Dr. Christopher Weiss, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas Tech, Talks Tornados in Out of Season December

Dr. Christopher Weiss, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas Tech, Talks Tornados in Out of Season December


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 Texas Tech Professor of Atmospheric Science, Christopher Weiss to the newsmakers line to give insight into the recent tornados hitting Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, and other states late Friday evening.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmaker line by Professor Christopher Weiss, a Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas Tech University. Welcome, Professor Weiss. Thanks for joining us this morning.

Weiss: Yeah. Good morning. Thank you for having me. So you have a BS in Atmospheric and Space Sciences from Michigan-Ann Arbor. By the way, a pretty good season for the Blue, huh?

Weiss: Yeah. Beating Ohio State was certainly a big plus. (Chuckles)

Leahy: And in the National Championship, you think your guys are going to make it?

Weiss: Oh, boy, I don’t know. I don’t want to jinx it here, but we’re certainly optimistic. I don’t know. We might get past Georgia. I’m not sure in the Championship.

Leahy: So you actually have gone to these big powerhouse football schools majoring in atmospheric sciences. You got your PhD from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. So you’ve seen some great college football games, haven’t you?

Weiss: I sure have.  Obviously, things are kind of going the opposite direction at the moment, but, yeah, I can’t have everything I suppose.

Leahy: Now you’re an expert on tornadoes, then. Is that right?

Weiss: I’ve studied tornadoes.

Leahy: Now tell us about this. The recent tornadoes, it’s pretty devastating. Is this the worst tornado in decades to hit Kentucky primarily, but also some in Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and I think a little bit in Missouri?

Weiss: Yeah. There are a lot of things about this event that are noteworthy, for sure. The fact that it’s occurring so far out of season here in December, that’s certainly one noteworthy item. The number of tornadoes in the event, I’ve seen numbers anywhere from 60.

Well, I’m sorry, 60 reports for these tornadoes, but the fact that we had these long-track tornadoes. We had two long-track tornadoes and one extremely long-track tornado that might be a record in terms of a continuous path lengths.

We’ll have to see with the study here whether it was one continuous tornado or if it was a series of tornado segments, what we call tornado families. That’s what often happens in these outbreaks.

So we’re trying to figure out exactly what makes this event unique, but certainly probably the highest impact tornado event for your region in recent memory, for sure.

Leahy: So I don’t know if you’ve looked into this issue, but there were claims by, I think President Biden sort of advanced the claim that this may be a consequence of ‘global warming.’ Have you seen those claims? What’s your take on all this?

Weiss: Anytime we have a significant weather event, this question certainly pops up. It’s a hot button issue right now, and it’s the strong opinions on both sides of course. Yes.

The standard answer we give is that we have to be careful because we’re talking about different scales here. When we talk about climate change, we’re talking about something that’s been occurring over decades.

And then you try to connect that individual, short-fused events like tornadoes, which are called from minutes to hours. We need to be careful in that comparison.

And when we look at large compilation of reports over multiple decades of tornadoes, then we can start trying to align the apples up with the apples. It depends on what your metric is on tornado occurrence.

If you’re looking at the total number of tornadoes that occur across the country, when we look at the trend, we don’t really see a significant increase when you take into account some of the other non-Meteorological factors that are in play.

For example, the fact that there are more people observing these storms, and there are a lot more spotters out. Certainly, the built environment has increased over the past few decades. There’s more things for the tornadoes to hit.

So when you take into account those factors and we don’t see a real strong signal for the increase in the number of tornadoes. What we do see is a shift, a shift in where the tornadoes are occurring.

And that’s been proven in some recent papers in the peer review literature. So traditionally, if you think about tornado alley being here, where we’re at here in Texas or  Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, that’s the traditional tornado alley.

That’s where we see most of the tornadoes in April, May and parts of June. And that’s still true. We still have the most tornadoes here at that time of year. But the relative frequency has decreased, and instead we’re seeing increases now out in your neck of the woods.

When we get out to Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of the upper Midwest up there, we receive a shift in where the tornadoes are happening. That seems to be the climate signal that’s most assailant I suppose.

Leahy: Is there a reason or any hypotheses as to why there’s a greater frequency of tornadoes in the Tennessee general Midwest area, Upper South Midwest area than there have been previously?

