OPINION: To Calm Things Down In America, Make People’s Lives Better (Pass The People’s Budget)

“We’re as divided as we’ve been in my lifetime” is something you hear from people on both sides of the political spectrum these days.

We can’t all agree on much, but one thing there seems to be a consensus on is that the level of vitriol in America is as high as it has been in generations. Nearly a third of us expect another Civil War soon.

The Insurrection on January 6th was very clearly a manifestation of the division. We can’t even have school board meetings anymore without being at each other’s throats.

Most of us want the divisiveness to end. So how do we calm things down?

There’s no easy answer to that. There won’t be a silver bullet (especially as long as Fox News is on the air), but what if part of the answer is showing people the government can work FOR THEM again, rather than just for corporations and the wealthy?

It’s hard to ignore that as the animosity in America is as high as it has been in a century, inequality is also at Gilded Age levels. Inequality is tied to so many issues in our country – a lack of health care, poor education, crime, gun violence, even abortion. It stands to reason that when people have less, they have less to lose, they’re more likely to be angry, and they become more likely to express their anger in ways that are detrimental to society.

So here’s a crazy thought: To make people less angry, make their lives better.

Guarantee them time off when they’re sick or have a child, like the rest of the world does.

Cover child care costs earlier and start teaching their kids with Universal Pre-K earlier to lessen the financial burden on their families.

Create good paying jobs by investing in our clean energy future, and infrastructure.

Invest what it takes to make sure everywhere in America is connected to broadband, so young Americans can stay in rural areas when they graduate high school and start businesses there and revitalize those communities rather than leaving the first chance they get.

Expand Medicare to cover Hearing and Vision so people don’t forego the glasses and hearing aids they need, and expand Medicaid to the states that haven’t like here in Tennessee where we’re #1 in Medical bankruptcies and we lose $1.7 Billion every year we don’t, so folks can see a doctor when they get sick rather than a bankruptcy attorney. (Or even better cover everyone through Medicare for All or something like it)

Invest in HBCU’s, and housing to put a roof over people’s heads, and worker’s rights… and do it all without raising taxes on anyone but those who can afford it – the ones making over $400,000 per year.

These aren’t pipe dreams. These are literally the things in the budget that Biden and the Democrats are fighting to pass while Republicans and a few “moderates” like Manchin & Sinema (who sure look like extremists to me) stand in the way.

These are programs that will have tangible impacts on the lives of Americans.

Many of the angriest among us view government as the problem because they’ve been told it is by a steady drumbeat of conservative talking heads, but the truth is government can be a big part of the solution, and can help make their lives better. Making people’s lives better and addressing the gross inequality we have allowed to overtake our society thanks to a government captured by corporate interests may be the only real path to calming things down in this country… assuming there still is one.

Pass the people’s budget.

Justin Kanew is the Founder of the Tennessee Holler

TODAY’S HOLLER: “SELF-GOVERNANCE IS AT STAKE”

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“SELF-GOVERNANCE IS AT STAKE”

The special committee about the January 6th insurrection is happening now, and it is extremely powerful. Anyone trying to downplay what happened that day is complicit. The cover-up is part of the insurrection.

Some highlights:

REP. SCHIFF: “When you were racially attacked, you asked if this is America. Is it?” OFFICER DUNN: “If you look at our history… I guess it is. But that’s not the side we represent. We represent decency.”

SGT. GONELL: “My time, compared to Iraq, totally different… This is our own citizens, people who we’ve sworn an oath to protect, yet they are attacking us with the same flag they claim to represent.” #jan6thcommittee

OFFICER FANONE: They tortured me. They beat me… and they continued to do so until I yelled out that i had kids… it’s believed I was unconscious for 4 minutes…The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful! —- Nothing has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day and betray their oath of office.” #January6thCommittee ” #January6thCommission

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Rep. Kinzinger, a Republican, crying: “You guys won. You held. Democracies are not defined by our bad days, but how we come back from bad days. How we take responsibility for it… many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight- SELF-GOVERNANCE IS AT STAKE.”

It’s clear why Republicans tried to stop this committee from happening. These recounts of what happened that day by these officers are incredibly powerful. Eternal shame on Trump and everyone who helped enable this. What you’re doing is the opposite of patriotism.

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TODAY’S HOLLER:
MOUNT JULIET GRIFTER *PASTOR* LOCKE: “Don’t believe this Delta Variant nonsense” – says if anyone shows up to church wearing a mask he’ll kick them out. Cases are spiking in Tennessee, almost all hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated. ? (He recently had a church member, a musician who believed his garbage, die of COVID)

BALLAD SCREW-UP: In JOHNSON CITY, “Ballad Health sent letters to ~100 patients stating they may have been exposed the hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or HIV… occurred during a “medication incident’ involving “a single nurse.”?  IN OUR INBOX: One person’s 72yo father with cancer went in for a transfusion after a car accident and got this letter. ?

