GOV. LEE TAKES CREDIT FOR 500 TRITIUM JOBS, EVEN AS TRITIUM CREDITS BIDEN’S BILL (ALL TN GOP REPS OPPOSED)

Yesterday President Biden made an announcement about a new TRITIUM CHARGING factory that will be opening up in LEBANON, TN – bringing 500 jobs to the area and having a “ripple effect” beyond the borders of Lebanon, and even Tennessee.

Tritium itself credits the BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGED passed by Biden and the Democrats, with the help of a few Republicans, none of which were members of the Tennessee delegation – which likely explains why every last member of the delegation has been silent about the development.

You would never know that the president of the United States just announced 500 jobs good paying (hopefully UNION) jobs are coming to Tennessee by looking at the feeds of Senators Marsha Blackburn or Bill Hagerty, or congress members Kustoff, Rose, Green, Fleischmann, Desjarlais, Harshbarger, or Burchett.

They seem to only mention things when their own party is responsible for them – a truly sad testament to how divided we are as a country.

Worse than that, GOVERNOR LEE took things a step furtherhe issued a press release about the Tritium announcement, but doesn’t even MENTION in it that Tritium itself credits the Biden bipartisan infrastructure bill with the jobs.

Instead, Lee’s highly misleading and disingenuous release makes it look like this happened thanks to his own leadership.

TO RECAP: When the FORD PLANT (to make electric cars) was announced in West Tennessee, Democrats expressed their support for the jobs and economic benefits coming to our state…

…Yet when TRITIUM makes their announcement, most Republicans are silent – while the Governor attempts to take credit, and doesn’t even mention Biden’s leadership and how his efforts are helping to create a market for these products and companies to prosper.

It seems Tennessee Republicans will only root for Tennessee – or America – if it benefits their own party. That, as their corrupt, defeated, one-term insurrectionist leader liked to say, is “Sad”.

TSSAA ON REF USING THE “N WORD” AT SMYRNA HIGH: “WE’RE INVESTIGATING.”

Last night we learned the STEM PREP boys & girls basketball teams left their games against Smyrna High after a referee allegedly used the “N Word” towards one of the female players.

The student was not the only one who heard it. Her grandmother did too, and she promptly recorded herself on Facebook reacting emotionally to the racist referee’s actions:

We called TSSAA, the organization responsible for staffing high school games with officials throughout Tennessee. They’re based in Hermitage.

Gene Menees, Assistant Executive Director, called us back. This is how our conversation went.

HOLLER: Can you shine any light on what happened? Will the ref still be reffing games? Does the TSSAA have a statement?

MENEES: We’re investigating.

HOLLER: Ok. And if the ref did use the N word towards a player, what would the outcome potentially be?

MENEES: We’re looking into it and we’re investigating.

HOLLER: Theoretically, would you still allow them to referee games?

MENEES: I can’t answer that question because it’s an allegation. We’re investigating into the allegation.

HOLLER: I understand, but it seems like people would be interested to know what the TSSAA’s policy is towards a ref using that word in general.

MENEES: Well, let’s reverse it. We will deal with an official obviously if the official used a racial slur. Just as an administration of a school, I would assume, would deal with it if a player used a racial slur directed towards an opponent. Or fans used a racial slur directed towards a player. So if an official used a racial slur, we would certainly deal with that official.

HOLLER: In what way would you deal with them?

MENEES: We would deal with them. We’re investigating.

HOLLER: Right, but would you suspend them? Fire them?

MENEES: We would look into it. We would talk. We would meet and make a decision.

HOLLER: So it’s not a zero tolerance policy?

MENEES: I didn’t say that. I said we would look into it, and if it was verified we would deal with the official and take care of the situation.

HOLLER: What does that mean? Is there a world where a ref can use the N Word towards a player and still ref games for TSSAA?

MENEES: I didn’t say that. You said it.

HOLLER: I’m asking.

MENEES: I’m gonna be honest with you – we’ve never dealt with this before. We’ve had allegations before, but the allegations have never been confirmed… we’re not an organization that’s going to tolerate racial slurs. So if it’s confirmed we would deal with it.