Weiss: That’s a great question. You’re hitting some key topics that are currently being studied right now. There’s a paper that looked at this in some detail and actually looked at it as a function of El Nino as well.

Currently, we’re in the El Nino phase. But I think it also applies to this just overall evolution and the climate signal, too. Let’s back up just a second here. Just to review how we get these types of traumatic events.

So there’s a few things you need to have in place. One thing is you need to have it needs to rise (Inaudible talk) If you ever look at a tonnetic thunderstorm from a distance, you’ll see this up draft.

This area that’s going up very quickly creates beautiful, cauliflower-looking cumulus clouds, and they go upwards of 100 miles per hour in the strongest storm. So imagine getting a car and pointing straight up and gunning it.

That’s basically what these storms look like. We need to have buoyant air to make that happen. And part of that is temperature. So we need to have warmer at the ground compared to the temperature of the air loft.

There’s kind of two ends to that. When you have colder air aloft and warmer at the ground that tends to produce thunderstorms, the only thing we need is moisture. We need to have water vapor.

And this is one of the things that’s really key for this signal is we need to have higher amounts of water vapor. So that area that affects you if you look back upstream, comes primarily off the Gulf of Mexico.

And when air sits over top of a water basin for a while, it starts picking up as water vapor. That water evaporates from the Gulf and into the air above. And then the wind blows that water vapor up into one your case, into central Tennessee.

So that’s a big part of it. In global climate change, of course, the water is warming with time, hence this is why we hurricanes as well. But it also means that the amount of water vapor that the air can hold is also higher.

Leahy: Let me ask you this. Our last question because we’re running out of time, here. Very interesting explanation. Have you ever been in or near a tornado yourself?

Weiss: Yes, I certainly have. I’ve been in the field studying these things for a number of years. We had some fairly close calls. It’s kind of a dangerous job out there, but it’s one that I feel is important that we get to observe these tornadoes.

Leahy: Are you like the guys in that movie twister?

Weiss: Yeah. We have all the instrumentation. We have doppler radars.

Leahy: Do you get your truck and, like, chase after a tornado?

Weiss: Yes.

Leahy: You do really? Oh, my goodness. Are you worried that it might come turn towards you?

Weiss: Yeah. We try to stay at a distance. And we allow the storm to evolve as it comes towards us.

Leahy: Have you ever thought my time is about to be up? Have you ever thought this tornado might get me?

Weiss: Yeah. Well, I’ve been in the outer fringes of tornadoes before unexpectedly.

Leahy: Well, we’re glad you made it through. Dr. Christopher Weiss, thanks so much for joining us today from Texas Tech. It’s been a pleasure.

Weiss: Thanks for having me.

Leahy: I appreciate that insight.

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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 “Dr. Christopher Weiss” by Texas Tech University.








Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum

Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum


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 reflect on Penny Schwinn’s well-being initiative and the intrusive danger it posed to Middle Tennessean families.

Leahy: In studio the mayor of Maury County, Andy Ogles. Andy, it’s always fun to have you in here because you tell us about stuff that we don’t really hear about in the more establishment media.

All the growth going on in Maury County. And then I guess you’ve been getting around the state a little bit as well. You’ve got some kind of freedom tour. I don’t have all the details on it, but I think you were up in what, East Tennessee recently?

Ogles: Kingsport.

Leahy: Kingsport. Tri-cities. By the way, let me just say a little bit about Tennessee. For those of you who are here, of course, are new.

It’s the greatest state in the country. There’s no comparison, particularly, with how beautiful the Tri-Cities area is. If you have not been there, you got to go.

Ogles: It’s gorgeous. And there’s so much diversity from the Reelfoot Lake, the Delta of Memphis, Middle Tennessee. And then, of course, the Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee.

So it’s a great opportunity to just really appreciate the state. We’ll be taking the kids is on the road, the family, as a travel-the-state over the next few months.

I was up in Kingsport on Saturday afternoon. Four hundred people showed up to talk about freedom and liberty.

Leahy: Okay. So tell us about what the tour is called and what you do on the tour and who’s all part of it.

Ogles: So it’s a freedommatterstour.com. So you can go to the website.

