with a treatment that’s available.

You have the vaccines that are available. Where does natural immunity fit into this dialogue? And that’s, I guess, yet untold.

Leahy: Interestingly enough, last week, the entire Republican congressional delegation, all seven members, sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

And basically, they said, why are you changing the distribution policy, and why are you limiting it to Tennessee? They haven’t gotten an answer yet. I kind of like what Ron DeSantis said.

He said, okay, you want to ration the distribution of this stuff to us? We’re going to go out as a state and buy it from another vendor. I like that idea.

Ogles: Absolutely. And kudos to Ron DeSantis on this whole COVID vaccine virus issue, he has truly been a leader.

Listen to the full second 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham Discuss the Need for Tennessee General Assembly Special Session

Guest Hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham Discuss the Need for Tennessee General Assembly Special Session

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham talk in studio about the need for a special session in the Tennessee General Assembly and for Lt. Governor Randy McNally to identify the momentum.

Henry: My name is Grant Henry. Enunciation for those in the know Ben Cunningham. I work for an organization called American’s for Prosperity. Ben’s over there. He’s just like anything and everything and uncomparable. You probably know him from the Nashville Tea Party.

Cunningham: Wow. What an introduction.

Henry: I tried my best on that one. (Laughter) I’ll give you $5 for that one. It’s great to be here. It’s fun to sit in when Michael is gone and rant and rave. There’s so much going on, you teether between total depression and slight optimism these days. But we’ve got a fight.

And there are so many good fighters out there to inspire us. I was reading an article yesterday about people standing up. Molly Hemmingway who is with The Federalist.

But she’s one of these people who is fearless. And we’ve just got to all be like Molly, basically, and stand up and fight for these basic values. And that’s what people were doing yesterday at the Capitol.

Henry: Here’s one of the headlines coming from The Tennessee Star. By the way, The Tennessee Star has some of the best reporting in the state as far as I’m concerned.

Chris Butler and Laura Baigert out there doing some incredible things amongst many others at The Tennessee Star. Tennesseestar.com. Here’s the headline. Angry Tennessee Residents Burden by Covid 19 Policies Rally for Special Legislative Session Without Delay.

I know you were streaming this on the Nashville Tea Party page. I streamed it on my old talk radio page Real News. Here’s the first paragraph.

There were hundreds of Tennesse and said their displeasure with COVID-19 mandates has intensified, and it’s time for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally to relent and allow a special legislative session so that the state can fight back.

Now, I know a few other senators maybe like Senator Roberts in particular, I believe. I know he wrote a letter calling for a special session saying that he would like to see these six things that he outlined in a special session.

I think there are 70 House members in the state, don’t quote me on this number. There are 70 some in the House that have signed. And dozens of others, maybe 15-17 in the Senate that have signed on.

Cunningham: The House is ready to go, It looks like.

Henry: And Senator Robert says that he wants to see the following things addressed if and when a special session has opened up. One prohibiting mass mandates in public building schools and universities. Two recognizing acquired immunity or immunity from nobody satisfying vaccine mandates.

Three prohibiting Bridgestone Arena and other venues receiving government funds from implementing vaccine requirements, mask mandates, or segregating attendees according to vaccine status.

Four, placing the county health departments of these six counties under the direct oversight of the General Assembly. Five challenging federal overreach exercises by President Joe Biden related to these vaccine mandates.

And six and finally requiring executive orders issued during a state of emergency lasting over 90 days to be reviewed by a joint committee.

But quickly before I kick it to you, Ben, I did find an interesting that Chris Butler in that first paragraph touched on how it’s time for Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally to relent. You think it’s all hinging on him, as they say?

Cunningham: I think he’s the kind of the figurehead of the roadblock at this point. But Randy McNally is a good guy. And I think any politician, you can lower their threshold of action by rising up and saying, this is what we want.

And it’s extremely impressive to me that so many members of the House have already said that. They have stepped out publicly. They are willing to say, we need to have a special session.

And a special session like you were saying there, it’s not just Randy McNally who came out with a press release and said, hey, we’ll fight the Biden administration through the DAs and the legal avenues. But this is also about state issues.