HOLLER: And what’s the process for confirming? Are you talking to the refs? Players? Fans? Who are you talking to?

MENEES: We’re an association of schools. I’ve been in touch with STEM Academy, Smyrna, and the officials.

HOLLER: And when you make your decision, do you have a sense of a time frame?

MENEES: We’ll look into it, get the reports in, we’ll talk to STEM. There were other situations that occurred in the game as well. So we’ve gotta work through all that. This is is one of the things involved in that game that we’re working through?

HOLLER: What other things were involved?

MENEES: We had 2 players ejected. We had a fan that came on the floor. We’ve got policies in place for that as well. We’ve gotta deal with the entire situation that occurred at Smyrna. The racial slur is one of the things we’ve got to deal with, obviously. But it’s not the only thing.

HOLLER: Have you had any issues with that referee in the past?

MENEES: What referee?

HOLLER: The one that allegedly used the racial slur?

MENEES: Who allegedly said it? I’ve never been given a name? Which name do you have?

HOLLER: How are you investigating if you don’t even know who we’re talking about.

MENEES: I’ve not been given a name. Nobody has given me a name of the official who allegedly made the racial slur.

HOLLER: Do you know who was assigned to that game?

MENEES: There was a crew of officials.

HOLLER: There were 3. How would you go about figuring out which ref it was?

At this point Menees goes on telling us a story about when he was a high school football player in Kingsport and got ejected for using profanity, but says there was no tape with audio to prove it.

HOLLER: So because there may not be video of this happening, it might end up being just what people heard vs. what the ref says happened, what happens in that scenario?

MENEES: That’s what we’re investigating. We’re looking into it. And once we get the reports in we’ll take a look at it and make a decision.

HOLLER: You said you talked to STEM and Smyrna. Is there a crew chief?

MENEES: There’s always an R on the game.

HOLLER: Well I guess figuring out who the ref is would be the first step, right?

MENEES: We’ll talk to the officials, talk to STEM, talk to Smyrna… let’s be fair. It’s an allegation. Right? Let’s be fair.

HOLLER: It’s allegation, but multiple people have told us they heard it.

MENEES: I understand. But momentarily, let’s be fair. Multiple people didn’t hear it.

HOLLER: They did. I’m happy to send you a video. We have a video of a grandmother who heard it. It was her granddaughter that was called it.

MENEES: We’ll hear the racial slur on the video? That’s what you’re saying?

HOLLER: No. You’ll hear a grandmother saying she was right there and heard it.

MENEES: The video will prove someone said it, correct?

HOLLER: No. The video will prove more than one person heard it. And so I guess at that point what you’re saying is unless a racial slur gets caught on camera…

MENEES: No, I didn’t say that. I didn’t say it didn’t happen…  If we get a video… I’ll go back to the football example…

Here he goes back to the story getting thrown out for profanity and there not being video of it to prove it, and a coach denying it.

We then asked him what a time frame would be for making their decision, and he told us schools and people are busy and wouldn’t commit to anything specific.

The thing to remember here is both teams forfeited, so clearly the teams were convinced that this happened. But Menees certainly gave the impression that without video of the incident this could potentially get treated as nothing more than an allegation.

We’d also add that this tweet by Smyrna basketball mentioning the forfeit without explaining the context seemed highly inappropriate, and appears to have been deleted.

Here’s hoping TSSAA does the right thing. Their contact info, should you feel like hollering at them: 615-889-6740 tssaa@tssaa.org

And as always, film everything.

 

 

SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE: GOV. LEE’S FAILURE TO LEAD COMES AT GREAT COST

SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE:

GOV. LEE’S FAILURE TO LEAD COMES AT GREAT COST

At Governor Lee’s press conferences, in the presence of statewide media and TV cameras, he presents himself as someone who personally believes masks work. It’s not that he shares the opinion of anti-mask extremists who think masks are tyranny, he assures us – it’s just that he believes people in Tennessee should have the final say over whether or not their kids wear masks to school.

Clearly he has done the polling and decided that middle ground is the safest place for him to live.