Leahy: Now, let me just say. Freedom Matters Tour. It’s  freedommatterstour.com.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: So the word that keeps coming up is matters. Because you have the Black Lives Matter movement. And our tagline, by the way, at the new Star News Network site, which is the aggregate site for all of our eight and soon-to-be 11 state sites.

Ogles: Which you just launched.

Leahy: Which we just launched.

Ogles: Which is fantastic.

Leahy: Thestarnewsnetwork.com. Thanks.

Ogles: I have to admit, I did get a little preview.

Leahy: Gave you a preview. The tagline that we’re using for now, and I think we’ll stick with it, is State and Local News That Matters.

And we just came up with that on our own. One of the things to get on the side, we’ve decided to be distinctive from other news networks in the sense that if you look at it’s all part of our design.

Go to Thestarnewsnetwork.com and just look at it because you’ll see, the color scheme is very different than other networks.

We have more variations of orange and black and white, and it’s pretty cool. Most other networks have versions of red, white, and blue, basically. NBC has more colors on its scheme.

But we’re just trying to tell people, you know, we’re not Washington-centric. We’re state-centric. Nashville. We cover Nashville. We covered the state capitals. Richmond, Atlanta. The real news, where freedom still matters.

Ogles: You focused on that word matters. It matters how much influence Facebook or Twitter has in our lives. It matters whether the mainstream or the lamestream news media is objective.

It matters whether or not you’re involved. And it matters who is running your local state government because if you’ve ever been a sports person if you think about baseball, I grew up playing baseball.

The farm team, your school board, your Commission, your mayors, those are your state reps and your state senators and, or, congressman for the future.

The left figured it out a long time ago that they would take over the school boards. And they created this farm team, this bench of candidates that they could select from.

It was tryouts for the big leagues. And along the way, they’ve stolen the curriculums in our school. Even now in the state of Tennessee, every one of the five curricula, I think it’s five.

Maybe it’s six, has Critical Race Theory in them. And so the legislature created this law that they had to ban CRT in the state of Tennessee.

And now that they’ve gone back and looked at every curriculum in the state of Tennessee has CRT. And they’ve put themselves in a box because they don’t have a curriculum that hasn’t been poisoned.

Leahy: And supposedly, Penny Schwinn is going to come in. And by the way, we had a story about Metro Nashville Public Schools, where there was a school board meeting, and there were opponents to the teaching of Critical Race Theory there.

There were more proponents of it, and they were teachers who were saying, well, we’re going to keep teaching it.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: What is the state of Tennessee going to do when these teachers in Shelby County and Davidson County continue to teach Critical Race Theory?

What is the state of Tennessee going to do under that law? Supposedly, Penny Schwinn will hold back money from them. Do you think she’s going to do that? I don’t.

Ogles: Well, time will tell. She’s the sole judge and jury as to whether or not CRT is in the curriculum.

Leahy: She’s a little biased. She introduced Wit and Wisdom to 33 counties and overrode the textbook committees. And that’s kind of a precursor to CRT.

Ogles: Well, even beyond that, social and emotional learning is the foundation, which is all of the curricula is now based on. It is the foundation upon which CRT and all of these left agenda items are built upon.

Because it’s less about you learning the data in front of you, learning math or learning the history, learning how to read than it is, oh, well, you’ve been a victim because of X, Y, or Z.

This is why you can’t perform at the same level as your peers. So it’s built on making excuses, and it’s more complicated than that, clearly.

But, again, that’s how it’s being weaponized to steal the minds of our children. And that’s what’s happening. And if you don’t believe that, you’re not paying attention.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. It’s very scary. And there’s a lot of left-wing pressure to keep this social and emotional learning, the precursor to Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Theory itself.

They want to keep teaching it, and strong leadership needs to push back against it. And I’m very skeptical that Penny Schwinn will exert any leadership in that arena. That’s just my view.

Ogles: Well, we’ve talked about it before. Once she introduced the well-being initiative back in September of last year I called for her to be removed from her position.

Leahy: And was she?

Ogles: Of course not. And again, Paul Revere, I sounded the bell. I told you this was coming back in September. And now here we are almost a year later.

Leahy: So talk about that wellness initiative and what was so egregious about it that she introduced?

