All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Returns from New Zealand with Viewpoints of America from Abroad

All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Returns from New Zealand with Viewpoints of America from Abroad

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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss his perspective on the United States after a recent trip to New Zealand.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome back to our microphones for the first time in a couple of weeks, the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Good morning, Crom.

Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, you had an adventure.

Carmichael: We did. We went on a golf cruise to New Zealand. And I don’t know if the people here were paying any attention, and no particular reason to, but New Zealand was experiencing incredible floods.

Leahy: Let’s just stop. The idea of going on a golf cruise to New Zealand, which is a beautiful country, I am told is great.

Carmichael: And the golf courses are spectacular, but when they’re played in the rain and 30 miles hour winds, and then you’re on a ship with 20-foot waves, it’s not an experience that you want to repeat. That particular experience.

The staff and the organization could not have been better under incredibly difficult circumstances. Kathy and I ended up catching a bit of a cold. You may recognize that. I’m having to not project that loudly, otherwise, I’ll start coughing.

Leahy: You don’t sound bad.

Carmichael: Well, thank you.

Leahy: Those of our listeners who remember the Kermit the Frog voice that I had back in October, you are not even close to Kermit the Frog territory. You like that?

Carmichael: Okay. That’s good.

Leahy: This New Zealand cruise was memorable, I would say then the golf cruise was memorable.

Carmichael: Yes.

Leahy: Were you able to play much golf?

Carmichael: We played some golf.

Leahy: Some golf.

Carmichael: The combination of not feeling well and the weather made golf playing less likely than it would have been had I not been feeling poorly, also. Other people managed to golf and we were only completely rained out once. Completely rained out. But a lot of people played nine holes.

Leahy: Instead of 18.

Carmichael: During the bad weather. But I met a lot of nice people and a lot of people from Chicago and a lot of people from California.

Leahy: So they went to New Zealand on their way to Tennessee, is that right? (Laughter)

Carmichael: There are also a lot of people who now live in Florida, who used to live in New York.

Leahy: I saw a story that said there have been, like, a million new residents in Florida in the past four or five years, and only 17,000 of them have registered as Democrats.

Carmichael: Right.

Leahy: Did you see that? Crom, we are glad you are back. We missed you. And do we have a commentary this morning?

Carmichael: We kind of had a discussion. When you were out of the country, it’s not really a Crommentary per se.

Leahy: We are going to ease into this folks. This is not a commentary officially, that will come on Wednesday, but here’s Crom’s discussion on viewpoints of America from abroad.

Carmichael: When you’re out of the country, first of all, you’re on a boat. So the amount of news that you’re getting is somewhat limited. And then I would log in and I would go to some of my sources and kind of get the news from time to time. So not nearly as much reading as is typical. New Zealand is a very small country.

New Zealand only has four and a half million people. It has the North Island and the South Island and one of the islands, is built right on what is called a Ring of Fire. And so the South Island is very prone to earthquakes. The North Island is very prone to volcanoes.

And in fact, Auckland, a major city in New Zealand, is built on a series of volcanoes. It’s really kind of interesting. They live with the idea, and I guess it’s similar to California in the sense that you’ve got the San Andreas Fault, which could be catastrophic at any particular point in time, but people live there anyway, assuming it’s not going to happen during their lifetime. And the North Island had terrible volcanoes that were hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Leahy: The soon-to-be-former prime minister.

Carmichael: I think she’s already resigned…

Leahy: Is she out of the office now? I don’t know what her departure is but it can’t be soon enough.

Carmichael: But she announced her resignation, which was I don’t think it was a surprise to her party, but it wasn’t on the calendar. Let’s put it this way. It wasn’t re-election, but she just announced that she was out of gas and she kind of recounted all of the crises that have befallen New Zealand and the world since she became the prime minister, and it was a litany of issues that she has had to deal with. Then shortly after, she admits it, and says this and announces her resignation in the airport and goes foot underwater. (Leahy chuckles)

Leahy: Another crisis.

Carmichael: And they had the giant floods of Auckland. Now we started in Sydney, Australia. And Sydney is a very large city with probably five or six million. It’s an incredibly clean city. Incredibly clean. You see a real difference. The politics are much lower-key. The partisan nature. There’s not a bunch of yelling and screaming about racism and sexism and one thing or another. It’s just not present there. And then you come back here, you get an earful, then you see this balloon. And essentially the balloon was a spy balloon and it was collecting data as it floated across North America. And we didn’t shoot it down until it had collected all of its data.

Leahy: Until it had done all of its spying, as The Babylon Bee reported accurately.

Carmichael: Right. That’s not even being funny. It’s apparently what happened. And then you had the Biden excuse machine

Leahy: That’s a good phrase.

Carmichael: Parroted by the media. And you say, well, not much has changed since I’ve been gone for three weeks because that’s pretty much the way it was when I left. One thing that has happened that I did notice is that during the first 90 days of this year, the federal government is going to borrow $900 billion.

Leahy: B with a billion.

Carmichael: In 90 days.

Leahy: In 90 days.

Carmichael: So that implies north of $3 trillion is the deficit they are running on an annualized basis. I don’t think it will be that great.

Leahy: Pretty close.

Carmichael: But for Biden to claim he is reducing the deficit is a farce. But he can still say it and the media will repeat it. So nothing much has changed. But I did learn that the United States cannot default on its debt.