This is not just about federal issues. If it was just about federal issues, I would say that he has a point. But I don’t think he has a point because lawmakers want to address the state, like Bridgestone Arena and perhaps the governor’s emergency powers.

There are all kinds of things that we need to talk about, and it’s going to take a few days to talk about this to sort it out. And I think that’s what these legislators want, and I’m certainly in favor of it. And I would like to see them come together.

This is the top issue for Tennesseeans right now. I don’t know if there’s any question about it. And we expect our legislators to respond when people say, hey, you need to come to Nashville.

As our representatives, you need to sit down, develop a consensus like the Supreme Court says and many of the justices say. We can’t decide on everything. It’s up to the legislative bodies to be deliberative and develop a consensus.

That’s what legislation and legislating are all about. And that’s driven by the people. And that’s why the rally yesterday was so important. And people who are opposed to the special session right now like Randy McNally can be convinced if enough people rise up and enough senators rise up and say, we want to a special session.

I don’t think it’s a question that Randy McNally would come around and say, okay. Hey, I see this huge groundswell of momentum basically building for this special session, and I think he would probably relent if he did see that wave of support.

Henry: I found it interesting yesterday, Senator Janice Bowling, again, I’d highly recommend you go watch the live stream on somebody’s account to see the legislators that were there, what they said, and the addresses they gave.

But Senator Janice Bowling, in particular, made the remark that if the Tennessee General Assembly calls for a special session, there are no restrictions upon what they can and cannot consider while they’re in that special session.

And I don’t presume to understand all the mechanics behind how this works. So take what I’m saying with a bit of a grain of salt. But if the General Assembly calls for one, they can kind of consider anything and everything on the table.

Conversely, if Governor Lee were to call for one, it’s limited exclusively to the things that Governor Lee calls for. And I find that interesting because I know there have been several talking points or push back about this idea of Joe Biden coming out with these vaccine mandates.

And they’re ridiculous. And in my personal opinion, the disgusting nature of some of the things that he’s doing withholding these antibody treatments. We’ll get into more of that later, right?

Cunningham: That’s maddening.

Henry: But at a practical level in the state, I do wonder here what can be done with e of the vaccine mandate stuff. And I also wonder, so much of this deals with the schools, Ben.

I want to get into this more in the show, but I’d love to know your thoughts on if we call for a special session, what can we do to consider doing something with education?

I believe education should create an environment that empowers the students to continually fulfill their unique potential. But it should also provide families and parents with the decisions about how to educate their children properly, giving parents more parental choice, right?

Every student should have equal access to education on equal terms regardless of their zip code and especially now dealing with some of the math stuff or the vaccine stuff or CRT stuff or whatever that stuff is, parents need more choice. More on this later on in the show. We’ll be right back after this break.

– – –

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Cameron Sexton Weighs In on Parent Centered News Conference Monday with Lee and Schwinn

Speaker Cameron Sexton Weighs In on Parent Centered News Conference Monday with Lee and Schwinn

 

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. –  guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton to the newsmaker line to further illustrate his position from Monday’s press conference where he, Governor Lee, and Penny Schwinn stood firm on getting children back to class with parents at the wheel.

Cunningham: My name is Ben Cunningham and I’m sitting in for Michael Patrick Leahy at the big Tennessee Star microphone this morning while Michael is away. He is expanding an ever-expanding media empire and getting more and more outlets for us conservatives.

And we have this morning we have an extraordinarily special guest on the line this morning. Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton is with us this morning. Speaker, good morning.

Sexton: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Cunningham: Yes, thanks so much for joining us. You had a pretty amazing press conference yesterday and kind of threw down the gauntlet on behalf of students and parents in Tennessee.

And it was really an amazing assertion of let’s get back to school. Let’s get kids in school. Let’s get them in the classroom and let’s teach them in the classroom. Please tell us how that all came down yesterday.

Sexton: Yes. Yesterday the governor and Commissioner Schwinn were announcing the TCAP results which was not good. Basically, we’ve lost a lot of the ground. We’re back to around where we were in 2015 and 2016 on proficiency. It’s all across the board. All subjects. All grades.