Ogles: Well, again, you have to understand. And I’m not here to disparage her. She’s a nice person. But she comes from Berkeley.

Leahy: She’s a graduate at the University of California-Berkeley because nothing says Tennessee values like the University of California-Berkley.

Ogles: Nothing says conservative like Berkeley. (Leahy laughs) UCBerkeley. So, again, why are we surprised that she has this worldview that the state should teach, the state is the parent for your children?

Leahy: Just remind me what it was, because it was so egregious.

Ogles: Back in August, they rolled out this well-being initiative. The governor appointed roughly 30 people to this committee.

They came out with this idea that every child, every child ages zero to 18, would be interviewed by this newly created position, wellbeing liaisons.

So it’s part of this greater initiative to make sure that your children were well if you will. But the kicker is, every child would be interviewed without their parent present and without parental consent.

Now, the administration immediately said, oh, but there’s an opt-out provision. But if you read it in detail, you have to get permission to opt out.

So it’s not an opt-out provision, because all it takes is your wellbeing liaison to say, nope. I’m going to interview your kids anyway.

And the interviews can take place in your home. So if you’re homeschooled, they’re going to take place at home. And by the way, it’s zero to 18.

So if you have a child that’s not in school yet, your child is going to be interviewed. And it’s the questions like, do your parents own guns? Are you stressed? Do your parents fight?

Leahy: None of your business.

Ogles: It alarmed me to an extent such that I reached out to the governor directly.

Leahy: You did?

Ogles: I did.

Leahy: How did that conversation go?

Ogles: That was a private conversation between me and the governor. But I think the outcome is she didn’t get fired.

Leahy: But the policy was reversed after it was exposed.

Ogles: So I held a press conference. Other conservatives across the state jumped on board. And about  9 – 10 days – after my press conference, they pulled that initiative back.

Leahy: And I get the feeling it’s what they want to do. And if it weren’t brought to the attention of the public, they probably would have done it.

Ogles: Well, they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. If there is an upside to COVID, more moms and parents were engaged in – essentially homeschooling, they could hear the Zoom classes and some of the CRT, these well-being initiatives.

And this invasive culture where the state is now going to come into your home and tell you not only how to teach your children but how you should raise your children.

We’ve got a problem in this country, and it’s time that our governors wake up to that fact.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Penny Schwinn” by Tennessee Department of Education.












Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Booming Growth Ignited by Manufacturing Industry in the County

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Booming Growth Ignited by Manufacturing Industry in the County


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 current economic growth his county is experiencing due to an influx of manufacturing and supply chain demand.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by the mayor of Maury County, that bastion of economic freedom, the turbocharged engine of economic growth. The mayor, Andy Ogles. Good morning, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning. How are you today?

Leahy: Well, I am delighted to have you in studio here. And, you know, we kind of joke about that little tagline we have for Maury County, except it’s no joke.

It’s actually true. It is the bastion of freedom and the turbocharged engine of economic growth. And I think you have some proof of that to share with us today.

Ogles: Obviously, all you have to do is drive around Spring Hill, Columbia, or even on the Southside down in Mount Pleasant and see the growth.

The Chamber gave an update yesterday at our commission meeting. And when you look at population growth in the state of Tennessee, our growth rate, of course, that’s a per capita number, we’re number one in the state of Tennessee.

We’re also the number one creator of manufacturing jobs in the state of Tennessee. So it’s a crazy time to be mayor of such a growth in the county because that comes with a lot of challenges.

And that’s one of the things that we’re working through now as we pass our budget and get ready for the next school year deciding, do we build a school this year or next year.

Because there’s a borrowing that’s associated with it. But it’s crazy. So it truly is not only a bastion of freedom, but we’re turbocharged. And again, it’s a cool community.

Leahy: One thing I really like about what you just said is you’re a source of new manufacturing jobs. Now, that’s interesting.

In the city of Nashville itself, there has been job growth because companies, tech companies from California come in, and they bring all the people that are associated with tech companies in California. And then financial services companies from New York come in and they bring all the people that work for financial services companies. They don’t always necessarily have the same kind of Tennessee values, right?

