TODAY’S HOLLER: THE (CONSTITUTION) TERMINATOR

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THE (CONSTITUTION) TERMINATOR

It has to feel weird to be one of those MAGA folks out there calling themselves a “strict constitutionalist” these days while supporting a defeated ex-president who just called for the constitution to be “terminated” because of a Twitter thread with no actual news in it.

To bring you up to speed, new Twitter chief Elon Musk, who has been embracing the far right lately in a big way – bringing even the worst Nazis and insurrectionists back into the Twitter fold and even posting Nazi memes himself (and amplifying Kanye West hours after he expressed his love for Hitler) – teased the release of what he called the “TWITTER FILES”.

Elon said it would be a series of internal docs that delivered the goods on the company’s throttling of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the run-up to the 2020 election. Instead the thread (posted by Matt Taibbi, who has a problematic history of misogyny that goes back to his time in RUSSIA, of all places) really just showed that Twitter was making a good faith effort not to allow yet another attempt at election tampering by foreign actors to sway a presidential election in Trump’s favor AGAIN.

Was it the right decision? Maybe, maybe not. But was it understandable that Twitter was wary of allowing that sketchily-sourced story that originated with Rudy Giuliani, who was up to his eyeballs in lies and surrounded by shady foreign players, not to proliferate on their platform? It absolutely was.

To this day it’s still unclear what the source of the laptop really was, and the mac store guy – who will only talk to Newsmax, etc. – has changed his story more than once. 🚨This Extremely IMPORTANT piece from wash post (with NO PAYWALL) reminds us how shady the sourcing of the Hunter Laptop was/is, and why Twitter and other outlets had EVERY REASON to be suspicious of the Mac store dude, Giuliani, etc — EVEN FOX PASSED ON IT.

None of that context was included in the thread. Instead it was couched as evidence of government interference in an election, even though as FRANKLIN, TN conservative DAVID FRENCH points out the Biden campaign was not the government, so the tweet Taibbi posted of an email where they ask to have Hunter’s dick pics removed was by definition NOT “government tampering”.

French says “Elon Musk & Tucker Carlson Don’t Understand the First Amendment”  – and he’s right. Twitter is a private company—not the federal government, which means they are allowed to make editorial decisions with an eye towards their bottom line.

It’s not a free speech violation, it’s capitalism.

FRENCH: “no amount of misguided rhetoric can transform a Twitter story into a government scandal.”


Ultimately nothing in the Taibbi thread was really news. We knew Twitter had agonized over what to do about the laptop story. We’ve even heard their executives concede that throttling it may have been the wrong thing to do. What it really showed was a company stressing over how to do the right thing.

The lack of revelations led to Rolling Stone calling it a  “SNOOZEFEST” 💤 😴 and NBC rightly framing it as a “rehashing” of old news.

🎯 Another conservative Tim Miller sumned it up by saying “In reality, all they really had was a digital erection.” – pointing out that nobody has a constitutional right to share Hunter’s dick pics.

The problem is, none of these criticisms will pierce the bubble. It’s already being taken for granted in MAGA circles that this thread is the smoking gun, because their Dear Leader Trump has told them as much – and is now literally saying the constitution must be “TERMINATED” over it, so he can be installed as president once again.

As LIZ CHENEY says. “No honest person can now deny that Trump is an enemy of the Constitution.” 🇺🇸

Project Lincoln (former/current Republicans) rightly say “Trump’s comments should have been immediately condemned by every Republican in the nation… Trump and the MAGA movement must be defeated of the 🇺🇸 experiment will come to a crashing end.”

🔥Yet as Conservative Charlie Sykes points out, he is still the 2024 GOP frontrunner: “The last 2 weeks: Trump pledged solidarity with 1/6 rioters, dined w/ fans of Hitler, called to terminate the Constitution— And remains the clear GOP nomination favorite. No wonder they’d rather talk about Hunter’s dick pix.”

Meanwhile Elon Musk is out there acting like he’s some sort of hero of free speech, even though he just banned Kanye West for posting a Swastika, and he won’t reinstate Alex Jones because he personally lost a child and knows how that feels.

Elon didn’t pay $44 BILLION to erase the lines around free speech. He did it so he can be the one to draw them.

Question for FOX NEWS — Does this count as election theft also or is it only when it happens against Trump? We’ll hang up and listen.

Yet again, the silence from Republicans as their party’s standard-bearer shows his authoritarian streak is as strong as ever makes them complicit. We will continue to point that out at every turn.

As always, Your support helps us do this work, so please consider chipping in monthly if you aren’t yet, it all really helps.

– The Holler

P.S. – Stop for a second and imagine how we would view this from afar if this was happening in another country. 🇺🇸

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TODAY’S HOLLER:

OH HEY TUCKER: As they go after Hunter for his laptop/emails, important to remember one of them is Tucker Carlson asking him to help his kid get into college.