Not firmly on either side. One foot in each camp. Tell the pro-mask parents they’re right about the efficacy of masks, while telling the anti-mask parents they’re right about “freedom” and all that.

His opt out executive order was the legislative manifestation of this wishy-washiness – not a “mask mandate ban” by name, but one in spirit. It allowed the anti-maskers to feel like they had won, while allowing Lee to pretend he hadn’t actually banned mask mandates – even though he had (as a judge in Memphis seems to have figured out).

But underneath it all, Lee’s attempt to present himself as a personal believer in masks doesn’t pass the smell test. He may have spent state money on a “mask up” ad campaign… his Health Department may have “recommended” them… but if Lee really thinks they work, why isn’t he wearing one?

Why with cases skyrocketing and hospitalizations at all time highs was he just recently pictured with kids, inside a school, maskless? And why did he POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, as if to say it was the right way to behave? Why even bother pretending to think masks are the right thing to do if he’s not going to lead by example?

The truth is, Lee is either an anti-masker at heart, or a coward.

If he truly believes wearing masks are the right thing to do, he should be doing it. But doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do is not in Lee’s DNA.

Leadership is simply not in his bag of tricks.

Lee has shown us time and again he will always say the most politically convenient thing in the moment. He will always follow the way he thinks the polling goes.

But leaders aren’t supposed to follow the way the wind is blowing. Leaders are supposed to lead.

And because our state doesn’t have a leader, but instead has a man in charge who is first and foremost worried about pandering to extremists, 27 school districts are closed, at least 8 teachers are dead, our hospitals are pleading for help, and we have the worst outbreak in the country (one of the worst in the world)

We are paying a heavy price for Lee’s failure to lead.

Setting a bad example comes at great cost.

Justin Kanew is the founder of the Tennessee Holler

TODAY’S HOLLER: LEE’S MASK MANDATE BAN BLOCKED

LEE’S OPT OUT ORDER BLOCKED


U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman just issued a temporary restraining order sought by the parents of 2 kids with health problems who argue Lee’s opt out order endangers students with health conditions.

The Temporary Restraining Order remains in effect until Sept. 17. Yet again, Lee doesn’t pass laws, he passes lawsuits.

Meanwhile Governor Lee continues to do nothing to help teachers and students feel safe in our schools. TENNESSEAN EDITORIAL BOARD just called out Gov. Lee for being “reactive”, which is generous since he isn’t really reacting at all, and said he should rescind his mask mandate opt out order. ??

TEACHERS DYING don’t even seem to be moving him. In CHEATHAM COUNTY It seems yet another teacher died tragically of COVID, ? and SCIENCE HILL in Johnson City lost one also. Far too many Tennessee educators have been lost to this disease, while far too little is done.

Governor Lee has not mentioned them.

KNOX TEACHER just came on the Holler to issue a plea TO LEE & OTHER LEADERS: “PLEASE HELP… every failure to take action affects the entire state, not just those in public education.” ?

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TODAY’S HOLLER
HOSPITALS FULL OF REGRETFUL UNVACCINATED:  Truck Driver who listens to conservative radio: “I didn’t think I was at any risk.” Elderly Woman: “Guess I should’ve taken that vaccine.” As Tennessee hospitals set new records, the most critical are almost all unvaccinated. ICUs are filled with regretful patients.
1 IN 5000: “How small are the chances of the average vaccinated American contracting Covid? Probably about one in 5,000 per day, and even lower for people who take precautions or live in a highly vaccinated community.” ? #GetVaccinatedNow
A GRAPHIC from Williamson Medical Center showing how clear it is everyone should #GetVaccinatedNow.

SPONSORING THE WAR ON WOMEN: AT&T, NBC Universal, CVS Health and more are the biggest donors to the Republican politicians behind the Texas abortion bill/war on women… Yet they remain silent.

FLORIDA DOC WON’T TREAT THE UNVACCINATED ANYMORE: “This is where it draws the line in the sand for me.” – Dr. Linda Marraccini in FLORIDA is telling patients she won’t treat the UNVACCINATED in her office anymore.

