FAMILY VALUES? Bulso Fights for 1st Cousin Marriage 🤨


Common sense is in short supply in Tennessee these days. We don’t have to tell you that. Still, you would think a bill that bans marriage between first cousins would be uncontroversial in this day and age.

Well, you would be wrong. Not in Tennessee. Not under this Republican supermajority.

Darren Jernigan’s bill passed with full support in committee. Even Gino Bulso, who for some reason thought it wise to admit his grandparents were first cousins, supported it.

But something happened between committee and the floor that changed Bulso’s mind. Perhaps a fond family memory? Whatever it was, Bulso suddenly decided the bill was a bad idea, and fought hard to kill it on the house floor, even using law legalizing same-sex marriage, which he opposes, as an argument to keep first cousin marriage legal.

CLEMMONS did well to keep a straight face as he said: “Mr. Speaker, I move to table the amendment that would allow 1st cousins to marry.” 🤦🏻‍♂️

It was quite a sight to behold. Bulso’s colleagues struggled to keep straight faces. Parkinson failed, telling us “That was ballsy Bulso’s gonna break the Internet again.”

The lobbyists in the rotunda were seized with fits of laughter watching Bulso try to make his case.

Eventually it passed with an overwhelming majority from both parties, however Monty Fritts joined Bulso in opposition, and 9 other Republicans decided to abstain. 

The headlines Bulso’s crusade to save first cousin marriage is generating are frankly just amazing.

Needless to say, it will be an awkward Thanksgiving at the Bulso house this year. But congrats to Bulso & the TN house GOp on making it into Newsweek🤦🏻‍♂️

What a week. Session is almost over, but our work will continue. Please consider helping us holler about it all by chipping in monthly.  (or on SQUARE) 

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TN STUDENTS TO GOV. LEE: “Veto the arming teachers bill… we are hurt by this..”

SENATOR LAMAR: 🗣️ “Teachers don’t even want this. This bill is dangerous… look at that gallery. Those mothers are asking you not to do this.” With a baby in her arms. Powerful. But every Senate Republican voted yes anyway, as troopers dragged out the moms above.

Williamson County School Board Member 👇🏽

YARBRO“Shame on us, Mister Speaker.” The arming teachers bill passed the Senate on party lines with Republican support, as Mcnally had parents removed from the balcony and Yarbro & the Dems said it isn’t what most Tennesseans want to keep kids safe.

Former Williamson County School Board Chair 👇🏽

Covenant Dad on the arming teachers bill👇🏽

It’s not what people want

🔥 JONES: “This stifles speech. People here are upset young people are asking deeper Q’s than your generation. I hope one day they replace you all.” – Justin Jones opposed Ragan’s bill— pointing out he grew up in “divisive” segregated schools, and the truth must be taught.

Tennessee headlines just from today

“NUTS.” — that’s how Dems caucus chair John Ray Clemmons responded to this bill letting 18 year olds open carry assault weapons👇🏽 Not only are Tennessee Republicans not listening to the people in the wake of Covenant, they’re going the other way.

“VOTE THEM OUT!” CHAOS ends committee after Lamberth & Farmer conspire to refuse a roll call vote on the Fritts bill allowing open carry of assault weapons & lowering the age to 18. Republicans making up rules as they go. Not democracy.

Q: “Do we need 18 year olds walking around open carrying assault weapons?” FARMER (R): “Probably not.” In a moment of honesty the Civil Justice chair admits his concerns about the bill he voted for— but doesn’t regret ducking the voice vote that led to the eruption.

POWELL: “I’m at a loss— we’re putting the worship of the gun ahead of the love of people.” Jason Powell opposed the Fritts bill for open carry of assault weapons as young as 18. Lamberth 🐔made Farmer duck 🦆 a roll call vote. The audience erupted. Senate Republicans then passed an arming teachers bill.

TN MOMS: “Elections are coming up, girls… democracy in Tennessee is on life support.” TN Moms react to an emotional committee ending abruptly when Farmer & Lamberth ducked a roll call vote on Fritts’ open carry of assault weapons by 18 year olds bill.

To recap…

HEY GINO: “Is the ‘Baby Olivia’ anti-abortion video you just forced into Tennessee schools indoctrination?”
Sponsors Bulso & Bowling say no — Senator Heidi Campbell disagrees, saying it’s part of a theocratic Christian Nationalist agenda taking hold in Tennessee (+ 🇺🇸)

NASHVILLE SCENE: “Local OB/GYN says the most egregious issue in the video is how it measures the timeline of pregnancy… They’re trying to ‘teach’ human development but they’re just teaching false embryology.”

What it actually looks like. Little different than the baby Olivia video.

TN PARENTS:  “Parents’ rights should be parents’ rights for all parents — the @TNGOP supermajority are hypocrites.” TN parents call out the hypocrisy of Faison’s “Parents Bill of Rights” as Republicans force kids to watch anti-abortion videos, attack trans kids etc.