So people that say, if the Republicans don’t agree to an increase in the debt ceiling and the US is in default. That is false. It means it can’t pay for other things. But constitutionally, the debt of the United States shall not be questioned. That’s what it says.

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

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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 “Auckland, New Zealand” by Pedro Szekely. CC BY-SA 2.0.


All Star Panelist Roger Simon Discusses Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Response to Cuba’s Call for Freedom

All Star Panelist Roger Simon Discusses Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Response to Cuba’s Call for Freedom


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Senior Editor-At-Large at The Epoch Times Roger Simon in studio to discuss Cuba’s cries for freedom and Secretary of State Blinken’s response.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our all-star panelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist, founder of PJ Media, my former boss at PJTV, editor and editor-at-large for The Epoch Times, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning. I’m a little more awake this morning than usual. I don’t know why.

Leahy: Good. Now I have to admit to our audience, as a host, I’m falling down on my duty a little bit because I just delivered to you some stale radio-station and microwave-warmed coffee.

And I need to be delivering. I need to step up and we need to bring in. Scooter’s laughing because he knows it’s true. (Laughs) Our producer, Scooter.

Simon: It is true.

Leahy: What I need to do and I’m derelict in my duty here, Roger, because I’ve got to find a wonderful sponsor who can bring us really great coffee in the morning. So it’s on my to-do list. I promise.

Simon: I would move it up higher.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s quite good. Roger, in the news today in Cuba, which has been under a Communist dictatorship for what, 60 years now –

Simon: 62.

Leahy: The people want freedom. They are demonstrating in the streets for freedom. What is the Biden maladministration doing about it?

Simon: Nada.

Leahy: Is that Español?

Simon: It’s a little bit of Spanish. No tiene interested. No le gusta. They don’t like it.

Leahy: What about Winken, Blinken, and Nod, the former partner there?

Simon: Antony Blinken.

Leahy: Tony Blinken.

Simon: Nodding off.

Leahy: The secretary of state of the United States. Now, what’s his big issue? It’s not freedom in Cuba.

Simon: No, it’s racism in the United States and he has gone to the UN asking them to investigate us. (Chuckles) This is the secretary of state of the United States, mind you.

Leahy: When I hear all these things, Roger, I think no, these guys didn’t really get elected. You know? Really? This kind of stuff.

Simon: They must have gotten there by a coup. (Laughs) Because how could anybody …

Leahy: Legal but not legitimate. Legal but not legitimate. That’s my mantra on these guys.

Simon: The whole thing about Cuba is you were very, very sad.

Leahy: Have you been to Cuba?

Simon: Yes. Yes.

Leahy: I’ve never been to Cuba.

Simon: As you know, shamefully I have a leftist past.

Leahy: No, no, no, Roger, that you are in the buckle of the Bible Belt and we believe in forgiveness. You are forgiven. Look at some of the great conservatives in history started out as liberal.

Simon: Ronald Reagan and Robert Conquest, my favorite.

Leahy: By the way, I did too. In 1980, I managed the reelection campaign of a Democrat running for Congress.

Simon: Uh oh.

Leahy: He won, but very shortly thereafter, I became a conservative Republican.

Simon: Well, you learned much faster than I. I’m a slow learner, but I was out in Hollywood where I was being essentially paid for keeping the other vision. Rollback to 1979. That’s the year I went to Cuba.

Leahy: So you went to Cuba in 1979.

Simon: It’s an amazing story.

Leahy: Was this during the Marielito?

Simon: No, no. I was invited as a Delgado to the first festival of a new Latin American cinema.

Leahy: Are you kidding me?

Simon: No.

Leahy: I didn’t know anything about this. Every time you come in, Roger, I learn a new, interesting fact about your fascinating, colorful past.

Simon: I’m sort of like the Woody Allen character Ziggy.

Leahy: Or a little bit like Forest Gump. Ziggy, Forest Gump at these main points in American history or world history.

Simon: Anyway, in this particular one, you couldn’t go to Cuba legally at the time. And so there were six of us on an illegal Cessna flying out of Miami.

Leahy: Is the statute of limitations expired, Roger? (Laughter)

Simon: Onboard the flight was my ex-wife and some other radicals. And one of the Hollywood 10.

Leahy: Tell everybody who the Hollywood 10 were.

Simon: Hollywood 10 were the poor souls who were supposedly irradiated out of Hollywood in the 50s for being Communist. And this one was Ring Lardner, Jr. Rather a famous guy.

Leahy: Famous writer.

Simon: His father was Ring Lardner, who was more famous. And we were all on this plane being flown by a – turned out – by a Vietnam vet who was very angry about where he was going.

He was just charted. So we’re flying over Cuba on our way in, and he just wants to turn back. And on the other hand, the flight control down on Vanity Airport, which in those days was the size of a postage stamp.

You could look down at it and there were some military vehicles and one airliner from Aeroflot.

Leahy: The Russian airline.

Simon: And it ended up that they only spoke Spanish at the airport.  So I ended up talking us down.

Leahy: So you spoke Spanish?

Simon: I spoke Spanish.

Leahy: Where did you learn Spanish, by the way?

Simon: I lived in Spain for a little while.

Leahy: Again, all of these mysteries of your past that you’re unveiling to our audience.

Simon: I was trying to be an author. (Laughter) Cuba at that time was worse than now almost. It was illegal to play Afro-Cuban music.

Leahy: In Cuba?

Simon: In Cuba.

Leahy: When we come back, we’ll learn more about what happened when you landed in Cuba in 1979.

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.