NORTH CAROLINAAfter a gunfire attack on electrical substations caused a regional power outage, the sheriff answers “anything’s possible” if it was related to a drag show happening at the time.😳 BUT THE SHOW WENT ON 🗣️👇🏽🏳️‍🌈 ❤️

😳🇺🇸

WHAT IS “WOKE” ANYWAY?: Y’all— Desantis suspended a state attorney for being “WOKE”, so his lawyers had to define it. Their answer: “The belief there are systemic injustices in 🇺🇸 and the need to address them.”🤔 Translation: they’re fighting to suppress an OBVIOUS TRUTH.

NOT PRO-LIFE🇺🇸 has higher maternal mortality rates than other countries (because we don’t have universal health care) — and Tennessee is at the bottom (because we haven’t expanded Medicaid) If you don’t support those policies, stop calling yourself “pro-life”

HAMILTON COUNTY: “It hurts… but I’m not leaving. I want a better future for my children.” HAMILTON COUNTY in the national news for extremist School board member Rhonda Thurman calling Latino students a “burden” — leading to harassment & threats towards families.

SECRETLY WOKE SOUTHERN MEN: We can’t get enough of these “Secretly Woke Southern Men” videos from Shane Hartline, please never stop 😂😂.

HOSPITAL STATEMENT: “a temporary pause to review current practices” Methodist Le Bonheur in MEMPHIS finally goes public with why they suddenly canceled treatment for transgender patients (as Republicans attack them).

HAMILTON COUNTY JUDGE: “THIS IS ABSURD… I WILL NOT SIGN THIS.” Remember road raging Michael Harvey, who followed a woman & son home and threatened them? DA Coty Wamp’s office tried to give him a plea deal the victim was against (and he blamed Crohn’s disease🤔)

ALSO IN CHATTANOOGA🤔CHARGES DROPPED — DUI, drug possession charges against Davis Lundy (ex-adviser to Hamilton  County Mayor Weston Wamp DROPPED despite an open bottle of wine, failed test, 23 grams of what he says was CBD. Wamp’s sister Coty Wamp is the DA. She handed it off to Marion County ADA Cara Sapp.

Seems Rep. Matt Gaetz did not get a warm welcome in Nashville this weekend…

Can someone ask Marsha Blackburn if we’re supposed to credit Biden with this? Or does he only get blame when it goes up? Just so we’re all on the same page.

Ruth covers authoritarianism for a living.

Stuart worked on 5 Republican presidential campaigns 👇🏽

PSA: If you can’t see how true this is, you’re probably not a moderate. 🎯

Don’t forget to check out  2022: A YEAR OF HOLLERING – a review of things we covered this year, with your help. Your monthly donations keep us afloat, chip in here… make it $10/month or more and we’ll send you a holler hat!
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TODAY’S HOLLER: THE INSUR-REACTION

INSUR-REACTION

Last night the FBI executed a surprise search at Mar-A-Lago. The former president put out a statement confirming it, doing all he could to paint the FBI as a “radical left”-controlled agency out to get him – which is, of course, absurd.

If you actually believe the FBI is “Radical Left”, you are dangerously gullible. 


Not much is known about the nature of the search, but word is it has something to do with classified documents, which ironically is exactly what they used to chant “lock her up!” about when Hillary was in the mix.

Of course, now that it’s their guy’s day in the barrel his wildly hypocritical flock is calling for “civil war” and talking about how the Department of Justice and FBI are being “weaponized” – despite the fact that TRUMP APPOINTED THE CURRENT HEAD OF THE FBI, and a Trump-appointed judge would’ve had to sign off on the search warrant.

Many, like Marsha Blackburn, are attempting to use Hunter Biden as a shield, essentially saying if Hunter isn’t imprisoned that means Trump should be able to get away with anything and everything.

But what they leave out is the pesky fact that Hunter WAS federally investigated, and has not yet been found guilty of any crimes.

And we don’t remember Democrats threatening civil war over it.

None of this has anything to do with Hunter. The law is the law. If you’re viewing this through a political lens rather than what’s right and just, you’re already doing it wrong and proving that “law and order” is not what you actually value.

We also can’t help but notice how none of the people bringing up Hunter Biden today seem to care that Trump’s daughter’s husband got $2 BILLION from the Saudis months after leaving office. 🤷🏻‍♂️

The reactions here in Tennessee from Republicans are very troubling. Knoxville Rep. Jason advocating for a sheriff to defy the law to protect a corrupt president, and county mayor Glenn Jacobs, Chuck Fleischmann, and Diana Harshbarger are all implying Trump should be above the law.

Never let the TN GOP claim to be about the rule of law ever again.

As horrific as Trump’s obvious crimes have been, It’s really the reaction to this that should alarm everyone.

Trump’s people are not saying he’s innocent. They’re not saying he has nothing to hide.

They’re saying he should be above the law, and they’re proving that their loyalty is not to the country or the constitution, but instead to the most corrupt president this country has ever seen.

Their reaction is an INSUR-REACTION. The insurrection is ongoing, and the cover-up is part of it.