CHALKBEAT hears what we’re hearing – Lee’s vouchers are hanging by a thread: “Lee’s push to create a statewide school voucher system is running out of time as Republican lawmakers work to reconcile significantly different proposals.” – KEEP CALLING.

And on and on 💰

HOMESCHOOLERS AGAINST VOUCHERS: “Taxpayer💰should not fund private education… (vouchers) are not conservative. We consider it educational welfare.” “For Your Children” ministry homeschoolers “fundamentally oppose” @GovBillLee’s voucher scam and the inevitable strings that come with vouchers.

DEBERRY PAID OFF: “Are you familiar with the segregationist history of vouchers? How much is @govbilllee paying you?” After being booted from the Democratic Party, ex Rep. John Deberry now helps Lee push his voucher scam — and Lee gives him ~$18,000/month in taxpayer dollars for it.💰

UNION BUSTIN’ GUV: Anti-Union is anti-worker, Gov Bill Lee. You’re the one making the “big mistake”.

❤️ MUST-WATCH: “I am fully unionized… my life changed… I have things I never thought I could.”
As Gov Lee union busts in Nooga— HAYWOOD, TN folks have their lives changed by union work & Biden’s $9.2 BILLION Blue Oval investment.

“AN UNPRECEDENTED BILLION-DOLLAR CORPORATE TAX GIVEAWAY”: Dems sound the🚨 as Republicans (+ Johnny Shaw) gleefully hand billions to corporations based on a nonexistent lawsuit— yet cry poverty over feeding kids in schools, expanding health care, etc

SHAW: “Get out of my face!” Rep Johnny Shaw (D) loses it on us & calls for a trooper when we ask why he was the 1 Dem yes vote on an unnecessary billion-dollar corporate tax handout. (Also: the attack on the human rights commission, Sexton’s rules, badmouthed the Justins, etc)

SUING THE STATE: “We urge the court to use its authority to stop the suffering pregnant patients are enduring.” TN women denied abortion care are suing the state over its (no real exceptions) ban, for putting their lives in jeopardy. #ForcedBirthState

A NATIONAL ALARM: This week BLOOMBERG and THE GUARDIAN both sounded the alarm 🚨 about Tennessee local outlets should have been sounding a long time ago. Either you’re calling it out or you’re helping to normalize it. There is no third option.

WATCH: “Be truthful, not neutral.” – Kanew holds a 1-man protest as The Holler is kept out of Speaker Sexton’s public press conference yet again, while the rest of local media again says nothing. Also denied access to the House floor, where the Dems held theirs.

LYIN LIZZETTE: The “Public Higher Education Fee Waiver” Lee’s TN Ed commissioner #LyinLizzette Reynolds signed, which very clearly says she committed perjury when she claimed to have been employed 6 months. In bold letters.

WARNER: “She needs to step aside… the damage is done.” Republican Rep. Todd Warner calls on unqualified commissioner Lizzette Reynolds to resign after she repeatedly lied to get free tuition (aka perjury). Lee’s pick has been a trainwreck.

CARTOONS OF THE DAY #ForcedBirthState #Eclipse

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Lee’s Ed Commish Ignores Calls To Resign

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Speaker Sexton Implies Judge Lied About Faison Complaint

Tennessee’s new legislative hasn’t even started yet and it’s already off to a ridiculous start.

This morning Chancellor Russell Perkins decided records that would show the public who signed off on taxpayer-funded expenses used to keep an intern quiet about alleged harassment that led to TN House GOP Vice Chair Scotty Campbell’s resignation during the Tennessee Three expulsion hearings would be kept locked up.

It’s a ruling that will likely be appealed, but of note in the judge’s decision was a tidbit about another complaint about TN House GOP Caucus Chair Rep. Jeremy Faison.

The judge lists among the received items:

“A 2nd folder dated 4/5/23, with an alleged victim’s first name containing 2 pages of notes pertaining to a complaint against Rep. Faison”

That’s quite specific.

Many questions arise: Who filed the complaint? Who fielded it? Were there other expenses associated with it paid for by taxpayers also used to silence the harassed, as appears to be the case with Campbell?

Speaker Sexton brought in high-priced private attorneys to keep the information about the Campbell cover-up expenses a secret with Governor Lee’s approval, so for now we won’t learn more about the Campbell harassment.

But the Faison situation is entirely new, so reporters had questions.

Chris O’Brien from Channel 2 managed to connect with both Sexton and his legislative office director Connie Ridley, and they made the wild choice to not only refuse to give any info about the Faison complaint– but to DENY THE EXISTENCE OF IT ENTIRELY.

Bold move! So on the one hand we have a chancellor with a super specific description of files regarding a complaint about Faison, (who is known mostly for trying to pants a ref in a gym full of kids).

On the other hand we have a Speaker who notably doesn’t even appear to be telling the truth to his own district about where he lives claiming the complaint is a figment of the Chancellor’s imagination.

