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 Tennessee Star Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Mark Milley’s DUI history and the current mood in the US Congress.
Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by the very best Washington correspondent in the country, the Washington correspondent for The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe.
Neil, before we get into the craziness of Congress, I’d just like to get your comment on this story that we broke at The Tennessee Star on The Star News Network yesterday. Headline Wrong Way, Milley. Beat a 1982 DUI Charge, Paid $100. Fine.
The Star News Network confirmed that a person by the name of Mark A. Milley was the same Mark Milley as Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley, who was charged with driving under the influence in Cumberland County, North Carolina, after a November 1982 traffic stop.
Turns out the drunk driving charge was dismissed. But Milley was found guilty of driving the wrong way on a one way street. He paid a $100 fine for going the wrong way, plus a $31 court fee. Neil, I don’t know. We went back 39 years to find that out.
McCabe: Well the people have a right to know Mike.
Leahy: (Laughs) They do. And isn’t it kind of emblematic of the kind of guy Milley is, right?
McCabe: There’s a lot of people who we accused of going taking things the wrong way. He was actually convicted of it. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: He really was. What’s interesting is we tried multiple times to get the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Information Office to comment. We tried them on September 15 and the 16th and on Monday, no comment, no comment, no comment.
It’s a minor embarrassment. Why not just say, yeah, that was him and on to the next. Why would they refuse to admit it? We got the goods on him? Why won’t they just say, yeah, 39 years ago he made a mistake.
McCabe: I think Peter Dulet gets a lot of credit for sort of grinding this thing down and actually getting Major Powers. The unnamed first-named Major Powers. Major Powers refuses to give his name.
And so I don’t know, I don’t know what the harm is. He talked to his supervisor, and I guess the supervisor said that Powers wouldn’t give a comment, but his boss would. And then that comment was not forthcoming.
It was an opportunity for General Milley to sort of talk about the importance of driving while sober. (Leahy chuckles) I think it was an opportunity missed as a teaching opportunity, certainly for his soldiers.
The crazy thing is, I give Peter probably the most credit is, why was Milley’s birthday listed? Like when you Google Milley’s birthday, it comes up the 18th. Forgive me if I got it screwed up. One was June 18 and one was June 20, right?
Leahy: If you go to Wikipedia, it now says, although a year and a half ago, it said something else. But it said June 18, 1958, was his birthday.
That’s what Wikipedia says. But Peter Debrosko, who wrote the article for us, contacted the clerk at Winchester, Massachusetts and found out that Mark A. Milley was born on June 20, 1958, which is the date of Mark A. Milley who was arrested for drunk driving and driving the wrong way back in 1982 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is where Fort Brag is. That area.
McCabe: Right. Milley was right out of Princeton. He was commissioned out of the Princeton ROTC program and served in the 82nd Airborne and later became a Green Beret.
And you look on paper, it’s a fantastic military resume. I’m not sure I want him in charge of the army, but he’s got great credentials.
Somebody did suggest to me that maybe the idea of putting out the wrong birthday was to sort of avoid people connecting the dots with this DUI. But who’s to know? I think it has symbolic value then will have impact on national policy.
Leahy: Yeah. I think you’re exactly right. You got wrong way Milley, who apparently now former President Trump says, advised him while he was president to leave all the equipment in Afghanistan because it would be cheaper.
That’s what Former President Trump. I mean, it’s just utterly idiotic. That’s what they ended up doing. They left the equipment there.
McCabe: Now the Taliban have more attack helicopters than England.
Leahy: It is kind of crazy. It’s a funny story. Just tell the truth, joint chief of staff, public information people, and then on to the next. But I think they won’t tell the truth about it. They won’t admit it. That’s I think indicative of the fact that they just are not transparent or competent. Speaking of competence and transparency, what kind of craziness is going on in Congress right now?
McCabe: Well, you know, I’ll say it again. The real chance that Biden had to push his agenda ended with the 4th of July and everybody sort of went home for the August recess. You come back after Labor Day after getting an ear full from your constituents, and you’re just in a different mood.
And Congressmen, especially Democratic congressmen, are in a much different mood today than they were six months ago. And there’s a lot of programs and taxes that they probably would have voted for six months ago, but now not so much.
And what you’re finding is this $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which is actually more like $5 trillion because they deceptively said that when they did the 10-year outlay projections, they deceptively said that some of these programs would end after three years.
As if they would end in three years. And you have the estate tax. You have some tampering with the deductibility of state and local taxes.
SALT, which is very important to these Democratically controlled, high taxes, allows rich people to deduct their state and local taxes in say New York or Connecticut, or Massachusetts from their income.
Leahy: And Neil what happens then is Tennesseeans end up subsidizing rich New Yorkers. Crom has a question for you, Neil.
Carmichael: Neil, I also saw where you’ve got a bunch of people in the House who are adding additional spending of up to $800. billion. So your $5 trillion is now closing in on $6 trillion.
And then I saw an article where if they change it so that wealthy people in blue States can deduct their state and local taxes, that is another $88 billion dollars a year.
In Washington, speak that’s close to a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the rich. And so all of a sudden, where do they make up the revenue for giving the richest people in America tax breaks?
McCabe: Right. This is definitely flipping the script. Since when were the Democrats demanding we cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which is exactly what expanding SALT would do.
What you’re finding is that people are sort of choking on this spending because the Social Security increases. Six percent, which is the highest in, like 20 years and inflation is a real problem.
And people in Washington understand that Biden is going to get blamed for the inflation that’s all around us. But it hasn’t really broken nationally as a full-blown story.
And if they’re attached to Biden and they’re attached to voting for this bill, they’re just really going to blow the bank. It’s also a hostage situation. The progressive Democrats understand that this is their one shot to get something done.
The moderates understand that this is a shot to get something done. Pelosi only has five or six seat majority, and so it’s very, very tight.
Leahy: Neil McCabe, the very best Washington Correspondent in the country. Thank you for that outstanding report. Come back next Wednesday.
Listen to the third hour here:
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Photo “Neil W. McCabe” by Neil W. McCabe. Background Photo “Mark A. Milley” by U.S. Secretary of Defense CC BY 2.0