The irony is actually holding a corrupt former president accountable IS what makes America great, as this Russian will tell you.👇🏽 🇺🇸

If you’re more upset about an obviously corrupt former president getting searched by law enforcement under judges and officials he appointed than you were about him leading a violent insurrection against our country, you have lost the thread.

Nobody should be above the law.

If Trump his guilty, the process needs to play out and prove it. And in the meantime, we will watch as Republicans across the country tell on themselves and reveal how little they actually care about the Rule of Law.

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– The Holler
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Please consider chipping in even just $5 or $10 monthly to help us continue this work.

🇺🇸

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TODAY’S HOLLER:

NEW: Trump wanted American generals to be more like Hitler’s generals. Any questions?

WATCH: “Republicans have been completely overwhelmed by the extremist MAGA branch… I wish we had more bravery in the GOP.” On WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville the Holler’s Justin Kanew says the GOP is now an extreme party, and claiming that to be true of both parties is wrong and runs cover for them.

BLACKBURN & HAGERTY OPPOSE AN INSULIN CAP“IT WOULD MEAN LIFE… more people will die… Republican senators Blackburn & Hagerty voted to take out a provision that would also cap insulin costs for those with private insurance…” 😳

-1 in 3 Tennesseans have medical debt
-4 out of 5 diabetics went into debt to pay for insulin
-700,000+ Tennesseans have diabetes
-100,000+ die yearly of diabetes
TLDR: Tennessee’s senators are cruel and don’t care about human suffering.


HOW IS THIS LEGAL: So former senator Brian Kelsey – who is under federal investigation for campaign finance issues – is now the lawyer representing Gov. Lee’s voucher program he helped pass? 🤔 Get a law passed, then go get rich being a lawyer for it?

“CLEAR THE LIST” — while Gov. Lee brags about a budget surplus and steers millions of public dollars to private schools “Tennessee teachers are facing a financial crisis in the classroom, reaching into their own pockets to pay for school supplies…”

KANEW: “Glen Casada is no longer in the legislature, and Justin Jones is.” – On Fox Nashville The Holler’s  Justin Kanew highlights the fall of ex-speaker Glen Casada vs. the rise of Rep Justin Jones — says “Justin needs to be Justin” and not worry how petty GOP leadership will treat him. (Just ask Gloria Johnson)

BIDEN: “There’s a whole range of things in the Inflation Reduction Act that are really game-changing for ordinary folks.” Blackburn & Hagerty just voted against lowering health care costs for seniors & diabetics.🤔😳

👀FOX’S DOOCY: “The Inflation Reduction Act let’s Medicare negotiate lower drug prices —- if you’re on a fixed income and older you love that, regardless of party.” Even Fox hosts are on board, as Senator Mike Lee struggles to frame a negotiation (capitalism!) as “price fixing”🤔

Everything Marsha says is a lie. 🤥

Hard to argue. Dems are governing while republicans try to make us afraid of one another.

⛽️ GAS PRICES DOWN: Interesting how quiet Marsha & co. Have gotten about gas prices lately…

WATCH: Tennessee’s Senator Bill Hagerty calls a booming jobs report (and low unemployment) “VERY DISCOURAGING” 🤔 He’s being honest — Adding jobs is bad when all you care about is your side clinging to power. When they tell you who they are, believe them.

LOL 😂

MEANWHILE ON THE BULLSHIT FACTORY:  Fox says the Inflation Reduction Act means the IRS will Come rob you at gunpoint 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫🥴🥴

Even Manchin isn’t having it from the Republicans. #InflationReductionAct

🚨👇🏽BANNON: “The school boards are the key that picks the lock.” Texas CFO: “We took over four school boards.” (By “we” he means anti-public school extremists who want to keep our kids ignorant… should sound very familiar and frightening to Tennesseans)

SUMNER COUNTY: A Commission race in the most diverse district is TIED between Brenda Dotson (D) & Terry Boyt (R) – Word is Rep William Lamberth is pressuring the commission to CHOOSE Boyt, not allow a run-off🤔 Worth mentioning: The County Commission is entirely white and Republican. Email them here.

TN-5 —- Rep. Jim Cooper wastes no time endorsing Senator Heidi Campbell over far right extremist Andy Ogles as his replacement👇🏽

WATCH: “Ogles is as extreme as it gets. Senator Heidi Campbell is the adult in the room and the unifier.” The Holler’s Kanew on the TN-5 face-off between Sen Campbell and far-right election denier Ogles (called the pandemic “fake”, racist to Asians, wants to impeach Biden, etc.)

Hey TN-5, THIS is the choice you face 👇🏽 Do you want a Rep like Andy Ogles who thinks we’re at “war” with each other? Or Rep Campbell who wants to find common ground and bring us together? Pretty easy choice if you ask us.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: ReminderThe teacher shortage is a feature not a bug for PRIVATIZERS like Gov. Lee who want to see public funds redirected to private schools.