BREAKING RECORDS: “Tennessee continues to set RECORD COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATION NUMBERS… 3,597 now hospitalized across the state…. 1020 in ICUs… 699 on ventilators… 74 of those hospitalized are children…” ?

LABOR DAY HYPOCRITES: Governor Lee had ZERO workers or worker reps on your COVID economic recovery group. He helped keep Volkswagen from unionizing. Republicans (Lee, Blackburn, Hagerty, etc) posting nice things about workers on Labor Day but fighting against unions, who started the holiday and gave us weekends, overtime, child labor laws, etc…  should have all the seats. ? ?

LABOR DAY REMINDER: Unions and the middle class go hand in hand, and politicians who don’t support unions don’t really support workers. (Again: Anti-union Governor Lee had ZERO worker reps or workers on his COVID “economic recovery group”)

? TN AFL CIO CHIEF BILLY DYCUS: “The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor…“Right to Work” laws originated during Jim Crow and strip workers from having a voice… it means LESS freedom for workers, NOT MORE.” #LaborDay #UnionStrong

GOP JESUS – THE MOVIE: ”Rabbi, surely you can heal me!” — “Yes… but who would pay for it?” ? #GOPJesus helps us understand many of our Republican friends much better… especially our TN GOP delegation. 

IVERMECTIN CALLS: “The Tennessee Poison Center has seen a dramatic increase in calls for people experiencing issues after taking (horse de-wormer) IVERMECTIN for COVID-19” ?

Nice recap of how Governor Lee has *handled* COVID, with TN having the worst outbreak in the country – from the Williamson Young Dems. ?

RENKL: “We need to take health and public safety out of the hands of Republicans because this is not a game” – ? Margaret Renkl on how Governor Lee and Republican leadership throughout the South are exacerbating climate/COVID disasters… and costing lives.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Moms for Liberty making it clear with this absurd post about American Girl dolls they have no clue what Critical Race Theory actually is, and proving all they care about is making sure our society stops fighting racism??(PSA: Nobody is “color blind”. That’s a lie they tell themselves. The point isn’t to not see color, it’s to see all everyone’s uniqueness and differences and love each other for it.)

? ?MEMPHIS MAGIC: “It’s important to get vaccinated… not only for yourself, but for those around you.” The great MAGIC JOHNSON gives SHELBY COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT JORIS RAY an assist to tout the vaccine. (90%+ of those hospitalized are unvaccinated) ?

“HOST BODY”: Florida’s former GOP Speaker of the House repeatedly calls a pregnant woman a “host body” ☹️ But sure, let’s keep letting these guys dictate women’s reproductive rights?

HOLLERIN’ ON TAMRON HALL: “At the end of the day, if we’re wrong about the efficacy of masks- sorry, you had to wear a mask. But if you’re wrong, someone dies or our kids get sick.” Yesterday the Holler’s Justin Kanew joined THE TAMRON HALL SHOW to discuss the chaotic Williamson Board meeting.

TAMRON HALL DISMANTLES ROD LUNN: Who threatened the dad in Williamson County… the guy humiliated himself further. Obvious limelight chaser. He’s a party to lawsuits against masks where he claims to have asthma, yet oddly never mentions it.

? ??‍♀️

? ?❤️? The kids are alright

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MUZZLEGATE: DR. MICHELLE FISCUS DEFENDS HERSELF

Tennessee has made the national news more than our share lately. One of the most recent instances was the political firing of Dr. Michelle Fiscus over the Health Department’s outreach to teens for the COVID-19 vaccine. We won’t go into all the details here, but the bottom line is she shared a summary of existing case law with vaccine providers which stated that teens over 14 were able to get vaccinated without a parent’s permission.

Republicans didn’t like that (even though it’s STILL state policy). They made a big stink over it, and the marketing to teens – only one problem: Fiscus had not been responsible for that marketing. Governor Lee’s office had. Lee’s office had also blessed the summary Fiscus shared. But Republican legislators were out for blood, and the sword fell on Dr. Fiscus.

She was fired, although neither Health Dept. Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey or Governor Lee would say why at the time. Lee pointed to Piercey, saying it was her decision, although he claimed not to even have asked her why she made it.

