Attorney General Skrmetti on TikTok’s Refusal to Provide Documents: If a Company’s Behavior Is Sufficiently Egregious, State Law ‘Allows Me to Ask a Court to Ban That Company from Ever Doing Business in Tennessee Again’

Attorney General Skrmetti on TikTok’s Refusal to Provide Documents: If a Company’s Behavior Is Sufficiently Egregious, State Law ‘Allows Me to Ask a Court to Ban That Company from Ever Doing Business in Tennessee Again’

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 Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti to the newsmaker line to discuss the amicus brief filed against Chinese-owned TikTok and the possibility of litigation that could outlaw its platform in the state.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, our good friend and, I think the very best state attorney general in the country, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. Good morning General Skrmetti.

Skrmetti: Good morning. How are you?

Gulbransen: Good morning.

Leahy: We’re glad to have you on, and I know you’re traveling and doing a lot of work around the state. Our lead story at The Tennessee Star. You are leading 46 states to demand that China-based TikTok comply with your multi-state investigation. You’ve asked for records, and they’re not providing them. Tell us about that.

Skrmetti: In any of these big multi-state investigations, we send out investigative requests using some legal tools we have, and in every other case, even when they don’t like it, companies send us the information to send us. In this case, TikTok has sent us almost nothing.

They have taken steps to ensure that evidence is being destroyed as far as we can tell. And what they have given us, they’ve provided it in a format you can’t understand. It looks like it was deliberately made to be unreadable. They have been abstracting in ways that I haven’t seen this from a legitimate business.

Leahy: They’re Chinese owned, and they also have confirmed that TikTok they have not disabled a feature on its internal communication platform that allows the automatic deletion of messages within seven days. According to your own office, why are they such scofflaws toward the duly authorized attorneys general in the United States?

Skrmetti: It’s incredible. When you have all the attorneys general working together as you have here, which is a pretty rare occurrence, that’s a serious signal to a corporation, that they’re under significant scrutiny and that this is a serious investigation.

And every other time that I’ve seen this, even where companies fought tooth and nail and disagreed vigorously with every theory we had about why they were liable, they still produced what they needed to produce, and they still preserved what they needed to preserve.

TikTok is an extreme outlier in my experience, and that’s why we went to the court. Ordinarily, you can resolve these with some conversations, and everybody understands that at the end of the day, they’re going to have to produce what they have to produce, and they grudgingly go along with it.

I think the fact that you have so many states signing onto a brief in a Tennessee state court, which is very unusual, is a strong signal here that this is not an everyday occurrence.

Leahy: Usually, when you see other attorneys general file an amicus brief, it’s usually in cases in federal court. And so you’ve gone to Tennessee state court, they’re joining with the amicus brief to get this information from Chinese-owned TikTok.

The issue here is that they’re collecting data on Americans and may not have the best of intentions for that. A very unusual situation. Where does this whole investigation go now that you’ve asked the court to tell them to produce these documents?

Skrmetti: The court will want them to produce the documents. We’re going to get the documents. Working hard on this for quite some time. Kids have been consulting birds looking at the impact of social media on kids, looking at what exactly it is the company does that’s causing problems.

What we need is transparency with respect to each specific company we’re looking at. And I expect we will likely file a lawsuit. The evidence we get is consistent with what we think we’ll get. And plus the company. Want to resolve this reasonably upfront; we are going to pursue this as far as necessary to protect our kids.

Leahy: This is my personal view, not your view, but my personal view is a TikTok is a tool of the Chinese Communist Party to obtain information about American citizens that they’re going to use in a way that harms our national security.

My personal feeling is that TikTok should be banned from the United States of America. Do you think that is an outcome that might result from some of your investigative work here and your litigation?

Skrmetti: I know we’re not the only ones looking at TikTok. I know that proposals at the federal level of various things. I also know that there’s a provision of Tennessee law that if a company’s behavior is sufficiently egregious, it allows me to ask a court to ban that company from ever doing business in Tennessee again.