Who to believe? Such a tough choice!

The truth will reveal itself in due time. It always does.


Unveiling the Layers of Concern Surrounding School Vouchers in Tennessee

The promise of school vouchers in Tennessee shimmers with the allure of parental choice, but a closer look reveals a tapestry woven with concerns. While the notion of increased options holds undeniable appeal, a critical examination exposes potential pitfalls for academic achievement, student equity, and the broader educational landscape.

Academic Achievement

The central pillar of the voucher argument rests on its impact on student learning. However, initial optimism crumbles in the face of stark data. Studies like Hanushek et al.’s (2017) Louisiana research paint a sobering picture, with students participating in voucher programs lagging behind their public school counterparts by an average of 5 points in math and 3 points in reading after three years (Greene et al., 2017). Similar echoes resonate in Indiana, where Greene et al.’s (2017) investigation revealed minimal academic gains and even slight declines of 5 points in math and 3 points in reading for voucher students. These findings, mirrored in Tennessee-specific studies like Carnoy et al. (2020) and Hansen et al. (2021), necessitate caution before assuming widespread academic benefits from vouchers.

Oversight and Equity

Unlike public schools bound by stringent standards, private institutions participating in voucher programs operate with varying degrees of oversight. This raises concerns about the quality and inclusivity of the education provided. As Greene (2023) highlights, inadequate monitoring risks misallocation of public funds and exacerbating existing educational inequities. This issue amplifies when considering underrepresented groups and students with special needs, who require robust safeguards to ensure access to appropriate support and prevent further marginalization (Carnoy et al., 2020; Hansen et al., 2021). Notably, only 40% of private schools participating in Tennessee’s voucher program received a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ rating on state assessments (Carnoy et al., 2020).

Representation Matters

The question of who truly benefits from voucher programs deserves scrutiny. Evidence suggests a growing trend of families not facing financial hardship utilizing vouchers, casting doubt on whether the intended beneficiaries reap the rewards. In Tennessee, only 18% of participants come from the lowest income quartile, highlighting a shift towards wealthier families taking advantage of the program (Hansen et al., 2021). This phenomenon challenges the principle of equitable resource allocation and necessitates a closer examination of how voucher programs incentivize participation across socioeconomic brackets.

Impact on Educators

The introduction of vouchers affects not only students but also the teaching community. While proponents argue for potential improvements in public education through increased competition, concerns arise about funding cuts, reduced salaries, and increased workloads for teachers. Moreover, while autonomy might appear appealing, market-driven pressures introduced by vouchers can constrain pedagogical freedom. Research by Hansen et al. (2021) underscores the need for careful consideration of these competing forces, while Greene et al.’s (2017) study highlights potential challenges in professional development and accountability within voucher systems. Tennessee’s voucher program could divert up to $1 billion away from public schools over the next five years, potentially impacting staffing and resources (Hansen et al., 2021).

Unveiling the Myth of Need

The narrative that vouchers primarily benefit families facing financial hardship crumbles under closer scrutiny. Studies like Greene’s (2023) indicate a growing trend of wealthier families opting for vouchers, raising questions about the program’s effectiveness in addressing educational disparities. This misalignment between intended beneficiaries and actual users calls for a reevaluation of voucher programs’ ability to deliver on their promises of equal educational opportunities.

A Call for Evidence-Based Choices

As Tennesseans navigate the complex landscape of education reform, the decision on school vouchers demands a measured approach rooted in evidence and a dedication to inclusivity. The concerns outlined here, ranging from academic performance to societal consequences, necessitate thorough consideration and open dialogue. Only through careful analysis, informed by rigorous research and diverse perspectives, can Tennessee craft an educational system that truly serves the needs of all its students and paves the way for a brighter future.

Joe Peeden is a current private school teacher but spent 10 years in Knox Co Schools.


Carnoy, M., Jacobsen, R., Mishel, L., & Rothstein, R. (2020). The Education Savings Account Pilot Program in Tennessee: Preliminary Impacts on Student Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 42(4), 407-428.

Greene, J. (2023, March 29). Research on school vouchers suggests concerns ahead for education savings accounts. Brookings Institution. ty-school-options-as-possible/

Greene, J. P., Hitt, C. L., Krieshok, T. S., & Shuls, J. M. (2017). The Effects of Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program on Student Achievement: A Matching Study. Education Finance and Policy, 12(4), 407-447.

Hansen, M. T., Rodriguez, O., & Smith, R. W. (2021). Does School Choice Improve Achievement? Evidence from Tennessee’s Education Savings Account Program. Educational Policy, 35(3), 456-502.

Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. P., Markman, J. D., & Rivkin, S. G. (2017). The Effects of School Vouchers on Student Achievement in Louisiana: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 9(4), 147-201.

Walsh, A. (2023, January 4). How School Voucher Programs Hurt Students. TIME.