🔥DR. JASON MARTIN: “BILL LEE HAS FAILED YOU ALL.” Newly minted Democratic nominee for Governor Dr. Jason Martin didn’t hold back about Gov. Lee in his victory speech, listing ways lee has failed Tennessee. #WarOnSchools #WarOnTeachers #ExpandMedicaid #BansOffOurBodies

Reminder: It’s not just an insulin cap we need… #MedicareForAll

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TODAY’S HOLLER: YES, IT WAS A COUP ATTEMPT. YES, TRUMP DID IT.

YES, IT WAS A COUP ATTEMPT.
YES, TRUMP DID IT.


Last night the world watched in horror as the January 6th committee recounted, in gripping detail, how our capitol was attacked in a coordinated effort to subvert our democracy and stop a peaceful transfer or power led by the president of the United States, who at one point aimed the deadly weapon that was that mob at his own Vice President.

They chanted they wanted to hang him. Trump said maybe they should.

This was a crime. Even a federal judge has said so, as Rep. Liz Cheney pointed out last night, saying “A federal judge evaluated the facts and concluded Trump likely violated 2 FEDERAL CRIMINAL STATUTES.”

There are only 2 options: A) Charge Trump B) Don’t charge Trump

Knowing what we now know — how can you not bring charges against him? What kind of precedent does that set?

Rep. Cohen agrees, and told us in an interview this morning he believes Trump will be charged.

🔥 SENATOR AKBARI, often more mild-mannered, tweeted: “THOSE BASTARDS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.”

Again – it was a COORDINATED ATTACK, as laid out in this 5 minute summary of how the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers carried out the plan to attack the Capitol.

A coup attempt, and nothing less.

And TRUMP was clearly involved, as evidenced by the fact that he PLACED NO CALL – “Leaders on Capitol Hill begged the president for help, including Republican leader McCarthy… Trump PLACED NO CALL to any element of the 🇺🇸 government to instruct that the Capitol be defended,” Rep. Cheney told us.

The INSURRECTIONISTS themselves blamed Trump also, saying in no uncertain terms: “TRUMP ASKED US TO COME”

It’s no coincidence that former Trump campaign chief Steve BANNON said “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow” on the eve of the insurrection — which is why he refused to testify.

(Spoiler: The ones who wouldn’t testify are the guiltiest)

And it wasn’t just Trump – Rep. CHENEY said “Rep. Scott Perry and multiple other Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn a presidential election.”

A seditious conspiracy. Many have been charged with it already. As Rep. CHENEY said “It was not a spontaneous riot… Trump oversaw a 7-part plan to subvert the election and stop the peaceful transfer of power… we’ll show you.”

All based on a BIG FAT LIE.

BILL BARR, AG ON ELECTION DAY said to the committee “I told the president saying the election was stolen was BULLSHIT… it’s part of why I left when I did.”

TRUMP’S OWN DAUGHTER WASN’T BUYING IT. IVANKA said “I accepted what AG Barr was saying (that election theft claims were ‘BULLSHIT’)” 

And we saw a TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER add “We weren’t finding anything to change the results… THERE’S NO THERE THERE.” 

And yet, Trump pushed and pushed until our capitol was attacked.

Here’s the COMPLETE VIDEO of the previously unseen video just aired by the January 6th committee. Horrifying.

Mick Mulvaney, who served as former Trump’s White House chief of staff for more than a year, called the video “STUNNING”:

CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER CAROLINE EDWARDS described her experience: “What I saw was a war scene… officers were bleeding and throwing up… I was slipping in people’s blood…” 

Rep. CHENEY, did a masterful job presenting the facts. She has sided with the truth over her party, and will be remembered for it.

Her message last night to people like Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty, and our TN GOP reps who continue to stand with Trump:
“To my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible — there will come a time where Trump is gone… but your dishonor will remain.”

Your dishonor will remain.

We can only hope our country will also. The attack on the capitol is in the past, but the attack on our democracy is ongoing.

We’ll keep yelling the truth and fighting for it. We hope you will too.

And please consider chipping in even just $5 or $10 monthly to help us continue this work.

– The Holler
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TODAY’S HOLLER:
THIS:

REMINDER:

👇🏽🤔

MEMPHIS: “Top Tennessee Prosecutor Shelby County DA Amy Weirich Prides Herself On Being Tough On Crime. It’s Soaring Anyway — District Attorney General Amy Weirich is not tough on crime when it comes to police.” Weirich is who should’ve been recalled. Help STEVE MULROY beat her.

REPUBLICANS SHOW URGENCY ON PROTECTING… REPUBLICAN SUPREME COURT JUSTICES: It really is amazing to see how much more they care about protecting Republican Supreme Court justices than they do about protecting children.

WATCH: “BLOOD MONEY.” AOC uses these weird things called “facts” to back up an observation that as gun sales have risen, so have gun deaths. #ProfitOverKids #HowManyMore 🇺🇸

MAURY COUNTY: Gov. Lee gets cozy with Jason Gilliam, Republican primary challenger to Scott Cepicky — we hear because Cepicky voted against Lee’s TISA school (privatization) funding plan? Gilliam posts call COVID a “sham”, Kamala a “ho”, etc— the usual extremist nonsense🙄👇🏽

TARGETING FOX SPONSORS: “A nonprofit aiming to defund disinformation online that has taken💰 out of pockets of several prominent far-right websites now has its sights set on its most formidable target yet: Fox News.” 

