TN Dems Call On Rep. Curcio & Speaker Sexton To Keep Their Word, Hold #ExpelByrd Hearings

Tennessee still has an admitted child sex abuser sitting in a State Rep seat.

Now that the Attorney General has said expelling him would be constitutional, it’s time for Tennessee Republicans to stop harboring him.

HOLLER AT THEM HERE:

Rep.Michael.Curcio@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-3513 

speaker.cameron.sexton@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2343

Dems To Gov. Lee: “PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH”, Stop Hoarding $$ Intended for Poor People

Watch TN Dems Rep. Bo Mitchell & Rep. Mike Stewart call on Gov. Lee and the TN GOP to stop hoarding hundreds of millions in TANF funds intended for poor people’s child care, food, job training.

Between not expanding Medicaid, hoarding TANF funds, and not spending hundreds of millions in federal day care funds, Lee & The TN GOP have kept $8 BILLION from getting to Tennessee’s neediest.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” one school social worker told us when she heard this.

Rep. Green’s “DECLARATION OF WAR” Isn’t Against Dems, It’s Against Real American Values

As the House votes to proceed with an impeachment inquiry against President Trump – a vote Republicans have been asking them to take to make it official (you’re welcome!) – and we move closer to an actual impeachment vote, the rhetoric among House Republicans is starting to grow more sinister, to the point where congressman Mark Green has just gone so far as to express support for “Declaring War On Dems”, tweeting a link to an article that says as much with a simple phrase: “What he said.”

To be clear, Republicans are not engaging on the merits of the situation. The article he links to in the tweet does nothing to undercut any of the arguments for impeaching the president or address what he has done.

They don’t want to talk about the fact that Trump’s own Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Vindman told congress he reported Trump’s conduct to his superiors twice and tried unsuccessfully to fix the doctored transcript of Trump’s “perfect” call, which was then hidden away. (translation: the cover-up)

They don’t want to talk about Trump’s own ambassador Bill Taylor confirming the “crazy” quid pro quo.

They don’t want to talk about Morrison, another of Trump’s own top national security officials, confirming the quid pro quo just yesterday.

They don’t want to talk about Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s associates – who were working with him on this Ukraine conspiracy, and who were on Trump’s own legal team – being charged with serious campaign finance crimes, and being linked to a Russian mob-tied oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who is close with Putin, and who himself is wanted for crimes.

Yes, Trump shared a legal team with a Russian oligarch linked to the mafia, and Putin.

The list goes on.

The truth is clear. The president did bring the force of the United States government to bear on an ally under duress, withholding key military aid and other necessary help against Putin’s aggressions to pressure them to investigate his chief political rival Joe Biden.

A quid pro quo if ever there was one.

But instead of standing up to all of that and doing – or at least SAYING – what’s right, as many other prominent Republicans are (not enough though), Green is instead joining the fight against those who are standing up to defend this country.

To be clear, the “declaration of war” article Mark Green links to makes no arguments on the merits. It’s a diatribe of whining and complaining about a situation they don’t like, because Republicans don’t want to answer the key question: “Is it right for a president to pressure a foreign government to investigate political opponents and get involved with our elections?”

Time after time, Republicans have been left looking silly as they try to dodge this very simple, very obvious question.

Instead they attack the process – “behind closed doors!” “We need a vote!” “They’re not letting us in!” – and now that all of those things have been addressed, with the inquiry moving into the public view, a vote having been held, and the revelation that Mark Green, who is fundraising off of being kept out of the hearings, WAS ALLOWED IN THE HEARINGS, because he was on the committee… they’re ratcheting up the rhetoric.

Declaring war.

One would think Mark Green would be extra careful about how he speaks about matters of “war”, considering he’ll be the first to tell you he’s an army doctor who spent the night with Saddam, and made sure to write a book about it. (So far he won’t release his un-redacted discharge papers, and has taken to calling constituents who ask him about his rumored less-than-honorable-discharge liars, but that’s a story for a different day).

The truth is, many Democrats didn’t want to take this step. Impeaching a president is not to be done lightly, even if Republicans did do it to Clinton for a FAR more trivial issue.

But at a certain point, when you have a con man in the White House using the constitution like toilet paper and the Oval Office like an ATM Machine, with scores of his allies and Russian mafia-linked henchmen behind bars and charged with crimes, somebody has to stand up for what’s right.

Or else, as Pelosi says, what do we have left? If they don’t impeach, it says everything Trump is doing is ok. And it isn’t.