On her way out Dr. Fiscus pulled no punches. She gave interviews about the mess that was going on inside the health department, even sharing details about a no-bid contract given to a Utah company with zero COVID testing experience that was clearly awarded for political reasons by Governor Lee, a contract which fell apart – costing Tennessee taxpayer $6 million for literally nothing and slowing down an already horrific COVID-19 response.

It was no surprise then that there were people who wanted Dr. Fiscus to stop talking. Reports even surfaced of Dr. Fiscus receiving a dog muzzle in the mail – to which she responded that it would take more than that to keep her from talking.

The muzzle was a minor detail in a much bigger national story about a Governor firing a top vaccine expert to appease anti-vaccine extremists (appeasing extremists appears to be Lee’s specialty). Fiscus asked for an investigation into what she perceived as a threat, and now weeks later a story has come out from the new Nashville arm of Axios, run by Nate Rau (formerly of the Tennessee Lookout) and Adam Tamburin, saying that an investigation by the state concluded Fiscus had “sent the muzzle to herself”. (the story has been updated to reflect that the investigation did not conclude that, only that she “bought the muzzle” – meaning a card in Dr. Fiscus’ name was used)

Dr. Fiscus responded, saying she did not send it to herself, pointing out that she was the one who asked for the investigation, and that the 2nd Amazon account was created using a burner phone in Washington state, where she has not been.

The Fiscus family has openly shared the state’s findings, and says they have asked for an unredacted version of the report. Dr. Fiscus also released a follow up statement, and did an interview with Channel 5 where she pointed out that the state had her credit card on file and could easily have set her up if they so desired.

It seems clear 1 of 2 things happened here: Either Dr. Fiscus lied, sent herself a muzzle to garner sympathy, and asked for an investigation thinking she would never get caught by something as simple as a subpoena to Amazon… or someone at the state intentionally sent her the muzzle with her own card so that it would come out and look like she did that to discredit all the other things she has said about Governor Lee’s administration and health department.

Dr. Fiscus says those who already think she did this won’t listen to her side of the story anyway, which is likely true.

To believe the latter version you’d have to believe this administration was also capable of handing out military promotions to get private school vouchers passed… or that other close Republican pals of Lee were under FBI investigation for campaign finance issues… or that they had handed out no-bid contracts like candy throughout the pandemic to the tune of around $500 MILLION… had people peeing on a fellow Republican’s chair… framed civil rights activists and had them charged with 14 different counts… or felonized protestors for wanting equality and justice… had a trooper lie about a megaphone color to get a leading activist imprisoned

Bottom line: You can disbelieve Dr. Fiscus, but if you think Tennessee Republicans are above framing a doctor who was taking a sledgehammer to their credibility using nothing but the truth, to discredit her in the eyes of the state, and the country… you simply haven’t been paying attention.

DR. LEWIS: “Knee-Jerk Reactions Will Harm Tennessee’s Children”

“Knee-Jerk Reactions Will Harm Tennessee’s Children”

An Op-Ed from Dr. Terri Lewis of Tennessee

In recent days, the contingent of state legislative anti-vaxxers successfully browbeat the Tennessee Department of Health into cancelling childhood vaccine outreach programs – not just for COVID19, but for all routine childhood immunization programs.

On face, it appears that the TN Dept of Health, responsible for public health in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties excluding major metropolitan areas where local agencies wield more authority, will no longer conduct public outreach for any preventable childhood communicable disease.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ seems to be the new public health strategy.

Tennessee lags behind the nation in all measures of disease prevention through vaccination. As of July 13, the number of fully vaccinated Tennesseans for COVID settled at 2,599,234 or 38.06% of the population. Overall, Tennessee ranks 33rd among the 50 states with a childhood vaccination rate of 79.9% against a population of 6,944,260. Tennessee currently meets HP2030 targets for 2 out of 3 vaccination-related measures for 24-month old children.

But there are significant gaps.

Many of Tennessee’s children have not completed the entire series of vaccines for preventable illnesses in the last decade. Minority children are less likely to be fully immunized. Some parents refused any and all routine immunizations.