And depending on the severity of the conduct in a given case, that may be appropriate. So we’re considering all options. I have a great team working on this nationally. We have a great team working on this from all the different states teaming up. We’re bringing our big guns to this fight.

Leahy: It seems to me then, if we were working towards a path where you as the attorney general of Tennessee could, in essence, bring litigation that would ban TikTok from operating in the state of Tennessee what would happen in the other states? In the United States, if that were the outcome that this ends up having?

Skrmetti: Each state has its own law, its own remedies, and its own lawsuits. And I don’t know whether other states have that capability or not. I suspect many of them do. I’ve never seen that invoked against a significant business interest. Usually, it’s reserved for your little fly-by-night scammers.

So I really don’t know what that world would look like. We’re so early. It’s really hard to predict exactly how that will play out. I just know that we have seen significant harm to kids. It’s all been nationally reported.

If you look at the mental health statistics, we are going to use every tool at our disposal, and I’m gonna use every tool at my disposal to protect our kids. So if that includes pulling out that, that hasn’t really been used we’ll do that. Good thing.

Leahy: Now, personally, this is me talking, not you personally. I’m all in favor of that. You said that this is something in Tennessee that’s been used to stop fly-by-night scammers.

My view on TikTok is that they have used this entertainment angle to become an international, fly-by-night scammer harming the national security of the United States and the welfare of children in America.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














United States Senator Marsha Blackburn on China Balloon: ‘The Chinese Communist Party Sees Joe Biden as Weak’

United States Senator Marsha Blackburn on China Balloon: ‘The Chinese Communist Party Sees Joe Biden as Weak’

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 United States Senator Marsha Blackburn to the newsmaker line to comment on the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the United States, the Biden family compromise, and economic effects of China.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, Senator Marsha Blackburn, the senior senator from Tennessee. Good morning, Senator Blackburn.

Blackburn: Good morning! It’s good to be with you, and always good to have a conversation with Crom.

Carmichael: Well, you’re very kind. (Blackburn chuckles)

Leahy: Senator Blackburn, it’s another day. Has there been a separate sighting of some unknown object or balloon over Alaska or Canada or the United States recently, like today?

Blackburn: (Laughs) We have not been informed that there has been another sighting this morning, but it appears that every day they are finding more balloons. And this calls into question the coordination between the intel community, and the Department of Defense, and how closely they are watching our skies.

Here is what we do know, is that the Chinese Communist Party is intent on global domination by the time we get to the midpoint of this century. Anybody that doubts that should read Michael Pillsbury’s book The 100 Year Marathon.

The Chinese Communist Party sees this as the China century, and because of that, they’ve been very aggressive in their surveillance. You look at what they’re doing with TikTok and how that is affecting our youth and young adults. You look at the anguish that was caused to young people by the pandemic. We still do not know the origins of the pandemic. There are so many questions about the vaccine and the dangers this has caused to young people. And you look at the Chinese Confucius Institute that fortunately we’ve been able to remove from most of our universities and the Confucius classrooms that have been in many K12 schools. This is part of their propaganda, and so we know where they’re headed. What we need is for this administration, this Department of Defense, to get serious about this and to realize China is not a competitor. As the President said just a couple of weeks ago, China is an adversary. They want to dominate us. And it is not the Chinese people. It is the Chinese Communist Party.

Carmichael: What do you make of all of these balloons and these other things? I guess we’re shooting down something that I don’t know if it’s buoyed by a balloon, but I think there have been like three or four shootdowns in the last 10 days without revealing anything that’s classified.

Leahy: Four.

Blackburn: Four.

Carmichael: Do we know anything? And what do we make of something that’s kind of been going on obviously for quite some time? And now all of a sudden, the Biden administration is reacting.

Blackburn: And they are only reacting to this because a private citizen, saw something and said something and put a photograph up on a website there in Montana and said, who knows something about this? Now, bear in mind, this administration had said nothing until a citizen who was a reporter and a pilot took a picture, put it on the website, and said, what do you know about this?