“COLORED PEOPLE”?: Discussing CRT, Williamson County Moms for Liberty Chair Robin Steenman refers to non-white kids as “colored kids” on Marsha Blackburn’s show, with zero pushback from Marsha. She called teachers “brainwashing assholes”, equated diversity efforts with the Holocaust.

PSAKI NAME-CHECKS VALENTINE: “We don’t want that to be the breaking point for anyone.” —- PSAKI references Tennessee conservative radio host PHIL VALENTINE, who had an epiphany about the vaccine once he was in the hospital “fighting for his life” (after mocking the vaccine with a parody song) ?

TUCKER CONFRONTED IN MONTANA: “You are the worst human being known to mankind… What you have done to ??… to people’s families…” – Local Montana fly-fishing guide Dan Bailey confronts Tucker Carlson. #Hero

FLYNN’S THREAT:  “Maybe I’ll find somebody in Washington D.C…” – Trump’s now-pardoned former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn *jokes* about assassination at the “Church of Glad Tidings” in Yuba City, CA as he gets a semi-automatic rifle. ?

MASKLESS MARSHA: Marsha Spotted maskless at the airport, where federal law requires them in the terminal… ?

BLEDSOE’S ANTI-VACCINE SHERIFF: Bledsoe & Marion County jails have not yet offered vaccinations for inmates. Bledsoe Sheriff Jimmy Morris: “To my knowledge, people has died everywhere from this vaccine” —— Wouldn’t say where he got the info behind that (false) claim. ? (He was arrested for a bar fight in 2012)

KIRK LOVES SINEMA: Trump sycophant Charlie Kirk calls Senator Kyrsten Sinema “more of a Republican than McCain” and praises her for preserving the filibuster, an anti-civil rights relic…. How proud you must be, Senator. What a ringing endorsement. #EndTheFilibuster

WILD, TRAGIC STORY: 60yo BETHPAGE, TN man wouldn’t give up the handle @Tennessee…gets harassed & “swatted” (fake SWAT team emergency reported to his house) —he dies of a heart attack when they show up with guns… Another TN man got 5 years for his role.

SHAMELESS MCCONNELL: Despite right-wing misinfo obviously causing ??’s vaccine hesitancy, McConnell blames BIDEN for the vaccination rate, saying “they inherited a good trajectory from Republican leadership.” One of the most shameless things you’ll ever see. ?

CARTOON OF THE DAY ?

GRAHAM’S GRANDSON HOSPITALIZED: Rev. Billy Graham’s grandson, evangelical Pastor Jonathan Lotz, has been hospitalized with COVID-19. ?

NASHVILLE: “A petition to have Metro Nashville Public School students mask up for the upcoming 2021-22 school year has just crossed 1000 signatures.” ?

?LISTEN: “What a fraud… Trump got a shot in the White House during a pandemic and didn’t tell anyone. That’s not the President’s job. You’re a coward.” – ?Rep. Cohen on the Daily Memphian Podcast says if upcoming elections are about Trump Dems will win.

STUDY: “States cutting unemployment benefits didn’t get people back to work” – Seems Governor Lee & the TN GOP slashed $500 MILLION out of our economy for no reason. (bc they think unemployed Tennesseans are lazy)?

WATCH: “JUST GET THE STUPID SHOT.” – Florida mom who was against getting vaccinated and didn’t take COVID seriously thanks to the right-wing misinformation engine changes her tune after nearly dying. ?

FLASHBACK: “Remove the bust of the KKK Grand Wizard from our capitol!” Ashley King regularly protested the statue by being loud, and making those who kept it there uncomfortable. It’s gone. We want to make sure we salute Ashley for his efforts… join us LIVE TODAY AT NOON CST WITH ASHLEY ON THE HOLLER.

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Kanew & Mccall Rip “THE BIG LIE” on Fox Nashville

On Fox Nashville Holler founder Justin Kanew rips GOP operative Tres Wittum for joining 71% of Republicans saying the election was stolen, while the Tennessee Lookout’s Holly Mccall shreds Rick Williams for touting the Arizona Fraudit.

Mama B’s “Red State, Blue Mom”

Some of you have been asking where is the infamous GRITS’ travel correspondent, Mama B… well, she has launched her own podcast called “Red State, Blue Mom”! For this week’s episode, we invite you to listen to the 2021 inaugural episode and subscribe!