It was not a good day on TCAP. And the interesting thing is, there were individuals in the session who is trying to tell us, oh, learning loss is not an issue.

Well, it really is. And when you don’t have kids in school and you have them doing remote work or you have them do virtual education or you just close down the schools as some did, you see what the results are.

And now they’re trying to use COVID as a reason why they maybe need to close down schools, require mask mandates, maybe segregate kids on who’s vaccinated and who’s unvaccinated. And the data doesn’t point that that needs to happen with the children and that they actually need to be in class. It needs to be in person. I think the majority of teachers agree with that as well. And so basically what I said, you know what? Schools if you want to shut down, if you want to require a mask, if you want to segregate kids based on who’s vaccinated or not, I’m going to ask the governor for a special session. And we’re going to go in and we’re going to make some changes, and that may be going in a direction called school choice. And let parents decide where they want to send their kids if the school system there is not doing what’s needed to get done to get their child educated.

Cunningham: Well, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of myself personally and all the folks that I talk with around Tennessee, this is an amazing measure and press conference. I think many people in Tennessee would like to have the option to choose their school if the school that they’re going to is not performing. Can you tell us what would be the next step? What would trigger your action at this point?

Sexton: If the school system shut down, if the school system moved all their kids to remote learning or gave them hybrid remote learning, or if they started requiring kids to wear masks, I mean, all those things or segregated kids in the classroom. Those things would get me to ask the governor for a special session. And we’ll come back in and take a look at it. There are schools right now debating whether or not our kids will wear masks and the data doesn’t point to that direction where that should happen. All data says is that children are less likely than anybody else to have severe COVID or to be hospitalized. And the survival rate for anyone below the age of 20 who gets COVID even with the new Delta variant is 99.99 percent. And so let’s just talk about the facts. Let’s talk about the data, and then let’s have that conversation. But kids need to be in class, and we can’t accept the second year of TCAP numbers to go down.

Cunningham: And that’s got to be music to the years of parents across Tennessee. And you were at the press conference. The governor was there. Senator Johnson, our education secretary. All those folks were there. And you guys are showing a very unified front.

Sexton: Yeah. I mean, I think we’re all on the same page. We want what’s best for the children. And the data doesn’t lie. I know there’s a lot of people out there who think that kids need to wear masks eight hours a day, every single day down to the age of two. I mean, I have a hard time figuring out why they’re so angry about allowing parents to make the choice. You have people out there who are so mad when you say what the parents should make the choice. If they want their kids to wear a mask, let them wear a mask. If they don’t want to, then they shouldn’t have to wear one. And there are people losing their minds out there because you’re saying the parents have a right to decide what’s best for their kids. It tells you where the left is in our world today.

Cunningham: It does. And I noticed several questions at the news conference to the governor or about that. Why don’t you listen to this group of experts? Why don’t you listen to this group of experts? The state government is there to serve the citizens and the parents initially, most of all. And thank goodness you guys are putting the citizens at the top of the priority list. I for one – thank you for doing that. The news conference was really amazing yesterday, and I think it puts educators and everybody else on notice that parents have got to be the major decision-makers in this process.

Sexton: It’s their children. They know what’s best. They’re going to do what’s best for them and their kids. And people who think otherwise, I just don’t understand that capability. And the other thing is they’re wanting to make examples of people being hospitalized. Well, the people who are hospitalized in Tennessee, I’ve talked to hospitals all across the state and 96 percent of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated people, and they’re the age brackets of 35 to 50. And what I say is, stop listening to the CDC. Stop listening to the national media people and just go have a conversation with your physician, your pediatrician, and your pharmacist and ask them what’s best for you and your family if you’re unsure. But talk to the experts who know about your health and have a conversation. Quit listening to the Washington bureaucrats and the state bureaucrats and the school systems. Have a conversation with the people who know about your health. And then you all make a decision that’s best for you and your family. It’s pretty easy.