This administration would not have come forward. Anthony Blinken would not have canceled his trip to China without this information. So the period of time this has been going on, we don’t know how many they have surveilled. We do not know. We have had a briefing, a classified briefing as you said.

I had a lot of questions that came out of that. Principally, why did they let this first balloon go when they spotted it and started following it off the coast of Alaska? And then they let it come back into Montana and then let it just kind of trapes across the country and then decided to shoot it down after it went to South Carolina.

But Crom, how did they know it was not going to stall out over one of our major cities and just sit there and collect intelligence? Why did they not choose to bring it down safely in Alaska when they could have done that?

Carmichael: Yes, there just seems to me to be more deal with the facts that we know, which are not very many, but they just beg many, many other questions. And it just almost appears to me that the Biden administration and as Robert Gates pointed out, Biden hasn’t made a good foreign policy decision in his entire career. He’s always been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision and I think he sees the Communist Chinese Party almost as an organization he would like to emulate.

Blackburn: And one of the things that are of tremendous concern to me is the Biden family compromise. Why did they let this thing go and why is it that as you two know because you follow everything that is happening every day and you’re on top of it, you know that they could have made that choice to dismantle that balloon.

They could have decided that they were going to stand up to this. But the bottom line, the Chinese Communist Party sees Joe Biden as weak. They know he is not going to come after them. Whether it is that he is compromised, whether it is as Bob Gates said and as you just said, he can’t make the right decision on foreign policy because he is given more to appeasing than he is to showing strength.

I tell you this much, this would never have happened with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because China would have known, Xi Jinping would have known there would be hell to pay if they did this because they didn’t know what Donald Trump was going to do from one day to the next day.

And they knew that Mike Pompeo was not going to put up with this. And because of this and because of the fact that President Trump and Secretary Pompeo repeatedly held them to account and pushed the issues around the COVID vaccine and put sanctions on them and dealt with them on tariffs and trade, they knew that they could not push this.

Now, when you look at the economic side of this, you’re looking at a trade deficit that is the largest that we have had. China imported more stuff to the United States last year than ever, and we have a bigger trade deficit than ever. And that is because of the policies of this administration.

When you look at great power competition, you look at the Chinese Communist Party, you look at what they’re doing over. The United States had a balloon in Latin America. You had the balloon up in Canada. They’re surveilling people.

They’re practicing debt diplomacy. They are bullying Taiwan and all of the Pacific island nations. People are begging for our help and this administration is sitting on their hands and trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by Sen. Marsha Blackburn. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Sandy Torchon.


National Security Expert Bill Gertz: Biden’s Weak Response to China Spy Balloon Yet Another Example of America’s Current ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Leadership

National Security Expert Bill Gertz: Biden’s Weak Response to China Spy Balloon Yet Another Example of America’s Current ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Leadership

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. – host Leahy welcomed Washington Times reporter and national security expert Bill Gertz to the newsmaker line to comment on the Chinese spy balloon and the intentions of current U.S. leadership.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, our very good friend, the great national security correspondent with The Washington Times, Bill Gertz. Good morning, Bill.

Gertz: Good morning.

Leahy: I’m reminded of this Babylon Bee headline. I don’t know if you saw this. Chinese spy balloon shot down after it’s completed all the spying. You’ve written just recently that balloons serve multiple roles in Chinese warfare. Chinese military confirms snub of U.S. Defense Secretary Austin’s call over balloon. What do you make of this Chinese spy balloon?

Gertz: It’s really a sputnik moment going back to the days of the space race. I think it was a real wake-up call for most Americans to see that China is not some far-away threat, that it’s a here-and-now threat to the United States, albeit an intelligence threat. But let’s not forget that the Pentagon has identified electromagnetic pulse weapons as a threat.