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Student Debt Showdown

With US student debt reaching $1.7 TRILLION, the girls deliver the state of play on student loans: what amount of relief Biden is considering; racial disparities in borrowing; and how privilege takes center stage in the debate whether to cancel it all. #StudentDebtGritty

Run down of the imminent congressional showdown
Biden signals new era with Secretary of Education pick
COVID relief and student debt
Why Biden should forgive student loans

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Why There Are 49 Vice Presidents and 46 Presidents

By Brett Chumley, Editor of Harrogate Holler @brettskinchief @harrogateholler 

1/20/21

In 1984, the nation’s 42nd Vice President, and Democratic Presidential Nominee Walter Mondale selected New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential Nominee. She was the first woman to ever have a real shot at winning on a presidential ticket. It was not meant to be. President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush won re-election in a massive landslide. That was 37 years ago. In 2008, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin became the second woman to land on the Presidential ticket, as Senator John McCain’s running mate. It was not meant to be. Barack Obama and Joe Biden won handily. In 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman to head the Presidential ticket. She won, but it was not meant to be. Donald Trump and Mike Pence lost the popular vote but won the electoral college.

It’s been a long journey to power for American Women and it isn’t over. The glass ceiling isn’t gone yet, but after the 2020 election, it is in shambles and nearing collapse. So while you’re drinking your bubbly, let’s study some vice-presidential history to celebrate this magnificent and overdue moment in American history. 

Today, January 20, 2021, over 100 years after American women gained the right to vote, the nation swore in its first female vice president, Kamala Devi Harris. She is the 49th person to hold the title, while President Joe Biden is the 46th to hold his. Why is that?

Simply put, it’s because two 20th century presidents have had multiple vice presidents. It had fluctuated and evened out before then, and below you can find a quick history lesson on how Kamala Harris became the 49th Vice President of the United States (VPOTUS.) 

If you want to skip the full lesson, scroll to the • to see their names. 

Before we start, here are a few tidbits of vice-presidential history to impress your friends with: President of the United States (or POTUS) Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, but they each count as separate administrations, so he was the 22nd and 24th POTUS. Two vice presidents (VPs) have served in two terms in two different administrations, but each did so consecutively, and therefore only count as one VP each. Only two VPs have resigned from office- John C. Calhoun and Spiro T. Agnew. 

Eight presidents have had more than one vice president. Franklin Roosevelt had three, while Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, and Richard Nixon all had two.

Four presidents- John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester A. Arthur- never had a vice president serve alongside them in office.

Now onto the 49th thing… 

Things first got out of wack when Vice President George Clinton (not the groovy one from Parliament, the 4th Vice President of the United States) replaced Aaron Burr to become President Thomas Jefferson’s second VP. He then served as VP for President Madison, before being replaced by Elbridge Gerry. 

By 1813, there had been 4 presidents and 5 vice presidents. 

John C. Calhoun would later serve as vice president for two presidents as well- John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He served as the second VP in the Quincy Adams administration, and the first vp to President Jackson, being replaced by Martin Van Buren, who would ultimately succeed President Jackson to serve a single term in office, with Richard Johnson as VP. 

This brings us to 8 presidents and 9 vice presidents by 1837. 

When the 9th President William Henry Harrison died just a month into his term, he was succeeded by the 10th President John Tyler, the first president to never select a VP. When Tyler dropped his re-election bid after annexing Texas, James K. Polk and George Dallas became the 11th president and vice president respectively. 

So in 1845, the number of presidents and vice presidents had evened out at 11. 

It didn’t stay even for long, though. When the 12th Vice President Millard Fillmore became the 13th POTUS, he too chose no vice president. That seems unthinkable today, right? 

We are now at 13 POTUS and 12  VPOTUS in 1850. 

Abraham Lincoln was the next President to have two VPs, a political calculation made because Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson had more appeal to Southerners. This evened the number out at 16.

Again, it didn’t stay even for long. President Johnson ascended to the Presidency following the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, and never chose a vice president. 

Johnson’s successor President Ulysses S. Grant evened it out with his second vice president in 1873.

In 1881, President James Garfield was assassinated, and Vice President Chester A. Arthur ascended to the Presidency. He never chose a VP.

25th President William McKinley evened it out in 1901 when Theodore Roosevelt became his second VP. When President McKinley was assassinated that same year (a sad theme in this story) President Roosevelt finished the term without a VP but chose Charles Fairbanks to serve in his first full term. This brings us to 26 each. 

Fast forward to 1933, and enter Franklin Delano Roosevelt- the 32nd President. He was elected to serve four terms, and had three vice presidents- both records! In 1945, he died in office just months after winning his fourth election, Vice President Truman (who initially disliked the idea of being President) completed the late Roosevelt’s 4th term. The 33rd POTUS didn’t choose a VP until he sought his only full term in office, defeating Thomas Dewey. 