Memphis Pastor: “School & Board Upheld Constitution With Satanic Temple Decision”

“This moment offers us, yet again, an opportunity to believe the gospel of the God who does not coerce or control, but can work grace into the world even through The Satanic Temple.”

When I stepped up to preach last Sunday, I never imagined that by the end of the week I would be penning an Op-Ed in defense of The Satanic Temple. But here we are.

Despite the objection of petitioning pastors, Chimney Rock Elementary and the local school board did the right thing by providing space for The Satanic Temple. They refused to infringe upon First Amendment rights. They refused to apply religious freedom inconsistently by allowing Christians special privileges they would not allow other groups.

Instead of criticizing and protesting their decision, Christians should applaud it.

Yes, we can disagree with The Satanic Temple’s atheism (they are, in fact, atheists not satanists). We can even feel revulsion at their choice of name. But what we cannot do, what we should not do, is force the school to act upon our religious beliefs. To do so would confirm for The Satanic Temple that Christians are, in fact, the fascists they think we are.

Schools give churches maximal latitude, inviting us to help fundraise, provide for underprivileged students, and even conduct after school Bible studies. This permeation of the wall of separation between church and state is a privilege they offer us not a right we can demand. To deny that privilege to others because we do not like their organization’s name is not only to deny them something that is not ours to deny, but it is also to resist the application of their constitutional rights. The American courts have affirmed this repeatedly.

But the courts should never have had to decide it. American Christians should excitedly support it. Early American Protestants argued for a Principled Pluralism, which affirmed the God-given rights of people to disagree with my religion and still participate in the American experiment. They determined that for this country to be a functional democracy, pluralism must be valued on principle. More than just good nation-building, Principled Pluralism flowed from Protestant theology: the Christian God is not interested in coercion or control. The Christian God honors free will and the freedom of conscience. The Christian gospel can stand on its own without legal force behind it. Authoritarianism undercuts the Christian message that God died on a cross rather than taking Satan’s temptation to control the kingdoms of the world.

In a state where voucher programs are threatening to cut the funds flowing to public schools in order to support private schools for the wealthy, the truly true evil at work in our educational system is not atheists trying to help our kids think rationally. With The Satanic Temple, the church might find a worthy partner in resisting the commodification of education, the exploitation of teacher labor, and the funneling of taxpayer funds to private schools. Indeed, we might find in The Satanic Temple, an ally in the education of our most vulnerable students. And in that they might be the unwitting agents of God’s grace in the life of a child. 

When I prayed before my congregation on Sunday, I never imagined that by the end of the week I would be writing an Op-Ed defending The Satanic Temple. But here we are. Fortunately, we do not have to stay where we are. This moment offers us, yet again, an opportunity to believe the gospel of the God who does not coerce or control, but can work grace into the world even through The Satanic Temple.

Tom Fuerst is the lead pastor of Memphis First UMC. He received his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Hannibal LaGrange University (2003), a M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Missouri (2006), a M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary (2010), and a PhD. in Rhetoric from the University of Memphis (2022)

“Core Civic & Privatized Prisons Are A Cancer” | TDOC Hearing Highlights

Even after another scathing audit TDOC was just extended 3 years and will continue to contract with Core Civic. Listen to HIGHLIGHTS from the hearing yesterday.

Rep. Clemmons says “Core Civic And Privatized Prisons Are A Cancer” and points out TN by law is only supposed to have 1 in the state, but Core Civic found a loophole.

Meanwhile an assistant commissioner explains away high prison guard rape numbers by saying they really just start relationships with inmates.

Core Civic has spent over $3 million buying support from legislators, mostly Republican.




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Lyrics by Tom Johnson and Jay Orsi Music by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe Recorded and all instruments performed by Steve Goodie Backup vocals by Steve Goodie and Deb Guy

Tennessee Republican Steve Gill Confirms He Was In Russian-Occupied Region For “Election” Called A “Sham” By U.S. Officials & Allies

Tennessee conservative mouthpiece Steve Gill confirmed to the Holler he served as an observer in a September 10th election conducted in Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions called a “sham” by U.S. officials and allies.

The European Platform for Democratic Elections urged the EU to consider sanctions and visa restrictions for 34 foreign observers it says were “involved in those “unauthorized activities” it believes to be an act of Russian propaganda.

The Holler has confirmed that one of those 34 election observers was Steve Gill of Tennessee, a staunch Trump supporter and right-wing radio host who was the political editor of The Tennessee Star prior to his August 2019 arrest for not paying child support. (A Williamson County judge denied an order of protection against Gill after his wife filed the order saying she was scared of what would happen when he was released from jail.)

Gill is a regular critic of Ukraine, and frequent guest on RT, “a Russian state-controlled international news television network funded by the Russian government”, according to Wikipedia.
From the European Platform for Democratic Elections release:

“The European Union strongly condemned the holding of the Russian elections in temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories as illegitimate and strongly rejected this further futile attempt by Russia to legitimize or normalize its illegal military control and attempted annexation of parts of Ukrainian territories.