TN REPUBLICANS OPPOSE GUN REFORM: All 7 TN GOP reps put guns over kids and voted AGAINST The “Protecting Our Kids Act”, a common sense gun reform bill that would have saved lives, with provisions supported by most of the country. They are the radicals.

LEE’S GREAT SHAME: Little known fact we don’t post about lightly: in high school Governor Lee’s daughter took 1 of their guns and shot herself in the head.
She survived, but you’d think he’d be less callous. Red flag/storage laws mostly prevent suicide—TN Repubs block both.

SHERYL CROW BLASTS GOV. LEE

🔥 PAM SOHN: “Chilling. Just chilling… the chill of Gov. Bill Lee’s gun arrogance is horrifying.” Nobody is buying Lee’s transparently hollow gun violence photo op. Everyone sees through out little he cares about stopping the death. #HowManyMore

UVALDE SURVIVOR MIAH CERRILLO: “I thought he would come back into the room, so I grabbed the blood and put it all over me.” #HowManyMore 🇺🇸
Our children shouldn’t have to live like this.

🔥 MCCONAUGHEY: “Responsible gun owners are fed up with the 2nd amendment being ABUSED AND HIJACKED” #HowManyMore

KIMMEL: “WHY are you so optimistic?! It makes no sense.”
BIDEN: “Look at the kids… the best educated, least prejudiced, most giving generation in American history. We can’t give up.” — AMEN, JOE. 🇺🇸 ❤️

KIMMEL: “A lot of Dems are frustrated because we got out and voted, won the house, senate, White House… and yet we’re moving backwards on a lot of things.”
BIDEN: “Need more senators.” TRANSLATION: ABOLISH THE FILIBUSTER.

😳LUNDBERG: “SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST BORN BAD” This doc on #AlmeerNance (Black Knoxville teen who got 51 years for being at a robbery where a man was killed by someone else) has this cruel quote from anti-criminal justice reform Sen. Jon Lundberg👇🏽

MEMPHIS: Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy pushes a homeowner away from his own house when he doesn’t have the proper paperwork… all ego and flexing until the other officer tells him to back off…

“2000 MULES” BASED ON A LIE: 🚨🔑 MAJOR REPORT 👏🏽 — BIG LIE GRIFT: “True the Vote (which that Dinesh Dsouza “2000 MULES” MOVIE IS BASED ON) raised millions claiming it discovered voter fraud… never released evidence… sent $1 million+ to its founder (& allies)…”

This sign holder deserves all the awards. 🏳️‍🌈 👏🏽🏆

CARTOON OF THE DAY By CLAY BENNETT

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OPIOID CRISIS-ENABLER BLACKBURN THREATENS GOV SHUTDOWN OVER RACIST HARM REDUCTION FREAKOUT

By now you’ve probably seen the blaring “BIDEN OFFERS FREE CRACK PIPES TO BLACK PEOPLE” headlines all over the right wing fever swamps. Fox, Shapiro, the whole crew is marching to the beat of the same misleading, racist drum.

Well, it’s deeply misleading, and not a little racist. The source of the issue is a $30 million “Harm Reduction” program grant the Biden administration released, based on evidenced-based science that shows those programs do work, which is targeted at addicts struggling mostly with the opioid epidemic.

Below we’ll let Hayes Brown explain the program and the “racist, callous, cruel and counterproductive” spin being put on it – but we wanted to direct your attention to one particularly disingenuous player in this ugly game: MARSHA BLACKBURN.

Marsha is now threatening a government shutdown over this, saying it’s a “slap in the face to communities and first responders fighting against drugs flowing into our country”.

Does she think we’ve forgotten that she was one of the main culprits in allowing the opioid crisis to rage on, by carrying a bill to make it harder for the DEA to fight the opioid crisis?

Does Marsha really think we don’t remember how much blood she has on her hands?

As for the issue at the root of this,  Hayes Brown breaks it down here:

For the past week, conservative media has been yelling about the Biden administration supposedly spending $30 million on “crack pipes” for poor Black neighborhoods. The hysteria is a real throwback to the 1990s and that era’s barely coded racist panic about people who use crack, given the drug’s prevalence in and strong association with Black communities — and it does nothing to help the millions of people addicted to narcotics.

At the center of the uproar is a Department of Health and Human Services grant that funds harm-reduction programs. A departure from policies that stigmatize addiction and force people who use drugs into hiding, these programs provide community-based support that includes having staff available to prevent overdoses, offering counseling on addiction and swapping out syringes to prevent the spread of HIV.

He adds:

Nowhere in the grant are pipes mentioned — but from the blog’s report, it was off to the race-baiting. “Joe Biden’s latest idea is to pay Black people to smoke more crack,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday. Fox News’ website also leaned into the racial angle in its reporting, noting that the grant request document from HHS referenced an executive order focused on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities.