A side note on the 1948 election: it was kind of like 2016, but instead of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as pivotal swing states, the races hinged on Illinois, California, and Ohio. Dewey was long considered the front runner, Truman’s hopes at a full-term dead on arrival. The Chicago Daily Tribune published the now-famous headline “Dewey Defeats Truman,” because they were so convinced he would win in a landslide. Truman’s win left his opponents shell shocked. And since we’re comparing 1948 to 2016, we also can’t ignore the TRU- in both his and Former President Trump’s name. Spooky, huh? 

Back to business – it’s 1945 and we are up to 35 vice presidents and 33 presidents. (+2 total.) 

In 1973, the 39th Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in a non-Watergate scandal from Richard Nixon’s administration. He was replaced with Gerald R. Ford, who became President Ford a year later when President Nixon resigned facing conviction in a Senate impeachment trial for the Watergate Scandal. 

Unlike others in his situation, Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller as vice president to serve with him after a short vacancy (+3 total.) He lost his bid for a full term in 1976 to the 39th President Jimmy Carter. Walter Mondale became the 42nd vice president.

• Since then, there have been 3 more Vice Presidents than Presidents, and at this moment it’s because of Vice Presidents Henry A. Wallace and Harry S. Truman (Pres. Roosevelt) and Spiro T. Agnew (Pres. Nixon.)

Kamala Harris is not only the first woman to be VP, but she is the first Black Vice President and Indian American Vice President. Black women didn’t gain the right to vote until 1965, 45 years after the 19th amendment was ratified, giving white women the right to vote. Although our country would’ve been better off with a woman in the White House in 2016 than a sad orange clown, it is kind of poetic that a Black woman delivered the first shattering blow to that “highest, hardest glass ceiling.” 

As of today, there are 6 living former vice presidents- President Biden, Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and Walter Mondale. President Joe Biden is the 15th Vice President to go on to serve as President. Will Kamala Harris be the 16th? Will Al Gore make a comeback? Dick Cheney? Dan Quayle ‘24? Mondale/Klobuchar 2028? Klobuchar/Mondale, perhaps? Or a new face yet to be on the national scene?

Only time will tell the future of the Vice Presidency, but for the sake of safety and stability, let’s just hope that the POTUS – VPOTUS ratio stays even from now on. With the size and scope of the US Executive Branch growing by the year, it is important now more than ever to have a strong, hard-working, and caring vice president- and that’s what we’ll be enjoying for the next four years of Madame Vice President Harris. 

Thanks for reading, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook @HarrogateHoller! Email us comments, questions, and tips to HarrogateHoller@Gmail.com.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

We have a new President. Trump is officially out, and President Biden and Vice President Harris have been sworn in, with Harris breaking glass ceilings, racial barriers, and gender barriers everywhere. The work continues, but today we are all taking a collective sigh of relief. Here are some highlights from their inauguration:

 

 

 

 

 

Insurrection GRITS

New year, new… WTF. Aftyn and Anna are back for season 4 in the wake of the pro-Trump QAnon furry hat wearing insurrection identifying the Tennessee culprits and grappling with how to humanize those involved. BONUS: tips on how to talk to your people who believe in conspiracy theories

LINKS

Sign this petition to take down Steve Berger,

Gov. Lee’s extremist pastor at Grace Chapel

How to speak to people who believe in conspiracy theories

Republican Attorney Generals launch robocalls

Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver’s Tennessean patriot profile

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Tennessean Insurrectionists and the Importance of Antifascism

Journalists Abby Lee Hood and Matt Bastin join to talk about Tennesseans’ involvement in the undemocratic coup attempt by MAGA insurrectionists that took place at our Capitol last week. We explore the moment we are in and where to go from here, including how it is more important now than ever to include antifascism into everything we do. Not only is supporting antifascism the right thing to do, but we will never pass a Green New Deal or any other progressive legislation if we don’t both practice antifascism and push for democratic reforms.

Read Matt and Abby Lee’s piece in Tennessee Lookout that inspired this episode

Support Abby Lee

Support Matt

Read Angela Davis’ Abolition Democracy Beyond Empire Prisons & Torture

Sunrise Tennessee Interest Form

Join DSA

Volunteer for The Equity Alliance

Find out what Native Land you are living on

Follow Sunrise Tennessee on Twitter and Facebook.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts and wherever else you like to listen.

“You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself for Belittling What Happened at the Capitol”

On WZTV FOX 17 News, the Holler’s Justin Kanew skewers Tennessee Republican Party EC member Michelle Foreman for deflecting blame from Trump (onto city mayors…) and denying systemic racism.