The United States referred to the sham elections in occupied areas of Ukraine as ‘nothing more than a propaganda exercise’, and stated that it will never recognize the Russian Federation’s claims to any of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. The US also reminded any individuals who may support Russia’s sham elections in Ukraine, including by acting as so-called ‘international observers’, that they may be subject to sanctions and visa restrictions… For around two decades, Russian authorities have employed “international observers” to try to whitewash fraudulent elections, legitimize illegitimate plebiscites, and/or advance their foreign policy interests internationally.”

Here was the list of observers they included in their release:

We asked Steve Gill via email if he was the “Steve Gill” from the list (highlighted above). His response:

“I was there.”

We asked Gill to elaborate about why he went, what he saw, and if he knew the US & EU considered it to be a propaganda stunt. We also asked if he could provide any insight into the nature of his connection to the area, Russia, and his relationship with RT.

His responses were lengthy (provided in longer form below), but the key takeaways were that he took issue with Secretary Blinken calling the election a “sham”, said there were no reporters there to report the “truth” and wanted to see things for himself.

Gill described the election process Russian authorities used in the occupied territories as “actual transparency”, claiming to have had “full access to talk to anybody”, and described voters as “excited” and not intimidated.

He added that he didn’t care or know who won, and went out of his way to add that the ongoing sanctions against Russia are not hurting them, only Americans, and that Moscow seemed very “safe” and “clean” with “tall buildings” – obviously very pro-Russia talking points, especially considering we hadn’t asked those questions.

Experts on the region we spoke with have written extensively on Russia’s history of conducting these elections for propaganda purposes.

In our follow-up we asked Gill if he thought it would be easy to put on a show of an election only to rig the results themselves, to which he responded:

“I watched and thought through how I might cheat if I was there, and I could not find a way.”

We also asked Gill if he was joined there by Kline Preston, a Nashville lawyer tied to Marsha Blackburn’s campaigns known to be a big Russia supporter and who reportedly introduced Russian operatives to the NRA, and Gill confirmed Preston was indeed there.
Here’s Gill’s initial response to our questions (slightly edited for brevity, denoted by ellipses):

“Interestingly, Blinken is calling it a sham rigged election. The same wording they are prosecuting Trump for saying but with zero actual proof of anything of the sort. And US and Western Euro media reports are not based on any actual reporting. I didn’t see anybody from Fox, MSNBC, CNN, WAPO, NY Times or anybody else there to report facts or the truth.

I have no relation to Russia and had not been there in 25 years. My relationship with RT is I am frequently contacted to provide commentary and opinion… I had the opportunity to go and went for the same reason I embedded with US troops in Iraq and Kuwait a few times, traveled to see conditions at Guantánamo Bay Terrorist detention center, broadcasted from Democrat and Republican national conventions for years… I’m skeptical of most media reporting, so I like to see it for myself so I can expose the truth based on what I see and hear not what I’m told.

I personally visited seven voting precincts over a couple of days in the Donbas Region, including Donetsk and Mariupol and a couple of smaller towns. I also toured the central election location in Moscow and observed how they collect poll results from around the country.

I had full access to talk to anybody, see anything, ask any questions of election workers, voters, and anybody else we randomly came in contact with… The election processes at the polls I visited, were very similar to what you see in the United States, but more transparent and less likely to allow any form of cheating. For example, they have video cameras set up at each of the 3000+ polling stations across Russia where anybody can watch live feed of what’s happening. Representatives of the political parties and election officials are on site observing as well. And in Moscow with a central election headquarters, the political parties have dozens of representatives with computer terminals, watching in real time whatever is going on at each polling place across the country…

Voters show passports or other government issued photo ID. When they arrive to vote they are issued a paper ballot, at least in most of the voting precincts, although they are experimenting with electronic voting… Voters and stepped behind curtains to cast their votes in secrecy… They then placed their ballots in a large plexiglass box that is locked until the vote count begins. Actual transparency.

There was zero evidence at any polling location of threats or intimidation to encourage voting… Voters were generally anxious and excited for the opportunity to vote. And the polling stations were calm with very efficient poll workers handling the process. Again, very similar to what you would see in any precinct in middle Tennessee…

…I’ve been asked “who won?”, but didn’t really focus on that or care. I certainly didn’t know any of the local candidates. I know the mayor of Moscow won handily, but based upon the clean streets, safe environment, economic prosperity, cranes throughout the city, building new, skyscrapers, etc. that was not surprising in the least. Based upon the economic growth in Russia, generally, and what I observed, in convenience stores, grocery stores, a massive shopping mall next to our hotel, and talking to regular Russians, throughout a several day, stay in Moscow, our sanctions don’t appear to be hurting them. They are hurting American consumers, who are paying nearly double at the gas pump.

…we clearly have a media that is determined to tell only one side of the story, whether it is Covid, the VAX, election fraud, or the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Anytime the media is only telling us one side of the story we should all be much more skeptical. Again, that’s why I went to see for myself when I had the opportunity.