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: Sometimes. I don’t know when one of the financial services companies came in before they got a bunch of money from the state of Tennessee before they even opened up, they were trying to tell Tennesseeans and what they should do about various social issues. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way that they did that.

Ogles: Well, at the same time, obviously, the state of Tennessee landed a big operation of Facebook here in Middle Tennessee. And so at the same time that Facebook is censoring former President Trump, the state is giving Facebook tens of millions of dollars and incentives. So not necessarily the right fit for our state.

Leahy: Facebook. The guys that are like the big tech oligarchs, the guys that are suppressing the First Amendment. The state of Tennessee is giving them money? Really?

Ogles: Tens of millions of dollars. I saw Marjorie Taylor-Green, the representative out of Georgia. She was just suspended on Twitter for 12 hours or something, but she quoted factual data about COVID and who is at risk.

Leahy: You can’t do that. (Laughs)

Ogles: And she was censored because of it. And I granted it was for 12 hours. But again, it just shows the authority and the power that these tech companies have or have assumed.

And we the people and the government have allowed them to do that. And it’s really this situation now where you have social media companies dictating health care policy, and that’s a scary place.

Leahy: Because nothing says healthcare knowledge like a 24-year tech geek in a basement in Palo Alto, California.

Ogles: Right. You go back to Brave New World or 1984, those books that were science fiction back way back when I read them in school.

And it’s all coming to fruition. So we’re in an interesting place. But going back, Maury County is known for its automotive base.

Leahy: General Motors and Saturn way back when in 1990, I guess Saturn moved to Maury County.

Ogles: In the mid-late 80s that plan came to fruition, was announced. And of course, they had to implement it, but also automotive related.

And a lot of people don’t realize this. And so LG Chem, which is a South Korean company, partnered with General Motors. They’ve created a battery brand that will be a supplier to most of the other car manufacturers.

So again, you have General Motors, who will be one of the drivers of battery technology as you go into the future because they have such a large market share.

And this battery plant that we built in Maury County, it’s sized to be built, currently has more capacity than all the other battery manufacturers in North America.

And that puts the EV or electric vehicle technology – the center of that universe is in Middle Tennessee, specifically Maury County. So now we have this – General Motors expanding.

We have this new $2.3 billion plant with the LG Chem. And with that will come technology and RND and all that sort of stuff to Middle Tennessee.

So it’s exciting. And you’re seeing a shift in that space not only for Tennessee but for Maury County.

Leahy: And the other thing about – that is I found out that apparently, if you have sort of a supply chain, shall we say, for automotive parts and automotive assembly, which is what we have here in Middle Tennessee, there are other industries that use those same skills like firearm manufacturers, from what I hear.

Ogles: Because as you’re building out your infrastructure and supply chain, which that’s an important part of that and distribution capabilities, any industry that needs those types of services like trucking, et cetera, they can piggyback off of one another.

And so with that again, Maury County, known for its automotive and manufacturing jobs, are now creating a new layer of distribution for Middle Tennessee.

Leahy: This means more economic growth in Maury County and Middle Tennessee.

Listen to the full 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.













Newly Elected Davidson County GOP Chair Jim Garrett on Top Priorities and Hope for Conservatives of Middle Tennessee

Newly Elected Davidson County GOP Chair Jim Garrett on Top Priorities and Hope for Conservatives of Middle Tennessee


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. –  official guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed newly elected GOP chair for Davidson County Jim Garrett to the newsmakers line to discuss his priorities moving forward and his optimism for conservatives.

Cunningham: We’ve got a great guest now, and it’s a guy that has a big challenge. Jim Garrett is the newly re-elected chair of the Davidson County Republican Party. Jim, good morning.

Garrett: Good morning, Ben. Good morning, Grant. How are you all?

Cunningham: We’re doing great. Thanks so much for getting up early with us. We really appreciate it.

Garrett: Since I’ve retired a couple of years ago, I have generally taken the sixth and the seven off of my clock. (Cunnigham chuckles) Well, we are doubly impressed that you’re with us.

Thanks so much and congratulations on the re-election. I think the term is the reorganization was this weekend and you were elected chair of the Davidson County Republican Party. And congratulations on that.