Spinning a program meant to save lives into a program solely devoted to making crack more accessible in Black neighborhoods doesn’t happen by accident. It can only happen purposefully. It’s an echo of the mandatory minimums that for years made sure possession of crack cocaine drew harsher sentences than powder cocaine. It’s a remnant of the failed “tough on crime” approach to drug policy that has left hundreds of thousands incarcerated over the years and many, many more dead.

It also does nothing to help address the opioid crisis that Republicans accuse President Joe Biden of ignoring. There are millions of Americans out there who need help with their substance use disorder, enough that the grant HHS is distributing should be at least 10 times as large as it is. The attempts we’ve seen this week to prevent such people from getting that help are not just racist, they’re also callous, cruel and counterproductive.

And Marsha’s piling on this racist firestorm is especially hypocritical.

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”.

OPINION: EMPLOYERS BROKE THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

EMPLOYERS BROKE THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

By Jacob Padgett

Along with our trust, most employers are going to need to give those who participated in the great resignation something to hold onto. The cliché during the pandemic is that we’re all in the same storm, not the same boat.

Some of you are in yachts while the rest of us are drowning, grasping at driftwood.

For some it’s being deep in medical debt. For others, they suffer from burnout, and many are living paycheck to paycheck. The top tiers of corporations have grown so rich and out of touch that they don’t even know what our problems are. There is no chance these titans of industry ever went a day in their life without having a thousand dollars to spend on a medical emergency- for the rest of us that’s half of the rent, electricity, and water.

You see, most people don’t inherit million-dollar companies. These birth lottery winners will never know what is like to be us. It’s psychologically impossible.

To have grown up never knowing a single moment of monetary struggle will break your brain in a way that cannot be rectified. It bankrupts their morality and leads them to see the world exclusively as a meritocracy where they clearly deserve to have many millions, while the have-nots must have done something wrong to be in poverty.

Their father earned it for them you see, and their father before that, so goes the perpetuation of socioeconomic stratification and the gap widens year by year. How long can you stack all the weight to one side of a boat before it tips?

This perversion of reality leads one to ponder equality and equity, and where they should be applied. To define terms: Equality would be giving everyone a stimulus check of the same amount. Why that doesn’t work is that a family in poverty quickly pays debts, while a rich family getting that same check invests it because they didn’t actually need it.

Equity would be distributing that money based on need, not on merely existing. It seems fair to say that Jeff Bezos didn’t need a stimulus check, but he got one. That is where the idea of economic equality fails, and why these CEOs don’t understand why people struggle financially.

Our policies must change to be statistically weighted by the needs of the people, and America needs to get past its fascination with giving everyone either nothing or exactly the same. Naysayers would argue that this is fiscally impossible, a runaway growth of government or socialism. Yet many collect their social security benefits, and it seems fair to say we could potentially apply that logic to another area. It’s not irresponsible or impossible, but it is socialism, and Americans love it when it already exists, but have been conditioned to hate it if it’s new.

This can be demonstrated in interviews where people are asked if they support Obamacare and say no, then they are asked if they support the Affordable Care Act they will say yes. One has that “socialist” connotation, so it’s bad.

The argument must be made that we can actually afford universal health care in the richest country in the world.

We have examples we can pull from all over the world. This concept is not new, and frankly we’re foolish for not already having this safety net in place already. The idea of social safety nets and welfare are hated by many, but really they should be loved.

Currently it feels like governments operate like corporations, spending as little of our tax dollars as possible. Is that what anyone actually wants? Their job is not to have a great bottom line, it’s to provide public services and preserve human rights.

Healthcare is a human right, and local and federal governments should spend as much of our tax dollars as possible on us, the citizens. Who cares if you live in a rich state if everyone is living in tents on the street? Nobody, except the elite.

While the top earners keep hoarding, and the poor keep dying, I hear Nero playing a tune.

Jacob Padgett is a Logistics and business intelligence analyst, former financial planning analyst, and has a BA focused on Spanish Language and Literature from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He advocates for universal healthcare and the rights of the disabled, active in drug harm reduction projects. @somacomadreams on FB and IG.

GUEST COLUMN: BURCHETT POSTCARD IS A FLOP

BURCHETT POSTCARD IS A FLOP

by

Mark Harmon

                  Congressman Tim Burchett this month sent an oversized postcard to the hundreds of thousands of people in our district; he was touting his actions in the U. S. House.  If you look very closely at small print, you’ll see this bit of self-promotion was done at taxpayer expense.  It was done at the start of an election year through abuse of a congressional perk known as the franking privilege.

                  Burchett, of course, leaves out a lot—so, as the declared Democratic candidate for the same job—let me fill in the gaps.  To begin, our congressman left out his most ignominious vote.  Just hours after insurrectionists invaded our Capitol and assaulted police, Burchett gave the mob the truth-denying and democracy-destroying vote they wanted.  The peaceful transfer of power is an important American institution, but Burchett damaged it for cheap political gain.