And so they could have flown a nuclear warhead on a balloon and dropped it and detonated it over one of the large cities which would have blacked out all of the electronics over there. So I think the key takeaway from this whole incident is that China can reach out and touch us. And I think that’s really an important wake-up call for most Americans.

Leahy: To me, it seems ingenious that they use balloons for this purpose not just to gather intelligence, but they could use it for military purposes. Our leadership, from Joe Biden to Joint Chief of Staff Chair Milley to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, I’m going to use a word, they seem feckless to me. Your thoughts?

Gertz: I kind of agree with you. Clearly, the mishandling of this was evident in the fact that the Biden administration is launching what I would call a neo-appeasement approach. That means they’re getting ready to revert to the older policies where we look the other way for Chinese human rights abuses and nuclear arms proliferation in order to somehow avoid a future conflict with China.

It’s the opposite of the policy of Ronald Reagan, which was peace through strength. Instead, they’ve adopted what I call a war avoidance policy. And this is really dangerous. I think that we really need to stand up to the Chinese. They’ve made it clear that they want to dominate the world, and the main obstacle to dominating the world is the United States.

So they’re working very covertly through things like fentanyl shipments and undermining our system here and promoting communist ideology to try and undermine and ultimately destroy the U.S.

Carmichael: Bill, this is Crom Carmichael. My question is there are lots of folks in the media who are supportive, in fact, most people in the media are supportive of the Biden administration and his worldview. What would it take to wake them up, or is it even possible for them to be awakened? Are they kind of part of the communist plot?

Gertz: A lot of the mainstream liberal media just signed on to the Democratic Party. And the Democratic Party has kind of been taken over by a lot of radical leftists and I think that’s really the main issue. So you have this reflection in the mainstream media that, oh, China is not really a threat.

In fact, I think the far-left in the U.S. looks at China as the ideological future. This is a communist system that they think works. Unlike the Soviet Union, which collapsed back in 1991, the Chinese have tried to find ways of forcing their economy to work.

Although right now, their economy is in trouble, which is one reason they’re trying to revert back to some of the more COVID policies of pretending to be a capitalist system, when in fact, they’re really a nuclear-armed communist dictatorship.

Leahy: Yes. And I look at this, and I think of what former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said about Joe Biden. They asked him, has Joe Biden ever been right on any foreign policy issue? And Secretary Gates said I can’t think of one time he’s been right. He’s been wrong; it seems to me. And he’s brought in dunderheads underneath him, Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin, who make the wrong decisions to advance the cause of our enemy; it seems to me almost as if they are covertly cooperating. Now that’s a little bit out there, but what are your thoughts when I say something like that?

Gertz: First, Lloyd Austin reached out to his counterpart in China immediately after we shot down the balloon last week, and the Chinese said no thanks. And yet the Pentagon issued a statement saying, well, we think it’s so important to talk with the Chinese. The Pentagon has had this military-to-military exchange program with China for decades, and the whole point is to try and “build trust.”

And they misunderstand the nature of the Chinese military. It’s not a national army like our U.S. Army. It’s a party army. His main job is to defend the Communist Party of China. On General Milley, we had the case where back during the Trump administration, he actually called his Chinese military counterpart and said, oh, we think you’ve misunderstood us, we think you’re going to attack us, and we’re going to attack you.

But we’re not. And if we do, I would warn you in advance. A lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill thought that was treasonous, but he defended it, saying there was some kind of intelligence. Yet I spoke with top officials of the Trump administration, and they said there was never any intelligence that China thought the U.S. was going to attack them. So these are the two top defense leaders that have really shown themselves to be woefully inadequate.

Leahy: I think you’re kind to just call them woefully inadequate. I look at their actions, Bill, and I got to tell you, and I don’t want to get you in trouble on this, right, but I look at it, and I think their actions are treasonous. Both of them. Both Milley and Lloyd Austin. And I think that a patriotic American president would fire them immediately. Your thoughts?