Garrett: Thank you very much. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Cunningham: I know you are a dedicated conservative. And being a dedicated conservative in Davidson County is not an easy job because Davidson County is one of the blue counties that conservative Republicans in Tennessee, you have to deal with and along with Shelby County and a few others. But Davidson and Shelby are the two biggies.

What is it like being the chair of the Republican Party in a blue County? What are the challenges you guys are facing?

Garrett: The challenges we face are those very similar to what the Republicans across the country they’re facing. We’ve got a very energized opposition. The Democrat Party is very energized here in Davidson County.

They are somewhat organized and they’re in charge. So they killed us with COVID. Our reorganization normally would have happened in the first quarter of an odd number of years. We do it every two years.

But because of what John Cooper and his Health Department were doing, we had to postpone and postpone and postpone and finally got it done in May much later than we would have normally done it.

Cunningham: I hadn’t even thought about that. All the code restrictions affected, obviously, your ability to come together, didn’t it?

Garrett: We couldn’t have more than eight people for most of our meetings. So we’ve been doing Zoom meetings the last several months we have been in person, but we did spend all 2020 year in Zoom meetings meeting every month for our executive committee. And the restrictions, yes, they hurt us quite a bit.

Henry: Hey, Jim. Grant Henry here. I have a question based on reports I’ve been reading in reports and you get this general sense and an almost palpable feeling that there’s a conservative resurgence happening here in Middle Tennessee.

Tomi Lahren moved to town. Candace Owens lives here now. Ben Shapiro up and moved the entire Daily Wire crew and 85 employees to Nashville. You get this feeling almost that for some of the under 40 conservatives it’s the place to be in this happening city?

Do you think that’s going to have an impact at all on how the GOP operates in Davidson County? Or is that just a little bit too naive of me?

Garrett: It is not naive at all. On my end of the telephone, I get three or four calls a day from people wanting to get involved. Our website gopnashville.org has got buttons on there for volunteering and contributing.

But the volunteer button three or four times a day. I’ll get an email from the website saying that this person or that person wants to do it. And it’s just fun to watch. Of the 14 members that we elected to the office of the executive committee this time, five of us there are 15.

But five of us are returning people who’ve been around for a while. 10 of them, though, are people relatively new to Davidson County. They’ve got a great experience where they did live in the Republican Party.

They work with state legislators, state offices. They were chairman of their parties out in California, up in New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia. And they bring with them a vast experience. And energy that I haven’t seen before here in Davidson County. I’m excited. I’m not excited a bit awed of where I think we can go and what we can do.

Cunningham: Jim, the people talk all the time about the Metro Council and the fact that basically is, except for Steve Glover and a few others, it is pretty much a bastion of the far left. How do we crack that nut, so to speak?

Garrett: We have a chance right now. We’re going through that here in the state with the 2020 census and the redistricting. We’re looking at redistricting. I set out the beginning of this year with four objectives basically based on each quarter.

My first quarter was the reorganization. We got that done late, but we got it. The second quarter is working with the General Assembly on redistricting for our state House seats here in Davidson County and our state senate seats here in Davidson County.

But then recruiting candidates in the third quarter for 2022 and in training those candidates in the fourth quarter for 2022. But that brings us to 2023. And again, we’ll go through a redistricting for 2023 and the council race.

We are going to be working to try to get lines drawn that would give us a chance in certain areas. We have good Republican people here. Trump got 100,000 votes or something like that in Davidson County.

So we’ve got a body of people. They’re also silent. They’re also quiet. They’ve been beaten down, but I think if we can energize them, the council race will change. I don’t expect this to get a majority of 21 people out of that 40.

I don’t expect that at all, but I would like to see us get 10 to 15 solid Republicans in there. And if we do that, we can certainly change what this Metro Council does what direction they go.

Henry: Jim, you may have just answered this question with that statement you just made, but if someone were to call in, if they’re listening right now, if they’re thinking, Hey, I just moved to Davidson County and I want to get involved in local GOP group.

What’s your top priority issue? What’s the thing you need them to work on the most? What do you need the most help with right now? Is it those council races?

Garrett: No. Council races are 2023. It’s 2022 that we are focused on right now, and we need candidates for state House. We need some representation in the state house here, and we’ve got 10 state House seats and none of them are a Republican right now, and we’ve got to change that. So our next main focus will be candidates for the 2022 race.