I’ve had several people ask me about whether I felt like I was in danger there in Moscow or anywhere else. Even though we were about 25 km from the front lines at one point, there was not massive military presence, or any evidence of that area of Ukraine being “occupied“.

And Moscow was one of the cleanest safest cities I’ve been in with huge skyscrapers conflicting with the image that most Americans have of Russians, living in cement block buildings from the Soviet era.  Plus, as I told some people asking me about the danger of going to Russia, I pointed out that I regularly go to Memphis.😂

In our follow-up questions we asked Gill if Russia could have shown him and the other observers a seemingly transparent process of voting only to rig the results, and if he had any insight into how the counting of the votes would be protected or confirmed through some sort of independent verification.

Gill’s response:
“The votes in the precincts are counted locally with the live stream providing viewing of that process, too. Plus local party officials are there for the count in person. The numbers are then shown on the cameras and the tally is also transmitted to Moscow. Unlike here in the states, the votes are transported somewhere else for the count, which would, as we see here, allow for all sorts of mischief. I watched and thought through how I might cheat if I was there, and I could not find a way.”
With the “unlike here in the states” jab Gill is clearly referring to the 2020 election here, which we will point out was not stolen.
Gill went on:
“And the live video transmissions of the voting process and accounting process are recorded as well, so, if a question is raised they can go back and review the tapes… They also keep a careful count in each precinct of the number of ballots cast, and compare that to the remaining ballots after the voting is closed to make sure that the leftover ballots are the right number based on the total votes cast. Both cameras, and that count prevent any (after the vote time closes) ballots stuffing from taking place.
And unlike our system, once the time for voting comes to an end, votes aren’t allowed to trickle in for days or weeks later. So they have same day results and their elections without tens of thousands of votes being slipped in secretly and with no accountability after the time for voting comes to an end.”

We asked Gill if he went to Ukraine and connected with the Ukrainians at all, if “getting one side of the story” is the issue he has with American media. His response was highly critical of Ukraine, which comes as no surprise to anyone following Gill’s social media:

“I didn’t observe things from the Ukrainian side. They were not having an election. So it wasn’t a matter of reporting on “both sides“ since there was no election on the other side. And the so-called “democracy” being run by President Zelenskyy has actually canceled their elections. If and when they ever have elections, I would hope that fair-minded truth telling journalist would actually observe and report their process as well.

And I would point out that the “Democracy” that we are supporting on the Ukrainian side has seen the president cancel opposition parties, close independent media, and left only state run media operating, gone after the Russian orthodox churches in the country, and cancel the elections unless American taxpayers pay for them.”

The claim of Ukraine not holding elections is true, but the reason is because Ukraine has declared martial law after being attacked by Russia unprovoked. As of June 2023 77% of Ukrainians supported Zelenskyy’s reelection. President Zelensky recently said elections could happen even under attack if the United States helped facilitate.


“And I’d be happy to report things from the Ukrainian side of the conflict, but since they have put out a “hit” on anybody who questions how the money we have provided has been spent, or who has traveled to report from the territory they once controlled. Their transgender American military spokesperson just got fired for threatening to punish those who witnessed the elections. But that was only done after senator JD Vance from Ohio question whether her job is being funded by American taxpayers, and whether the threats she was expressing, were authorized by the Ukrainian government.”
The Ukrainian government has not put out a “hit” on anybody who questions how the money has been spent or reported from the region, but it is true that President Zelensky has recently attempted to deal with corruption among Ukraine’s leadership, and the spokesperson Gill is referencing was recently suspended for comments threatening people caught spreading Russian propaganda – comments they say were not approved. (And yes, that spokesperson happens to be transgender, which has nothing to do with it. Gill is clearly using that descriptor in a disparaging, transphobic way.)

Gill continues:

“Finally, I was talking to the residents of Donetsk and Mariupol, who have been residing in what has been called Ukraine for a long time. The overwhelming majority of people who live in these areas, speak Russian rather than Ukrainian; identify as Russian rather than Ukrainian; have been seeking their independence from Ukraine for over a dozen years without Western media reporting that conflict.”

Here’s more on the region he’s referring to. While it’s true many speak Russian, referendums showing they supposedly would prefer to join Russia have been accused of being “staged” for years.

Gill adds:

“And by the way, an American born Chilean journalist has been jailed by Ukraine for daring to report, truthfully, from their side of the conflict battle lines and raising questions about their behavior. That is the “democracy“ that we are funding???

“On the Russian side, an American journalist from the Wall Street Journal has been arrested and alleged to have been spying when he was caught photographing munitions areas 240 miles from Moscow. I don’t know if he was spying or not, but the US media should be demanding the release of both journalists not just one.”