Progress toward meeting vaccination rates for children up to the age of 24 months is located on theTNDOH website [1].

As concerning is the announcement by Dr. Tim Jones, Chief Medical Officer, that henceforth, no vaccination efforts will be conducted for routine childhood vaccines, with the HPV vaccine particularly singled out.

No outreach includes “pre-planning” for flu shots events at schools and back to school vaccines, and by inference, routine immunizations for infants, toddlers, teens and college students. Responsibility for back to school vaccines will become the responsibility of the Tennessee Dept of Education, not the TNDOH.

The elements of a successful outreach effort are well documented.

First, parental and community education and messaging around the safety, efficacy, and importance of childhood immunization is essential to ensure that children receive the full complement of preventive vaccines. With the gap in health insurance coverage for children this is an important function of the TNDOH at the county level across the state.

Second, there must be ready access to immunizations at every opportunity. The percent of children without health insurance increased from 5.2% in 2018 to 5.7% in 2019, with Hispanic children most represented in the childhood insurance coverage gap [2]. By fall of 2020, 9% of Tennessee children were uninsured, more than twice the level at the same time in 2019, according to the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy[3]. Brief periods of being uninsured can have long-term effects on the health of children and their achievement in school… children who lose their insurance miss important immunizations and go months with major unaddressed problems…” [J. Zickafoose, MD, MS, Monroe Carrell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt]. Children who fall into the coverage gap are least likely to receive preventive care.

Third, reliable and readily accessible immunization records that provide a non-duplicated reflection of on-time immunizations are important for ensuring an accurate personal history for personal health management. This responsibility lies with health providers, not the Tennessee Department of Education. Lack of health coverage will magnify the negative impact of the childhood coverage gap where the health system fails to conduct routine outreach.

Finally, preventable childhood diseases are on the rise with the reduction in vaccination rates. Uninsured children are particularly vulnerable. When compared with privately insured children, uninsured children have more health disadvantages including need for medical or dental care; greater severity of illness, more hospitalizations and higher mortality rates; more vaccine-preventable disease; and higher rates of chronic illness such as asthma and diabetes [4].

The announced actions that resulted decisions to termination vaccine program leadership and cease immunization program outreach will have harmful effects resulting in tangible, measurable harms to Tennessee’s children and youth.

I strongly encourage the re-examination of these knee-jerk reactions to pressures exercised from certain sectors of the population.

[1] https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep-weeklyreports/2020-24-Month-Old-Survey.pdf

[2] https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/12/01/researchupdate120120

[3] https://www.vumc.org/health-policy/tennessee-poll-uninsured-kids-covid19-2020

[4] https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/health-of-women-and-children/measure/Uninsured_children/state/TN

Dr. Terri Lewis

Silver Point, TN

Global Immunization Action Network Team

https://www.giant-int.org/

 

 

 

@TheTNHoller

REP. CLEMMONS ON THE FISCUS FIRING: “I’M INFURIATED”

Rep. John Ray Clemmons shared his feelings on Governor Lee firing Dr. Fiscus for doing her job and trying to keep Tennesseans safe, saying all Tennesseans should be “infuriated” at Lee for caving to the extreme science-denying right. Clemmons also expresses disappointment with TN Dept. of Health commish Dr. Lisa Piercey for not standing up for Dr. Fiscus.

What Would Jesus Do? with Elizabeth Madeira

Elizabeth Madeira, an organizer for the Southern Christian Coalition, discusses recent Tennessee legislation and her views on the intersections between Christian morality and public policy.

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

Make our internet LOCAL

Aftyn and Anna are joined by April Jarocki, the coordinator with the Southern Connected Communities Project, who along with members of the Clearfork Valley, built their own internet by establishing a wireless internet system at the Highlander Research and Education Center in Jefferson County, Tennessee. April highlights the role of the pandemic in exacerbating the digital divide and discusses what broadband justice looks like to her community.

Donate to SCCP by clicking here!

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

Evacuation Before Nashville Bombing

“IT’S LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A MOVIE”

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has released Officer Sipos’ BODY CAM footage of the moment the Nashville Bombing occurred. They demonstrated heroic courage and calm under pressure.