Henry: Jim, do you see any one seat more vulnerable than the others say within Davidson County at the state house level?

Garrett: There are some seats that are not vulnerable at all, and we probably won’t touch them. But there are other seats that are. You’ve got five who have decided not to run again. That seat is going to be uncontested.

I think Bo Mitchell in House seat 50 is at risk. The people out there don’t like Bo. Bo is the only legislator that I’ve been down to the capital that has actually got up and walked out of his office. He insulted me at a time.

And I just got up and walked out of the meeting with him. That man is an evil man, in my opinion, but I think he’s vulnerable out there. There’s probably a couple of others.

Cunningham: Obviously, Mayor Cooper has been a disappointment. A lot of conservatives had faith in him that he would be a fiscal conservative, but that faith has been completely blown away.

Garrett: Oh, absolutely. I was at a friend’s house when we had to get together and Cooper was there talking about how conservative he was and it was a bi-partisan race and that he’s basically a conservative.

And then the first thing he does out of the pot is to raise our taxes 34 or 37 percent depending on where you live. I think Cooper right now with this referendum that’s going on, is scared to death that it will pass and we will get that voter list and get the voter numbers turned down because he’s vulnerable for a recall. And I do believe he is vulnerable for a recall.

Cunningham: Well, Jim, we are up against the break. Give us that website one more time if you would before we leave.

Garrett: Gopnashville.org.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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









Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Oracle Move and Middle Tennessee’s Real Estate Quandary

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Oracle Move and Middle Tennessee’s Real Estate Quandary


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 weighed in on the recent announcement of Oracle’s big move to Nashville’s East Bank and a harried Tennessee real estate market.

Leahy: In studio the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, big news last night. This is from WSMV. Oracle is coming to Nashville, the big software company. Big big software company after the Metro Council approved plans to install the new headquarters in Music City. Tuesday night in a unanimous vote, City Council has approved Oracle’s bid that they presented to the Metro Finance Committee on Monday night, where they promised to bring 8,500 jobs to the city within a decade.

After the Metro Council passive vote, Mayor John Cooper expressed his optimism for the project, calling it, “the largest private investment and largest job creation deal in our history.” Oracle, Crom, looks to install a bridge over the Cumberland River as access to their new facility. The bridge still requires two more rounds of voting by the City Council, but past its initial round of voting on Tuesday night. Crom?

Carmichael: Well, given our city-state of finances, that’s a bridge over troubled waters.

Leahy: Ohhh, that Crom, Crom.

Carmichael: Kaboom.

Leahy: That’s very good Crom. People don’t realize. (Laughter) People don’t really people don’t know this, but Crom used to be a standup comedian, and that just shows his capabilities there. It’s still funny. (Laughs)

Carmichael: Thank you. I have a friend of mine who’s in real estate that sends me a column that comes from The Tennessee Ledger. And this is a writer who writes about Tennessee real estate. And he will generally pick a particular house that has sold, and then he’ll build his story around it on what’s going on in Nashville.

Leahy: So he’ll go into one of the neighborhoods and say a house in this neighborhood sold.

Carmichael: A particular house. You’re looking at a particular house here. This one is at 1104 Lenore Street. That house sold. Now it went on the market. This is instructive. It went on the market for $750,000. It sold for $950,000 and $175,000 above the asking price.

Leahy: Wow.

Carmichael: This same house in 2018 sold for $194,000. It was gutted and fixed up.

Leahy: Somebody made some money.

Carmichael: But then that house after it was gutted and rebuilt, it then sold for $550,000. So that $550,000 converted into $950,000.

This is $440 a foot, $440 a foot! Right now in Nashville, and these numbers may be slightly off because they’re one month old, but only slightly. There were 2,500 single-family residences on the market at the end of March. There were 200 single-family homes that closed in March. There’s a three-week supply.

Leahy: Wow.

Carmichael: Now a seller’s market is 60 days of supply. A three-week supply, if a house goes on the market, it sells almost immediately. A typical Realtor will have nine buyers for every listing. For every listing, then they have nine buyers. And so if you’re listing a house, you say I am scheduling appointments every 15 minutes, (Leahy chuckles) and I’m doing it over these two days. And then I will be accepting offers, and the negotiations will then begin.