Gill is referring to Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean journalist in Kyiv when the invasion began who was highly critical of Ukraine they arrested for spreading what they called “pro-Russian propaganda” (upposedly Lira focused on giving dating and relationship advice under the pseudonym “Coach Red Pill”) and WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich, who Russia arrested on “spying charges”.

Finally, we asked Gill if Kline Preston was with him – a lawyer linked to Marsha Blackburn known to be very pro-Russia/Putin and who reportedly introduced Russian operatives to the NRA.

Gill said yes, Kline Preston was with him.

“Among Preston’s Russian clients and longtime friends is Alexander Torshin, a prominent Russian politician who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin. Torshin is under scrutiny for illegally channeling Russian funds to the National Rifle Association in an effort to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Preston first introduced Torshin to then-president of the NRA David Keene in 2011 and the pair attended the NRA’s annual convention in Nashville in 2015.”

It’s worth remembering Kline Preston wrote on his old website that he helped lead Marsha Blackburn for Congress, Inc. as recently as 2014 – and that Preston was pictured in the Tennessean with his Russian collectibles from his various trips. His twitter handle is @gittinpaid, and he has “Moscow” listed as one of his locations on his profile:

In general, Gill’s answers to our questions were very pro-Russia, and very negative towards President Zelensky and support for Ukraine in general. Gill says he has no ties to the Russian government itself, however we asked an expert on the region if just anyone could go to the Russian-controlled territories to be “election observers”.

Their response:

“Even to go there you have to be well connected. Russians wouldn’t take a random person into a war zone.”
Here were some of the pictures Gill included in his emails to us:



It’s hard to keep track of all the ways our public schools are currently under attack, with Republican governors responsible for uplifting and preserving them leading the charge against them.

The most obvious of the attacks was Governor Lee’s #1 priority when he took office, which was to steer PUBLIC MONEY TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS through the voucher program he allegedly bribed members of his own party to pass, even offering military promotions.

The program was just expanded by Republicans from Memphis & Nashville to the Chattanooga area, where 12 private schools in Hamilton County are now in Gov. Lee & the GOP’s vouchers program, taking nearly $2 million from public schools.

11 of 12 the are Christian schools. The Lee/Devos privatization plan to steer public ed money to religious schools, “advancing God’s kingdom” as Devos openly put it, is working.

And they’re just getting started.

Then there’s the censorship. As teachers sue Tennessee over the “divisive concepts” law that has them scared to teach the truth, Florida has stepped up their attacks under Desantis, leading to a ban on AP psychology and now SHAKESPEARE BEING CUT.

Yes, Shakespeare. It was only a matter of time.

This is what these Republican censorship laws are doing to our schools. And the more our schools/kids suffer, and leave, the happier these privatizers are. 

But it gets worse. As they accuse our public schools of brainwashing kids, it’s them who are engaged in the real INDOCTRINATION. Desantis/FLORIDA’s Ed Dept approved Prager U indoctrination videos to be taught with Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens as narrators- which teach kids slavery was better than the alternative, literally saying: “Being taken as a slave is better than being killed, no?


And then there’s the massive TEACHER SHORTAGE. We currently have 1000+ teacher openings in Tennessee… “alarming shortfalls every year” – while we sit on billions in surplus funds

Low pay, low trust, little opportunity to change their situation – all this as Lee and the GOP give HUGE raises to the TN Highway Patrol and prison guards. Priorities.

We need y’all to realize hurting teachers/public schools is by design. This teacher shortage is a feature, not a bug for them. Lee, Desantis etc. are privatizers hiding behind the word “choice”.

And as they do all this they engage in OUTRAGEOUS GASLIGHTING – claiming to be at the top in teacher pay while we’re at the bottom. The TN House GOP either has no idea that Tennessee is at the bottom in teacher pay & per pupil spending, or hopes you have no idea.

Watch what they do, not what they say.

Meanwhile KIDS ARE BEING HELD BACK over one test that was not even designed to be used this way. As one mom put it: “It’s ridiculous… communication has been horrible… I’m probably going to pull her out and home school…”

MEMPHIS Parents are upset to learn their kids — WHO CAN READ — are held back based on 1 test, thanks to the new TN GOP/GOV. BILL LEE law.

Not to mention the book bans, the attacks on LGBTQ students… the list goes on. Everything that drives teachers and kids out of our schools using private school vouchers, charters, etc… is a win for Lee and the privatizers. Please see the situation for what it is.

We’ll continue to cover this, and we hope you’ll push other media outlets to cut through the propaganda and cover it this way also..

Please consider chipping in monthly to help us keep us Hollering the truth – make it $10/month or more and we’ll send you a holler hat.🧢  (or on SQUARE)

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CLICK HERE for A.J. Martin Estate Jewelry, Etc… BACK TO SCHOOL SALE – 10% off everything through 8/24!