Cunningham: Yeah. Absolutely. And so many people have tried to politicize this issue and have a political agenda behind all the press releases that come out. The scare tactics and everything. But I, for one, want to thank you very much for coming out. That was pretty extraordinary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a press conference like that where you had unity of the legislative and the executive branch. And everybody was saying parents should be the ones who are making these decisions. That’s an extraordinary statement in this day and time.

Sexton: It is. It really is. And I’m glad to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn and members of the General Assembly, the House and Senate, and listening to the people in our district. And overwhelmingly the people in the district and people across the state of Tennessee believe kids should be back in school. That should be in person. They shouldn’t be doing remote learning. They shouldn’t be doing virtual, and schools should not be shut down. You shouldn’t be requiring a mask. That’s what the people in Tennessee want. But you have people out there, as you said, trying to scare people into believing something that the data does not support.

Cunningham: What is the next step in your decision? What would trigger you to call a special session and what are you monitoring at this point?

Sexton: We’re watching Shelby County looking at requiring mask mandates. I think Williamson County has something coming up where they’re looking at it. So we’re watching that. Davison County’s looking at it. Wilson County had a meeting last night. So we’re just watching. We made our statement. We put it out on record of what we expect, and we’ll see what happens. If people start going in different directions then we’ll go back here and I’m going to ask the governor for a special session. And hopefully, we’ll be able to get that done. And it might be three to four weeks later because by the time you get it organized and set. But I’m curious. If we need to go in, it’s a big enough issue for us to go on a special session to solve this really quickly.

Cunningham: And you can act within 30 days. 45 days. That certainly is a reasonable time frame. Is that correct?

Sexton: It is. You could act within seven days, but the problem is you would have members who might not be in town. People have work. And so you try to give enough time for them to clear their schedule and to be able to have a special session. But yes, you can call a special session within 30 days if you need to pretty easily.

Cunningham: Speaker Sexton, thanks so much for joining us this morning. I know you’re busy as a switch engine this morning with all the press and everything. But that was an amazing news conference there yesterday. And I personally cannot thank you enough for coming out and asserting this parent-centered agenda. I think that’s what so many people in the state want. And thank you so much for being bold and coming out yesterday and very positively asserting that agenda around parents and students.

Sexton: Well, thank you. You’re very kind. And I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope to see you soon.

Cunningham: Great. Thanks so much.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Andy Ogles Tells Tennessee It’s Time to Take a Stand: We Are in a Cultural War, Spiritual War, and Political War

Mayor Andy Ogles Tells Tennessee It’s Time to Take a Stand: We Are in a Cultural War, Spiritual War, and Political War

 

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 weigh in on the recent rogue staff situation at the Department of Human Resources that has quietly implemented equity and inclusion councils across the state agencies.

Leahy: In studio or very good friend, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. Andy, our top story at The Tennessee Star today follows up on this rogue staff at the Department of Human Resources that’s decided on its own without telling the Tennessee General Assembly or apparently the governor, that they’re going to set up equity and inclusion councils all across the state of Tennessee and every state agency.

And we’ll get to that in a bit. Apparently, they’ve implemented it. Here’s what State Representative John Reagan, who is the chairman of the Government Operations Committee in the House said. This is, according to our lead store at The Tennessee Star. He’s formerly asked the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, the Commissioner there, Juan Williams, to explain the Diversity and Equity Council program he wants state agencies to enforce.

In the letter, Reagan requested that Williams justify his actions in a timely manner and explain how much it will cost taxpayers. Reagan told The Tennessee Star that Williams and members of his staff acknowledge receiving the letter, but they’ve yet to formally respond. I’ll give you this quote and see what your thoughts are.

This is from State Representative John Reagan, the chairman of the Government Operations Committee in the House of Representatives. “My concerns about the Diversity and Equity Council will fall into two categories. First, I want to know whether this is an internal policy that is only going to affect people inside their Department or if it is going to affect people outside their Department.

My concern there is because I chair the Government Operations Committee. The second thing of concern to me is I did not see anything related to cost. What is this going to cost in terms of expenditures of doing training or having meetings or whatever they’re going to do? And then does it take away also from their doing of their current jobs?” What’s your reaction to that?