                  TDOT calculated that Tennessee’s share of the infrastructure bill included $1.3 billion in federal highway funds, $302 million in bridge repairs, $300 million in airport improvements, $88 million for electric charging stations, $630 million for public transportation improvements, $697 million for improved water infrastructure, and $100 million to bring expanded broadband access to 400,000 Tennesseans.  Burchett voted against it.  He also voted against the COVID Relief bill that was vital to economic recovery.

                  Our congressman has cast some very dubious votes, many of them hurtful to women.  He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, extending programs that seek to prevent and to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.  A bipartisan group came together to support a bill that employers should make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.  Burchett voted no.  He also joined a lawsuit supporting Mississippi’s law to restrict women’s reproductive freedom.

                  Burchett bizarrely brags about sponsoring a bill to prohibit vaccine mandates for essential workers at a time when it is crucial to assure that essential workers are vaccinated for their own health and those of us they encounter, engage, or treat.

                  On my website, markharmonforcongress.com, I outline a more uplifting agenda for our community.  We need to reward work with a $15 an hour minimum wage.  Our students should be rewarded and inspired by a dramatic increase in college grants.  Our health care plans need to have a public option.

                  I’d be happy to argue the merits of our contrasting views of the future, but Tim Burchett needs to agree to televised debates.  I suggest a minimum of two, perhaps one in a town hall format.  So far, he has ducked the question.  He appears to be relying on party label and a mountain of corporate campaign cash.  He twice did the same thing with his previous opponent Renee Hoyos.  In the interest of informed public debate, we cannot let him get away with it.  It’s up to all of us to press him on the point.

                  Mark Harmon is a professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee, and a Democratic candidate for U. S. House, Tennessee District 2

SHELTERING IN PLACE: Rep. Cooper COS Lisa Quigley Recalls Insurrection Day in D.C.

Jan 6, 2021.

I left home for the office at 6:30am as I anticipated enhanced screening protocols at the Capitol. To my surprise, there were none. There were only low, movable gates (think bike racks) encircling the Capitol complex.

For 10 months, few staff had been attending in-person, so it was a normal day: Capitol Police & Dunkin employees were on duty, but otherwise there were empty hallways. I started tracking progress on the East & West fronts of the Capitol B4 8am from my window.

Rep. Jim Cooper & I gathered in his office to remotely attend the House Democratic Caucus. It was celebratory: Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff were headed for victories, securing the Senate dem majority. Certification of the presidential results would begin in hours. 

As the count started midday, I went downstairs to grab lunch. In passing, I heard two Capitol Police officers asking each other, “Do you think we should lock these doors too?”

This was worrisome for a few reasons: 1) This was the 24-hour door to the Longworth building. It’s always guarded, but never locked. 2) “Too?” What other doors have been locked? 3) Why are these officers making this call? Where is Capitol Police command?

Rep. Cooper had just received his 2nd Covid shot, but was trying to keep his family safe w/ regular testing. He was only going to the House Floor for votes. No lingering there. I reported what I’d heard & he left for the Attending Physician’s office for a Covid test.

Almost immediately, we were notified via internal House email that the Madison and Cannon buildings were being evacuated. Evacuated? What? And go outside? The Longworth building was the next one in the line of buildings. I texted Cooper the news and he rushed back.

The order from the House changed to “shelter in place”. When Cooper returned, we locked the front door, locked his internal office door behind us, and then started clearing out his closet as I noticed that it had a lock on it too. Shoes, dry cleaning — it all came out.

That’s when the security squawk box sounded. Had worked in Congress for 30 years & had never heard it. Thought it was an obsolete relic. We are now watching the insurrection on split screen: via CNN & outside our window.

We took one last look, closed the blinds, turned off the lights & pushed his very heavy desk in front of the door. My cousin coached me on building a proper barricade. Me: “How do you know how to do this? What are you, a French revolutionary?” Jason: “Video games.”

Safely (?) barricaded, he put his banjo away for safekeeping & we fielded calls & texts from family, friends & media. The concern for those outside the Capitol was that the attackers would get into the underground tunnels.

(former Nashville  mayor)Megan Barry⁩ called to ask if we had a gun & if we knew how to use it. I knew there was no gun in the office. He crossed the room, reached the top shelf of his mostly bare closet, handed (the below) to me & asked: “Do you know how to use it?” A club from travels to Kenya.

As night fell, we inhaled a box of chocolates that was laying around, reinforcements finally arrived, and he played a few tunes on his banjo. As the night wore on, there was never an all-clear signal. The House, determined to fulfill its constitutional duty, reconvened.

We remained there until 3:38am, when the election was finally verified. I got in my car and drove home on the now-empty streets. I climbed into bed at 5:00am and my husband said, “So, honey, how was day at the office?”  Humor can help w/ healing, for sure.

People often ask me if this was the scariest day of my life. I say “no”. Because I mistakenly thought that the madness was over, that the American people would never stand for this kind of attack on our democracy. Trump was gone, and Trumpism would be seen as a disgrace.