Leahy: It’s not just in Nashville, it’s in Williamson County. All around Middle Tennessee.

Carmichael: Yes. All around Middle Tennessee. Now, there are some areas where there’s still lots of land where you can build new developments, but the cost of the dirt in those areas, is what is going up, the cost of buying the land. But it’s really interesting to see what is going on in Nashville with the growth. Now I was down in Naples, Florida.

Leahy: In Florida.

Carmichael: Yes. Naples, Florida, is very similar. It used to be that you drive down a highway called 41, which is a six-lane wide highway. And then if you went inland on one Street, it was four lanes. Now if you go inland one street it was four lanes. Now you go inland four or five streets before you get to two-lane highways.

So Naples is growing East. It’s also growing North, but it’s growing East inland at an incredible rate. And so when you have that and in Nashville, the difference is in Naples, they’re able to build the infrastructure. They’re able to widen the roads because as they’re moving inland these are two-lane roads and the development hasn’t happened yet. Nashville is already developed. Now Oracle I think, is locating on the East Bank.

Leahy: I think that’s correct. Of the Cumberland Yes.

Carmichael: And so they’re going to build the bridge.

Leahy: The bridge over troubled waters. (Laughter)

Carmichael: But what this is going to do to East Nashville…

Leahy: Boom. And East Nashville has been re gentrifying over the last five or six years. But this will even accelerate that pace.

Leahy: Now the story at WSMV, Oracle promised to bring wait for it…8,500 jobs to the city within a decade. It’s a big company. What’s that going to do to the real estate market in Middle Tennessee?

Carmichael: Well, the real estate market in Tennessee is going to stay red hot until you get the supply of houses back up to 90 days. This means there will have to be nine to 10 single-family homes on the market available to buy. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon because building 3,000 homes a month is a lot of homes to be built. And all that does is keep you at the three-week supply. So you’ve got to get up to where you’re building 5,000 homes a month. I’ve been here since 1967 and I’ve never seen anything like that.

Leahy: Nothing like this.

Carmichael: Nothing like this.

Leahy: Here’s the other part about this, which is interesting. There are two elements to talk about. First, the underlying economics of migration within the United States. I see that trend continuing away from high tax blue states to really the three leading no state income tax states in the country. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee.

Carmichael: Private schools are getting 15 to 20 inquiries a week from just people moving here from California. That’s just from one state. There are all kinds of issues that are being created because it takes a while to plan and build a new school or even to do a major expansion of an existing school. And most private schools don’t want to have more than 100 or maybe 120 per class.

Leahy: It’s hard to make them fit together.

Carmichael: The private schools want to keep themselves small enough so that they are meeting the needs of each child which is my big beef with the government-run schools because there’s no reason that a government-run school ought to have 1,500 or 2,000 students in high school. There’s no reason for that. It’s just that way because that’s how the system likes it.

Leahy: The other issue I want to chat with you about that comes along with this huge growth, the huge increase in home prices and real estate prices in Middle Tennessee is for people who have lived in Tennessee all their lives and who perhaps are not homeowners, they’re being priced out of the market.

Carmichael: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying. That’s one of the examples. There are three or four. There are three or four pressure points that are going on. One is the demand for private school education exploding. And the number of private schools is not. And so there’s a huge imbalance there than what you just brought up.

If you don’t own a home, and if you don’t have $50,000 in cash, maybe even $100,000 in cash to put down on a house because they’re still requiring 20 percent down on most houses unless it’s an FHA-type thing. And even those, it’s almost impossible to get the mortgage if you don’t make a substantial down payment.

Leahy: And this does lead to, I think, resentment towards newcomers who have more cash because they live in states where they can sell their houses for very high prices. They come here and even with this increase, they’re able to pocket some money from the sale of the house in California.

Carmichael: If it was a really expensive house in California. But the trick is selling expensive houses in California now is finding buyers who buy an expensive house in California because California is losing a congressional seat.

Leahy: I’m so sad about that too by the way.

Carmichael: It’s the first time. It’s the first time, I think ever.

Leahy: I think you’re right.

Carmichael: It’s shrinking.

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.