Ogles: Well I think you start at the beginning of a rogue employee. I don’t buy into that. I just don’t. This is now the third Commissioner who allegedly has gone off-script. And at some point, you’ve got to sit down with your commissioners and give them a clear direction and tell them this is how I expect you to govern. And so this is unacceptable. And Commissioner Juan Williams should resign. This does not reflect Tennessee values. And at what point are we going to have faith that our government is actually representing Tennesseeans and not representing some agenda from the left?

Leahy: It sounds like an agenda from the left. And the commissioner is making it appear that Governor Lee endorses this agenda from the left. They had a meeting yesterday, apparently. Now, to me, since this entire program, and I’ve got some more information. It has already been implemented and I’ll give you some of those details on it. I don’t see how one, Williams can stay as Commissioner having misled the Tennessee General Assembly on this program.

Ogles: Of course not. The Commissioner is working at will for the governor. You can be fired at any time. We’re a right-to-work state. But there’s the cause here. End of story. How much it does or doesn’t cost to the Tennessee taxpayer is really a moot point. The bigger issue is this isn’t California. This isn’t Washington and this isn’t Oregon and this isn’t New York.

Anecdotally I had a board meeting yesterday and it does a lot of nonprofit good stuff. But it’s a quasi-state board. It’s for a regional thing. And the federal government had pushed down some language that they ‘recommended’ that we insert into our bylaws. And one of those words is that as far as the discrimination clause is that we won’t discriminate against transgender individuals.

Well, hold on a minute. That hasn’t fully been adjudicated in our courts. And by inserting that into the bylaws, now if you have a situation where a man wants to use the bathroom with a little girl, you can’t tell them no.

Leahy: That is about as crazy as you could possibly get.

Ogles: But I refuse and I object to it. And we did not amend our bylaws to reflect that. And at some point, if we have to, we go to court over it. But this has got to stop. These agendas being pushed down by the federal government and the media. Tennessee needs to be a firewall state. It’s time. We’re at war. We’re in a cultural war. We’re in a spiritual war. We’re in a political war. And buckle up, Buttercup, because it’s time. And we’ve got to start taking stands in Tennessee. Tough stands. And this is emblematic of what’s happening across the country.

Leahy: So yesterday, the head of the Tennessee House Government Operations Committee asked the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources if this diversity and equity program was just limited to the Department of Human Resource. Andy, a source has provided us with a document. This document comes from…

Ogles: Uh oh. (Laughs)

Leahy: Uh oh. (Laughs)

Ogles: I don’t think they expected it to get out. And then suddenly they got caught red-handed with their hand in the cookie jar. And so here we go.

Leahy: Here’s the cookie jar we’re opening up. So here’s the thing. The Department of Human Resources provides human resource guidelines to every department of the state. Public safety, transportation, and there is another department called the Department of Human Services. That’s separate from the Department of Human Resources. This is a document from the Department of Human Services. I’ll just read this to you.

In the wake of social justice protests and conversations last year, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, that’s the overarching one, not the Department of Human Services that we got this one from, started a new initiative across state government to foster conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, to strengthen the employee experience.

All state agencies, including the Tennessee Department of Human Services, have been encouraged to take steps to further this effort. At the Department of Human Services, we are committed to providing an environment in which employees thrive because it’s the right thing to do. Wait for it…in November of 2020, the Department of Human Services, a separate Department from the Department of Human Resources, launched a series of diversity, equity, and inclusion listening services.

I don’t know where the budget was approved for that. I don’t think there was any budget for that. In which nearly 300 employees attended to share their feedback and thoughts. In addition to the subset of the population who attended, 186 employees also participated in an optional session survey after each listening session. Here’s what this resulted in.

There’s a need for additional diversity, equity, and inclusion training, said the employees at the Department of Human Services, following the lead of the recommendation not approved by anybody or any budget, but instigated by the Department of Human Resources. They want to focus on inclusive language in the workplace.