Gertz: Republicans have recently just taken over the House of Representatives, and they have formed a special commission on China. So, hopefully, I think these two issues, the actions of Lloyd Austin and General Milley should be part of that investigation.

They should do a thorough investigation, bring them before this committee, and have them testify on explaining what they’re doing and whether or not what they’re doing is wrong.

Leahy: Is that the special committee headed up by Mike Gallagher, the congressman from Wisconsin?

Gertz: Yes. I have great hopes.

Leahy: He’s a very sharp guy. I have confidence in him.

Gertz: Yes.

Leahy: You’ve been doing this at a high level of excellence for, what, three decades now? Maybe more than that.

Gertz: It’s been a good run. (Chuckles)

Leahy: You’re a great American and a great reporter, and we are honored to have you on The Tennessee Star Report. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Gertz: Thank you for having me on.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Bill Gertz” by Bill Gertz. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Wendy Maxwell.


One America News Networks’ Neil W. McCabe Reveals Knowledge of Fiber Trunks Running Under Penn Biden Center

One America News Networks’ Neil W. McCabe Reveals Knowledge of Fiber Trunks Running Under Penn Biden Center

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 Neil W. McCabe from One America News Network to the newsmaker line to discuss breaking news regarding the knowledge of fiber trunks which run underneath the Penn Biden Center that housed classified documents.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, our great friend with One American News Network, formerly our lead political correspondent with The Star News Network, now top-gov tracker, based in Tallahassee, Florida, reports on all things Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis, Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Good morning, Michael. Good morning, Carol. Good to be with you.

Swain: Good morning.

Leahy: One America News Network has offices at 101 Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. When you go on the elevator there, do you see the sign for the Penn Biden Center?

McCabe: (Laughs) I haven’t been there recently. I used to see it all the time. That’s a very secure building. You can’t even get into the lobby without some security guard saying, hey, where are you going? And then you say, I’m going to get some coffee. He’s like, oh, okay. (Laughter)

Leahy: We have a story. Our own Bradley Vasoli for The Pennsylvania Daily Star and The Star News Network. We’ve got a story about this 13,800 square-foot Penn Biden Center in that building where you could get in and out of often.

They had a whole bunch of interns from the University of Pennsylvania running around while they had these classified documents there. How they got there, no one knows from Biden’s time as vice president just running around there. It sounds very secure to me.

McCabe: Yes. I’ll break some news, I guess. There are two major fiber trunks under the District of Columbia, and one of them passes underneath that building.

Swain: Oh, my.

McCabe: This is owned by the Brotherhood of Carpenters. The carpenters union owns that building. That’s why there’s never any protests; there’s never any trouble. (Leahy laughs) I don’t know if you’ve ever run in with the carpenters, but the best thing you can say to a group of union carpenters is, have a nice day, sir. I’ll walk around. (Laughter)

Leahy: What’s the significance of the fiber trunk running directly under that building?

McCabe: It’s just something that major, major communications and data pass over that fiber trunk. And so I don’t know if you can tap it.  I took science in high school, but I don’t really know if you can tap into it.

Somebody who was involved in the inaugural planning for George W. Bush’s two inaugurations mentioned it to me the other day. And I mentioned it to you. Just to throw that against the wall.

Leahy: Just in case there’s some communication coming out of the Penn.

McCabe: But they said that it was a security consideration when they were planning the inauguration because, obviously, the inauguration is held at the Capitol. 101 Constitution is maybe a quarter mile at best away from Capitol Hill.

Leahy: It’s right there.

McCabe: At One America, the rooftop shot of the dome, you’re literally right on top of the dome for those shots.

Leahy: Very interesting. The big news that’s come out is, oh, the first thing, Karen Jean-Pierre, perhaps absolutely the worst liar in America and the worst press secretary for a president in modern American history, she came out and said, well, they found this one document November 2nd.

And we’re just telling about it now. And that’s it. Oh, there’s a second set of documents, wait for it in a box in a garage next to Corvette, and then a couple of other documents surfaced. What do you make of all this stuff? Where does this go?