Somebody has to put country first. Clearly, the Mark Greens of the world will not, as he admitted with his George Washington quote yesterday, which made it clear Green has no problem putting the president before the country.

Last we checked, the oath Green and everyone he serves with took was to protect this country and the constitution from all enemies, foreign AND domestic, not to protect a president who puts himself above all else.

But perhaps Green can relate to that sentiment?

The bottom line is this: As Democrats, many prominent Republicans, and highly decorated ex-military members of Trump’s own cabinet are doing their patriotic duty, standing up for what’s right in the face of tremendous pressure and at great risk to themselves and their families, instead of joining them, Rep. Mark Green is joining the effort to”declare war” on them.

He may think he’s declaring war on Democrats, but the truth is by “declaring war” on those who stand up to this president and the damage he’s doing to our nation, Mark Green is not declaring war on Democrats – he’s declaring war on law and order, the constitution, and real American values.

Justin Kanew is the co-founder of the Holler

(Kiran Sreepada is running against Green in 2020)

Hypocrite “Moscow Marsha” AGAIN Blocks Election Security Bills, Paving Way for More Foreign Interference

Yesterday a total of THREE election security bills introduced by Democrats were blocked by our own Marsha Blackburn, including one that would require campaigns to report foreign interference in our elections to the FBI.

It’s not the first time she has done this. Apparently Marsha is the Republican go-to when it comes to blocking bills to enable more foreign interference in our elections, which should not be a partisan issue.

From THE HILL:

Election security has become a point of contention during the Trump era. House Democrats have passed several election-related bills, including a sweeping ethics and election reform measure, but they’ve hit a wall in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tried to pass legislation that would require campaign officials to report contacts with foreign nationals who are trying to make donations or coordinate with the campaign to the Federal Election Commission, which would notify the FBI.

“The alarm bells are going off and what are we doing? We’re running out of time to do something about it,” Warner said from the Senate floor.

Obviously Democrats are in the middle of an impeachment inquiry focused on Trump asking Ukraine to investigate former Biden and his son and holding up aid to pressure them, which Trump’s own people have admitted he did.

Intelligence agencies have also said the Russians are still doing it, and will do it again.

Marsha clearly doesn’t care as long as it helps her team, no matter what it does to the very fabric of our Democracy.

It’s worth remembering that we just recently learned that the NRA was a key point of focus for the Russians, and that multiple people associated with the NRA were actually Russian agents using the group to gain access to conservative power players… and that the point of entry for them was actually right here in Tennessee, through associates of Blackburn. 

When we say “Moscow Marsha”, we’re not just being cute.

Marsha’s quote about blocking efforts to protect our elections is especially delicious.

“You know, it’s not a good sign if you’re doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

As a reminder, the house voted over 50 times to repeal Obamacare while Marsha was there.

If you think Marsha is damaging our country with her behavior, HOLLER at her HERE.

TN GOP Rep. Smith Blames Rise in Youth Suicides on “Leftist Indoctrination”, Schools, Climate Science

There’s a lot going on right now, but we wanted to make sure to show you this remarkable post from TN GOP State Rep. Robin Smith (R-Chattanooga) in something called the Patriot Post, which was brought to our attention by former congressional candidate Chris Hale.

In the post Smith lays the rise in youth suicides at the feet of “leftist indoctrination” – apparently meaning schools, climate science, biology, and sex, coupled with her misguided sense of the Democratic platform as a whole.

Keep in mind, Smith was previously the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, and recently ran for House caucus chair, so she’s not exactly a fringe player.

She starts out with a simple fact:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data this past week that youth suicide rates increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among 10- to 24-year-olds.”

Smith then notes that the author of the article says “researchers aren’t certain” what exactly the causes are… but who needs research? The causes are clear to Rep. Smith:

“The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of this report includes the statement that researchers aren’t certain of the cause, yet factors such as a “rise in depression, drug use, stress and access to firearms” along with the influence of social media are cited as areas of interest and study.

Access to firearms” is not all that different from 50 years ago, but let’s take an honest look at the cultural forces and influences on our youth and young adults today that may offer some real causation, not just correlation…”

Notice how Smith doesn’t like the “access to firearms part”, so she throws that out – claiming it hasn’t changed in 50 years, when there is absolutely no evidence that’s the case.

Proliferation of firearms in America has continued over the last 50 years, so it would stand to reason that access to firearms for teens would increase along with that. Calling something “an honest look” doesn’t make it so. But we digress.