MEMPHIS FLYER: “State gun violence statistics show Tennessee has set a new annual record for the # of people who killed in mass shootings…” And it’s only August. 😳
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS UP IN TN: Even as Rep. Ragan tries to minimize the issue, school shootings are way up in Tennessee over the past few years.. THREAD… 😳
9-1-1 CALL: “They are advising this 4 year old has shot himself in the head.” Chattanooga Police say since January 2022 there have been 9 kids under 18 shot “accidentally” (aka parental negligence) – Tennessee still does not have a safe storage law. 😳
TN FIREARMS ASSOCIATION: “People in hell want ice water, but they can’t get it.”🤔 The head of TN Firearms Association compares parents who want gun reform to “people in Hell” —despite their own poll showing most Tennesseans agree with Gov Bill Lee that we need an ERPO law.
SEXTON SAYS REFORM WON’T MOVE: Speaker Sexton tells the TN Firearms Association he doesn’t see an ERPO to keep guns from dangerous people making it out of committee despite @GovBillLee saying we need one (and majority support throughout the state)

EXTREMISTS RUN THE PARTY: Despite overwhelming support from the majority of Tennessee and law enforcement, the TN GOP executive committee just passed a resolution asking Gov Bill Lee to betray Covenant families and drop the special session on gun safety.

REINSTATE JONES: “The counsel for Tennessee Three member and recently reelected Rep. Justin Jones has requested Speaker Sexton confirm he will be reinstated to all rights, duties and privileges of his office before the special session on Aug 21…” – Eric Holder is his attorney.

THEY ARE ALL BANNONISTS NOW. Bannon wants to bring everything crashing down. This is on point.

MCCONNELL BOOED: “RETIRE! RETIRE!” The boos at this Kentucky even were merciless, and well deserved.

PHIL WILLIAMS WITH SKRMETTI: “Could these records not be used to prosecute women who cross state lines to get an abortion?” Phil Williams spoke to TN AG Skrmetti, who claimed that isn’t the intention of the letter demanding access to out of state records.

ASHE: “Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs takes aim for governor’s seat with guns-in-libraries rule – and misfires”

DESANTIS FLED THE SCENE: Here’s Desantis asked why he fled the scene after a crash in Chattanooga… It’s the hand motions for us… here’s a Chattanooga officer on the scene saying there should’ve been charges: Why weren’t there?

😴 💤 The war on “woke” is now even putting Republicans to sleep.

👂 LISTEN — NYT’S THE DAILY: “The economy keep growing and adding jobs faster than economists predicted… inflation is coming down… hourly wages rose faster than prices…” #Bidenomics

VOTERS TO JUSTIN JONES: “It’s an incredible uphill fight, but we’re so glad you’re in it.” Nashville voters expressed their deep appreciation for Rep. Jones as they sent him back to his seat after being undemocratically expelled by Speaker Sexton and the TN House GOP. (🎥 Ryan Camp)

JUSTIN JONES: 🗣️🔥 This election shows their attacks on democracy will not go unchallenged… Republicans spent so much money trying to buy this election, but they could not beat people power.”

TRUMP’S AG BILL BARR“I don’t think it runs afoul of the first amendment — Remember: a conspiracy crime is completed at the time it’s agreed to and the first steps are taken.” #TrumpIndictment

For those who still need to hear this: THERE IS NO FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO ORGANIZE A COUP.  🇺🇸

A REAL PATRIOT 🇺🇸 WATCH: “It’s a small thing to do — why everyone isn’t doing this… I don’t get it. Everyone needs to do something to stop this guy. We can’t just stand by and let this happen.”

TRUMP’S LAWYER: “There was a peaceful transition of power.” 🤔 DANA BASH: “What happened on January 6th was not peaceful.” Bash does a good job of pushing back on the intense gaslighting and absurd “freedom of speech” claim, which even Trump’s Barr rejects.

MARGE GREENE IN EAST TNMarge Greene gets big applause as she’s introduced by Rep. Diana Harshbarger at the CLAIBORNE COUNTY GOP’s “Freedom Dinner” Again: She is not the fringe. She is at the heart of the party now. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.

HAMILTON COUNTY: Apparently the Moms (Against) Liberty chapter was just booted off Next Door

MEMPHIS: “The Memphis PD officer who fatally shot Jaylin McKenzie, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in December did not turn on his body camera during the encounter…”

TAKE CREDIT, JOE: As Biden labels the BILLIONS in much-needed infrastructure projects his bill (opposed by every TN Republican) is funding across the country, we have a suggestion for an addition to the signs in Tennessee… add “OPPOSED BY EVERY TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN” 👇🏽 

🏳️‍⚧️ NASHVILLE — Olivia Hill, the first trans woman to run for office in Tennessee, has advance to the metro council run-off in September.

NASHVILLE — AUGUST 16th: Youth Advocacy Day at the Capitol 10am-3pm

🔔 WILLIAMSON COUNTY: rally at the library August 15th, when Rep. Andy Ogles & Senator Jack Johnson will be holding an event there👇🏽

WATCH: “A day in the life of a liberal” 🤣 👏🏽


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