McCabe: When Trump left office, there was some question in Trump’s mind about whether he had won that election in 2020 or not. And a lot of that transition time was spent contesting and questioning and looking into things. And so there’s a phrase I use all the time, running and gunning.

There’s a lot of running and gunning as you run the country and you run the world, and you’re also contesting an election and an impeachment. There’s a lot going on. And so the idea that the GSA was supposed to pack up the President’s stuff, put it in a secure warehouse as they do for everybody, you know, these things never happen. However, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. knew, like in January of 2013 that he had four years to pack up his boxes.

Leahy: Good point.

McCabe: And when he said he wasn’t going to run for president after Hillary Clinton made a deal with Obama, he knew, hey, I got to start packing up my stuff. And then if you look at the charge that Garland gave Jack Smith, he says, I want you to look at everything, everything you could possibly do. I would argue it’s a violation.

Leahy: This was a special counsel investigating Trump.

McCabe: I would say that’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment ban on risks of assistance and open warrants, where you just sort of say that the royal officials were just allowed to look at everything until they found something. The Constitution says you can’t do that. With Robert Hur and these other investigations into Joe Biden it’s very specific and there’s no fishing expedition.

We’ll see how this plays out. But if Biden had that much time to plan his transition to private life and he also knew what he was going to be doing in private life, I think that the specific documents that he took with him are documents that, A, he did not want floating around. He didn’t want them in the public record or at the archives and/or two.

Second thing is, there was a document he needed as a reference for his own business dealings. And so who’s to say what happened? We’ll never find out. Jean-Pierre said we’re cooperating with counsel. But that’s like, the editor-in-chief of The Star News network telling one of his reporters or editors that he’s cooperating with his reporter. (Laughter)

Leahy: That’s very good. Carol Swain has a question for you.

Swain: Neil, do you believe anyone is digging into the anonymous Chinese donor that pretty much financed that center?

McCabe: No one’s digging into it, Carol, because they know exactly who it is.

Leahy: Oh, do you know who it is? There was, $40 million in anonymous donors, but there was one big one for $14 million.

Swain: What did he get in exchange for that?

McCabe: The Treasury Department has a record of every wire transfer that goes in and out, and everything that’s over a certain amount gets triggered. It’s one of those interesting records, whatever they call it. That’s if it’s over $10,000 something. If $40 million is coming in from China to the Penn Center, they know all about it.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Penn Biden Center.










Lincoln Fellow David Reaboi Analyzes the Marxist Hijacking of the American Education System

Lincoln Fellow David Reaboi Analyzes the Marxist Hijacking of the American Education System


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 national security expert and Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute David Reaboi to the newsmakers line to discuss the origins of critical race theory and the hijacking of the American education system.

Leahy: We are joined by our friend Dave Reaboi, who is a very interesting Renaissance-type man. He’s a fellow at the Claremont Institute, a bodybuilder, a jazz enthusiast, and an original thinker. Dave, thanks so much for joining us today.

Reaboi: Great to be here. I appreciate that.

Leahy: So you live in Miami, Florida?

Reaboi: I do. In Miami Beach.

Leahy: Well, it’s a great place. I noticed that you had a tweet. (Chuckles) I just have to talk about this. You said I’ll take Ron DeSantis over former Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels any day. Tell us what you mean by that.

Reaboi: To be honest with you, I don’t have really much of anything against Mitch Daniels. I mean, true, it’s been a long time since he was relevant, but I think that’s the point. The point is that it’s a little weird for people to be fetishizing sort of long-departed Republican governors when you have someone like Ron DeSantis here.

Leahy: Yeah, I agree with that. DeSantis has been a leader in pushing back against the forced instruction of the destructive critical race theory. In fact, I think that under his influence, the Florida Board of Education has voted to ban its teaching down in Florida. Have you followed that issue, David? And what are your thoughts on it?