Smith then talks about the detachment that results from phone and social media addiction before pointing the finger squarely at our schools for teaching about science in the form of climate change, biology, and sex:

“Once our kids are out the door, they’re headed to middle school, high school, or some type of instruction in a two-year college or four-year university. And what do our kids encounter in their day at these “institutions of higher learning”? Of late, the message has been that the Earth will cease to exist in less than 12 years because of climate change. Our kids are told that it’s their right to determine their own gender rather than live within the capacity of their biological being while maximizing their gifts and talents. Too many students hear that life is a wad of cells until a baby is outside the mother’s womb and wanted by both the biological donors — formerly called the mother and father.

Students of all ages hear that part of growing up is being sexually active, having access to abortion as a type of birth control and part of a female’s health care, and that choosing a life of discipline, maturity, and restraint is not possible — much less a characteristic of an individual living at the fullest extent of their “rights.”

Smith’s use of quotations around “institutions of higher learning” are reminiscent of the calls for the abolition of state-sponsored higher learning by Republican senators Kerry Roberts and Mark Pody. When asked, Roberts claimed he was joking – but it has become clearer and clearer that doing away with state-backed higher education is a popular policy position in the TN GOP.

It’s one thing not to believe in Climate science, but linking gender, climate, and not calling parents a mother and father (say what?) to youth suicide is quite the stretch.

Smith then says our schools are “populated with activists”, and points to Democratic policy proposals like health care, education, and higher wages (the horror!) as somehow causes of suicide because they make kids “wards of the state”:

“Our institutions entrusted with the high trust of academic instruction are populated with activists who are invested in more than educational excellence and accomplishment and are now turning to the playbook seen in failing cultures of sameness for the common good and a posture of dependency rather than self-reliance. Don’t believe this? With the demands for “free” college tuition, free health care, a universal wage for those who don’t even work and for the express doctrine of this sameness to guarantee no individual excels above another, the role of government metastasizes to a cancer that consumes its host to pay for those who don’t excel and aren’t driven to self-reliance. Shorter, we’re teaching kids to be wards of the State.”

So helping kids learn, see doctors, and earn more money makes them want to take their own lives. Or something. Hoo-wee.

To clarify: “Free” college tuition means we pay for it with our taxes and our kids go to school, as we already do with lower education.

“Free health care” again would mean we pay taxes, and we get what we pay for – as opposed to now where we pay taxes, and premiums, and deductibles… and many are still going broke and dying for lack of coverage, especially here in Tennessee.

And say what you will about a universal basic income proposal – which has gained little traction in the Democratic Party – but it’s worth noting Smith opposes the Democratic proposal for a “living wage”, which means raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to a number people can actually live on.

Tennessee is #1 in % of minimum wage jobs, so that would actually help a lot of people.

The upshot of all of this is that Robin Smith may disagree with things like climate science, and biology, and making sure everyone can see a doctor when they get sick, and higher education, and paying people for their work – but blaming people who support those things for youth suicides with ZERO evidence? That’s unconscionable and downright shameful.

If Smith was really as pro-life as she claims to be, she should reverse her position on not expanding medicaid, which we know is killing people, or blocking common sense gun safety reform, which is also contributing to the deaths of many.

Teen suicide is a serious issue. It’s not something to baselessly politicize for the sake of scoring cheap political points.

Holler at Rep. Smith HERE if you agree.

Illuminating TWITTER THREAD: Biden Vs. Trump – by Susan Hennessey

We wanted to share this TWITTER THREAD by @Susan_Hennessey with you that sheds some light on the basic points about Trump’s hypocritical, baseless, destructive, impeachable mission to pressure foreign governments to go after his political opponent.

Hunter Biden profiting off of the Biden name is not something anyone should be happy about, but it’s also not illegal, and it doesn’t excuse Trump manipulating the entire apparatus of the American government to do his political bidding, Also, the Trump family is the last family in the world that should be attacking him for it considering how the Trump kids have been doing the same and worse – and Trump has been profiteering off the Oval Office since the beginning.

Meanwhile another whistleblower tells us Trump is meddling with the IRS to keep us from seeing his taxes. What a mess.

Here’s SUSAN’S THREAD on why Biden actually followed the rules and norms that Trump has not.

All presidents and vice presidents and cabinet members have family and friends whose jobs might be impacted by policy. That’s why we ask them to observe transparent ethics processes and norms. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump doesn’t do.

To begin with, we ask that presidents and vice presidents divest from personal business holdings. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump didn’t do.

Then we ask that presidents and vice presidents disclose tax returns and financial records to ensure transparency. That is what Biden did. That is what Trump refuses to do.