They need more opportunities for listening sessions, education on listening skills, more diverse recruitment teams, more advocacy to diversify teams, and more community outreach efforts. Now, this program has been implemented, according to this document across the state of Tennessee, without the knowledge, apparently, of anyone in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Ogles: Well, again, I can see how the General Assembly would be unaware of some of the things that are happening in government buildings because they’re part-time legislators. Obviously, there should have been some disclosure during the budget sessions, but I go back. You said 300 and 186 participated. So almost 500 employees participated.

Leahy: 300 participated and were in the listening session. This is just in the Department of Human Service. One of a dozen or so departments. And then 186 and filled out surveys after that participation.

Ogles: We’ve got hundreds of employees that participated in this and you’re telling me that somehow someway this didn’t get back to the governor.

Leahy: I’m not telling you that. I’m just saying it happened. It didn’t get back to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Ogles: And so, again, my question is, where are the governor’s people engaging with his respective departments? I mean, you have over 300 employees that are participating in that and someone didn’t call in? This is ridiculous.

Leahy: That was back in November by the way.

Ogles: How about you have fewer meetings with Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and focus on the business of Tennessee. I’m really troubled by this. This is, again, emblematic of what’s been going on with this ‘third-row commissioner’ in about six months with this administration.

Leahy: So the other rogue commissioner, Penny Schwinn who did this debacle of the well-being checks, that was her idea. They stepped back and stopped that. Who was the other one?

Ogles: So the other one and not a lot about this has been discussed in the media, but you have the former Commissioner of Veterans Affairs who had to resign from office due to a scandal within that department.

Leahy: A scandal?

Ogles: That’s right.

Listen to the second 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon on Federal Bribe Money to Implement Critical Race Theory in State K-12 Public Schools

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon on Federal Bribe Money to Implement Critical Race Theory in State K-12 Public Schools

 

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 Senior Editor-At-Large at The Epoch Times Roger Simon to the studio to discuss his recent article suggesting Donald Trump 2.0 become the education president and questioned whether or not Tennessee will stop the federal bribe money encouraging critical race theory in the K-12 public schools.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by the newest all-star panelist for The Tenessee Star Report, my former boss at PJTV, and also an editor at large for The Epoch Times, the fastest-growing newspaper and website in America, Roger Simon. Roger, we’re talking about education. Our lead story at The Tennessee Star. Williamson County School System Officials Deny They Are Pushing Critical Race Theory, Critics Call it Marxist. You have a terrific column at The Epoch Times. You suggest that Donald Trump 2 0 should be the education president.

Simon: Yes. Principally to fight this stuff, to get rid of it, because it’s almost a cancer on our country. I mean, I hate to be so grim because when I come here in the morning…

Leahy: Yeah, but, Roger, you’re being honest.

Simon: I’m being honest and truth of the matter, as Michael and I have discussed here in the morning and drive time, we should be a little bit upbeat.

Leahy: We should be. We try to be, but we have to be honest.

Simon: Exactly. And this is a red line for anybody. Because imagine trying to teach a six-year-old the most important thing about his or her life is skin color.

Leahy: It’s crazy.

Simon: That’s what critical race theory is all about. It’s about the subversion of the United States because it’s a replacement for the old Marxist line of class struggle. It didn’t work. So some eggheads in Europe decided oh, well, let’s make it about race now which is actually, in my view, worse.

Leahy: It’s all about race from the Democrats. It looks like the Democrats at every level, with help from mainstream media and Big Tech, are trying to create a race war in America. That’s what it looks like to me.

Simon: Well, they’re doing it. They’re not trying and in part succeeding. The fact that critical race theory is now and, you know, it’s in our schools and it’s in our schools because the Department of Education puts funding on it. Hello, Governor Lee. Don’t take their money. This is a bribe. The states are being bribed to teach this stuff. It’s a pretty scary thing.

That’s why I’m recommending in the article that if there’s a Trump 2.0 or a DeSantis 1.0, that the first thing they do is change the Department of Education, which maybe should be obliterated altogether. But you’ve got to make a transition and take someone like the great Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College and come in there and right the ship. Then you can destroy.