Reaboi: Yeah. I’ve been following this for many, many years, actually, decades, because this is not something new. Critical race theory is the racial component of critical theory, which comes out of the Frankfurt School in Germany in the early part of the century and then was sort of imported here before the Second World War.

And it sort of established itself around the New School in New York City. And these guys wouldn’t understand themselves. They were cultural Marxists. And they were trying to figure out a problem which is that, how do we apply the idea of class warfare to different subjects?

How do we make Marxism more palatable to more types of people? And one of the things that they came up with was a critical theory, which is using everything but economics in a kind of Marxist argument to tear apart a non-Communist society.

Leahy: I think that’s quite right. And you said something important. Crom Carmichael wants to ask you a question about this.

Carmichael: That’s a very interesting point that you’re making that they’re not trying to push Marxism on economic grounds because that’s already proven to fail. Now they’re pushing Marxism according to you, and that really makes sense, on a cultural ground to try to divide sexes against each other, races against each other, and in some cases, just the idea of truth against fiction.

For example, in all this stuff, now where you’re not allowed to use pronouns, gender-specific pronouns. They’re actually just trying to attack the truth in the name of their higher-order of Marxism. Would that be accurate?

Reaboi: Yeah. You could say that. You could say also in regards to the pronouns, I would say that they’re trying to pick fights. What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to pick fights sort of everywhere and even on the smallest tiniest thing. (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: They’re picking fights, dividing us, and that’s their intentional strategy to dominate. Would you agree with that?

Reaboi: Yes. And so you have this critical theory on one hand and critical race theory which is an academic pursuit. A very niche academic pursuit. And what happens then is it kind of married the social media explosion.

So you had very fringe ideas that were only really known on college campuses and places like Berkeley or San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin. Places like that. And then social media-enabled these ideas to spread everywhere.

So that’s really what happened. Plus, you want to add the other ingredients, which is the fact that the millennial generation has a very specific set of characteristics. They are very judgmental and self-righteous, sort of as a group, as a group characteristic. And then what you get from all of that is sort of a horrible stew is Cultural Revolution two point zero?

Leahy: Let me follow up on that. That very insightful. I think many people perceive that as well. You’ve articulated very well at your website, I want to follow up with this.

In Florida, DeSantis has banned the teaching of critical race theory. There’s a law that was passed here in Tennessee that would ban the teaching of the tenants of critical race theory.

And yet, Dave, we see many teachers in the unions that are saying, I don’t care what the law is. I’m going to teach critical race theory. Come and get me. What do you make of that?

Reaboi: Well, long ago the American education establishment went Communist. For a long time, the most important figure in the world of education theory was  Bill Ayers the former Weather Underground terrorist.

And today he’s in Chicago. And he is known across America and the world as one of the great figures in education. So it’s not a surprise. My personal opinion is that most of the time and, of course, there are exceptions, but teachers contribute massively to the problems in America. I wish there were 90 percent fewer teachers or more because we’d be better off.

Leahy: I think that’s a very good point and a point for further discussions next time you come on. Crom has a brief question for you.

Carmichael: In Florida, how effective is DeSantis in fighting critical race theory?

Reaboi: So, I mean, the laws are going to be, as you said, the teachers are crazy. The teachers are going to dissent and push this very hard. But the primary advantage of this critical race theory bill and all the things that DeSantis is doing on this issue is it’s lighting this up for parents. Parents are finally going, what are my kids learning? And they’re looking into this all around the country. And Florida on a grassroots level.

Carmichael: Can parents in Florida sue a teacher who is violating the law?

Reaboi: That’s a good question. I don’t have the answer to that.

Carmichael: That way if they could, that’ll stop it. (Chuckles)

Leahy: That would be one way to go. Hey, Dave Reaboi, on the web at Thanks so much for joining us again.

Carmicheal: Great call. A great interview.

Reaboi: Thank you.

Leahy: Crom, now there’s an independent thinker. We like Dave.

Listen to the full third hour here:

– – –

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