Then we ask presidents and vice presidents to observe the laws and norms against nepotism in government, by not hiring their family members. Biden observed those norms and laws. Trump refuses to do so.

Even when presidents & VPs divest from personal conflicts, disclose finances & avoid nepotism, sometimes questions still arise. Some things they can’t recuse from & will impact their own financial interests or family/friends. Things like tax cuts, foreign policy, military action.

And so we expect them to observe the norms of process in order to bolster legitimacy. By working through places like State Department, relying on interagency recommendations. It creates reassurance that decisions are being made in the national interest and not personal interest.

What Trump has done is refused to divest from his business, refused to disclose tax returns and financial documents, handed his children government jobs, and then circumvented regular process in the face of opposition from the executive branch and Congress.

Because Biden observed all ethics rules and norms, and was acting on behalf of the US with international support—a position reached through robust and transparent process—we can have confidence in his actions, even in situations in which someone identifies a possible conflict.

This is why past presidents and vice presidents have voluntarily observed these rules (at least most of them and usually). Because they know they may need it to preserve political legitimacy. But Trump doesn’t care about legitimacy. He is openly unethical and self-interested.

Here is a piece I wrote on exactly this problem in January 2017 and why ethics rules are essential to national security.

And here is a book I wrote with Benjamin Wittes which has a whole entire chapter devoted to the subject, chock-full of fun historical examples!

 

VIDEO: CLIPS From Nashville’s Public Hearing On Lee’s (ILLEGAL?) Medicaid Block Grant Proposal

This week throughout Tennessee public hearings for comments about Governor Bill Lee’s possibly illegal block grant proposal are being held. A Block Grant would hand a giant lump sum of medicaid dollars to a group of people who have already shown they don’t actually care about the suffering of poor Tennesseans, having rejected billions of Medicaid expansion dollars for no non-political reason.

It has cost us BILLIONS. We’re #1 in Rural hospital closures, medical bankruptcies, at the bottom in opioid deaths, infant mortality, the list goes on.  Medicaid expansion would help all of those things. A block grant will only exacerbate them.

The hearing in Nashville was emotional, but Lee and the TN GOP wouldn’t know because they weren’t there, and they didn’t have anyone there to record it or take note of the comments.

We were there though. Below are a few clips.

Rep. Jim Cooper: “I had hoped Gov. Lee’s religious faith would’ve given him more of a heart for the poor, especially as we anticipate the Day of Prayer he has called.”

Cooper exposes Lee’s (illegal?) Block Grant as a bad deal for Tennessee & our most vulnerable:

“These aren’t just numbers. There are real people suffering… This is a faithful state- we should be helping the poor, not hurting them.”

Holler co-Founder Kanew speaks up:

“If it wasn’t for my family there are times I wouldn’t have anything to eat. It’s so humiliating.”

DEVASTATING testimony from a woman who lost Medicaid to a paperwork snafu. Governor Lee’s proposal will lead to more of these stories, not less:

Founder of Tennessee Star Steve Gill charged with domestic abuse by wife

Steve Gill, founder of the far-right wing publication, The Tennessee Star, is an abusive husband who carries weapons at all times, his wife alleged in a request for a temporary restraining order in Williamson County.

Dana Hunsinger Gill, who has been married to  Gill since 2014, filed for the restraining order Aug. 22, the same day she filed for an annulment of the marriage.

In her request, Dana Gill states “the respondent is abusive, he threatens me, chases me, has a weapon always on him, long history of these issues, he is currently in jail.” A handwritten document attached details the abuse and begs the court for relief: “Please protect me from him returning home to attack me. I need protection, I am terrified . . . Steve at all times carries a gun (He owns many) he makes it known and says as long as he declares ‘I am in imminent danger’ he can use his gun.”

A page from Dana Gill’s application for a temporary restraining order lists the weapons Steve Gill owns.

Both legal documents were filed the day after Dana Gill testified on behalf of  Gill’s former wife, in a contempt of court case stemming from his failure to pay $170,000 in child support to Kathryn Gill.

As a result of the court’s finding Gill guilty of 27 counts, he has been incarcerated in Williamson County Jail since August 21 and will be back in court for another hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Gill, whose Twitter biography describes himself as, among other titles, a Christian conservative author, co-founded The Tennessee Star with two other Tea Party activists in 2017. In March, Snopes.com exposed the Star as a “little Breitbart” and says the publication disguises conservative activism as journalism. Dana Gill is listed as the Faith Editor of the Star.

The story was first reported by the Tennessean.