So, actually, the scariest days have been every day since. Our democracy is still at great risk. We all have to work to save it. It’s fragile.

P.S. – Rep. Cooper gifted me the club from Kenya today, as a morning memento of that horrible day. God Bless America.

Lisa Quigley is the Director of the Anti-Hunger Campaign, Tusk Philanthropies. She spent 30 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as the Former Chief of Staff for Rep. Jim Cooper.

FACT-CHECK: MARSHA BLACKBURN

Someone had to fact-check Marsha’s latest senate floor ramblings. We volunteer. 

“EXTREME” REP. MARK GREEN RECKLESSLY EQUATES DEMS HELPING REGULAR TENNESSEANS WITH THE VIETNAM WAR

Tennessee Republican congressman Rep. Mark Green (TN-7) is a radical extremist well known for “leading the fight” against Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, keeping 300,000 uninsured while saying programs like Medicaid “Keep people from a saving knowledge of God”.

He’s also a former U.S. Army flight surgeon who was nominated for army secretary by Trump but couldn’t even get a hearing from a Republican-controlled senate, possibly because of his hateful anti-LGBT views and comments about Muslims, but also possibly because of whatever is at the root of why he won’t make his redacted discharge papers un-redacted and public, which he is clearly very sensitive about.

Green also ran cover for the insurrection, minimizing it, parroting the Big Lie, and voting to throw out the results of a free and fair American election, which one would think would cause Green to take a breath before equating the efforts of Democrats to win elections and pass popular progressive agenda to… Vietnam –A war that left 58,000 Americans dead – 1.4 MILLION casualties total. But since he fancies himself quite the military expert, and has a habit of telling anyone who’ll listen about his night with Saddam Hussein – he even wrote a book about it – it should probably come as no surprise that that’s the prism through which he sees most things.

His article for The Daily Signal, a Conservative news site backed by the Koch-tied Heritage Foundation , takes things to a whole other level though. He titles it: “Ready, Aim, Fire: Left Fired Too Soon and Created Its Own Tet Offensive”

In it, Green compares the efforts of Dems to score political wins to pass a transformative, wildly popular (even in West Virginia!) budget that helps a lot of people an “insurgency” that seeks to “spark an uprising” – ironic considering Green’s lies literally did just that.

He then whines about the left “controlling the propagation of information” (on a site from a right wing think tank, which exists in a nearly impenetrable right-wing media ecosystem), and of course can’t help himself from complaining about “censorship” of those who “counter the progressive narrative” – which a recent report shows is the opposite of the truth:

“Similarly, we have seen censorship rise to new levels on social media, as those who counter the progressive elite’s narrative are silenced. The selective canceling of anyone who doesn’t engage in groupthink undermines the core of what makes this nation great.”

As a reminder, Green’s favorite corrupt president wasn’t kicked off Twitter because he’s not progressive. He was kicked off because he incited an insurrection with his lies and is attacking democracy at every turn.

But Green doesn’t stop there. He then openly accuses “the left” of “conventional warfare”:

“Once enough people have been indoctrinated, the third phase starts: direct conventional warfare. The left has moved quickly into this third phase since President Joe Biden’s victory one year ago—but perhaps too quickly.”

Green is clearly too in love with himself to handle criticism, but any reasonable person would understand using violent, charged rhetoric like this is dangerous and can and has gotten people killed. He’s not even being subtle about it. He literally compares Democrats to the North Vietnamese:

“From taxpayer-funded abortions on demand to defunding the police, from their $3.5 trillion social engineering boondoggle to indoctrinating our children with critical race theory, the Democrats—like the North Vietnamese in 1968—tried to move into phase three too soon. They struck before enough people have been indoctrinated.”

He calls the November 2nd elections “the liberal progressives’ version of this Tet Offensive” (and includes the Virginia governor’s race, which is interesting considering Mcauliffe was not exactly a progressive). Considering January 6th was quite literally an act of war against our capitol by Green’s own people, the gaslighting here is outrageous.

Green then closes by calling the political fight in America a literal “war”:

“Regardless, because of the left’s premature and extreme overreach, the American people were awakened and thus able to end their efforts to create their socialist utopia, for now.

But as in Vietnam, we won a great battle through their premature move to phase three of their insurgency. However, the war is not over—and our fight for this great nation must and will continue.”

Rhetoric like this is dangerous and irresponsible. Our elected leaders should be bringing us together, not dividing us further. People died on January 6th, and more may soon die again if he keeps this up.

Then again, Green showed us he doesn’t actually care about human suffering through his opposition to Medicaid expansion, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

Also, as a reminder, Green’s party lost the White House, the Senate, and the House under Green’s “General” – even Youngkin kept Trump out of Virginia to secure his win – yet “Extreme” Mark Green continues to blindly follow him, and doesn’t seem willing to take any lessons from losing those *battle* in the “war” he thinks he’s fighting, while Tennesseans suffer.