Leahy: Great minds think alike, Roger, because tomorrow morning at six o’clock on this very program, Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, will be our guest to talk about these things.

Simon: Well, I’ll have to get up early. I know Larry pretty well, but I have to get up early to listen to that one because he’s a great person. When you talk about a great American, he’s a great American.

Leahy: So you were talking about the nefarious Department of Education becoming even more nefarious under the Biden-Harris maladministration. There is a regulation now being considered by the Department of Education, and they’re promulgating it. Meaning they’re getting comments on it before they finalize it. And they’re jamming this thing down. What they’re doing is they are going to make available to teachers around the country grants to teach critical race theory and be the false tenants of the discredited 1619 Project from The New York Times.

Simon: Yep.

Leahy: Money is coming to Tennessee teachers. Now, having said that, your point is…

Simon: Don’t take it.

Leahy: Governor Lee should lead the way.

Simon: He’s the one who has to do it. I know he’s probably suffering somewhere with DeSantis envy. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Hold on, DeSantis envy? Did you just coin that phrase right now?

Simon: Just this second yes.

Leahy: I love that phrase. And apparently every Republican potential national figure apparently now has DeSantis envy.

Simon: Well, they should. He’s shown himself to be the guy, but it’s not so hard to do what he’s doing. And all you have to have is little guts. And just remember the famous phrase of H.L. Mencken the journalist from Baltimore years ago. “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” And that’s what’s going on here, as you just said. They’re presenting the states with bribes, essentially, to teach this pollution.

Leahy: And directly the money under this regulation, which I expect will be approved. They’re just going through the motions on these commentaries.

Simon: They put up a phony thing like that, and then they do it.

Leahy: So my guess is within the next 60 days, the Department of Education will announce the availability of grants to teach critical race theory and the 1619 Project. The premise of the 1619 Project, discredited, by the way, by all real historians, is that America was based upon slavery from the very beginning.

Simon: It was even walked back eventually by The New York Times, where it was first published. And The New York Times doesn’t walk back much of this stuff anyway.

Leahy: So what’s going to happen is we’re at the end of April, probably in July of this year the Department of Education will send out a missive to every public school district in America, including 145 of them here in Tennessee. And every teacher of government, history, and civics, and even math and other areas will be allowed to apply for grants that will enable them to have materials to teach critical race theory. And the 1619 Project. What is the state of Tennessee doing right now to stop that, Roger?

Simon: Well, we don’t know. I mean, it’s sitting in the lap of the governor, and I think and of course, the legislature. I think every single one and we have to watch everybody because everybody depends on this. If this stuff goes through across the country and in Tennessee is the last place that it goes through. The electorate here in Tennessee is more to the right than it is in Florida and yet and DeSantis has already put a blockade against this.

Leahy: Yes, he has.

Simon: He made a statement.

Leahy: We are not teaching critical race theory in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

Simon: A high percentage of the people are listening to this now like a parent and or grandparents or whatever. And everybody has a stake in this. This is not minor. This is not one of those things where you shrug it off and they say oh global warming, they’re making me buy an electric car. Well, this is the brain.

Leahy: Our reporter who’s covered this, Chris Butler, has put numerous requests for comment about the actions Governor Lee will take to stop the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 public schools in Tennessee. And the only line that I’ve stolen from a good friend, Howie Carr, in Boston, the Boston radio talk show king. When the phone didn’t ring, we knew it was Governor Bill Lee. (Laughter)

Simon: Well, that’s a pretty tough line. But, you know, he has an opportunity to show that, I mean, look, it’s going to be remembered. This is something that is not going to be forgotten because it’s going to be in the schools come the next primary.

Leahy: We’ve talked to several state legislators, and they are putting something together. I don’t know if they will have it together in a timely manner before the Tennesse General Assembly adjourns this session. Probably by next Friday.

Simon: Ding, ding, ding. This is an emergency more than most things.

Leahy: I think every listener to this program, Roger, would agree with you that stopping the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 public schools right now in Tennessee is an emergency. And we’ll see if the governor and the legislature are up to the task on that one.

Listen to the full broadcast 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.