Alan Levine Lashes Out At Phil Williams Over “Conflicts of Interest” Piece

These are the times we save receipts for. Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine took the time to lash out at Phil Williams for calling out the conflicts of interest of Governor Lee’s handpicked charter schools appeal board – but Phil is absolutely right.

Levine is hardly the best messenger for this, having been the subject of a 60 Minutes medicare fraud piece when he worked at HMA.

HOLLERFEST 2022 HIGHLIGHTS!

 

WELCOME TO FORCED BIRTH TENNESSEE

WELCOME TO FORCED BIRTH TENNESSEE

Yesterday the Trigger Ban triggered. Now any doctor performing an abortion in Tennessee can be charged with a FELONY, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

You heard us right. There are no exceptions.

Not for rape. Not for incest. Not to save a mother’s life. Nothing.

Republicans like Governor Lee continue to say there are exceptions, but they are either lying, or they haven’t read their own bill. The bill says doctors can claim they were saving the mother’s life as an “AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE”, but that means the doctor will be on trial, charged, having been arrested, and the burden will be on THEM to prove the mother was at risk as opposed to on the state.

This means doctors will have to take that into consideration when deciding to perform life-saving health care. Which means women will die. Period. We’re already seeing examples of care being withheld throughout the country.

As a TN DOCTOR said yesterday at the “Healthcare in Handcuffs” rally in NASHVILLE: “Sadly, termination of the pregnancy will put me at risk of being charged with a felony… despite misinformation, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS… this law is dangerous to the women of Tennessee.”

During the rally one young anti-abortion loudmouth was heckling the doctors, cheering for the idea of them going to prison, so we eventually confronted him.
WATCH: “YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY ‘PRO-LIFE’ — YOU’RE FORCED BIRTH.”

Holler founder Kanew’s confrontation with the heckler continued after it was over, driving home the point that opposing Medicaid expansion & universal health care is not “pro-life”. The heckler was 20 years old and proudly “saving himself for marriage” as he seeks to stop everyone from having sex by telling women to “close their legs” (maybe the virgin thing isn’t voluntary with that kind of talk buddy) and dismissing the Old Testament as irrelevant because numbers 5:11-30 hurts the argument he’s making since God instructs a priest to have a woman drink something  which would make her miscarry if she was unfaithful, which sounds pretty abortion-y to us.🤔

The Heckler did, however, eventually concede there should be exceptions for life of the mom.

READ THE BILL. THERE ARE NONE. If you don’t believe us, believe the Tennessean👇🏽😳 

As Rep. Gloria Johnson points out, Republicans need to fix this NO EXCEPTIONS mess by calling a special session by calling a special session: “There are 0 exceptions… that Republicans don’t understand their bill should terrify everyone. CALL A SPECIAL SESSION AND FIX THIS MESS YOU MADE THAT WILL KILL PEOPLE.”

It’s a frightening, dangerous, deadly situation that Republicans have put us in. It’s hard to know if they did it knowingly and lied about it, or if they didn’t understand the bill they passed. Neither is good. Call your reps and tell them it must be fixed.

We’ll keep yelling the truth about all this. Please consider chipping in monthly if you can. We depend on your support.

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TODAY’S HOLLER:
WE SEE YOU CHATTANOOGA: “We’re standing up for our rights, and our bodies, and autonomy.” Nooga also rallied for women’s rights yesterday as the draconian No-exception TN GOP trigger ban went into effect. #BansOffOurBodies

JASON MARTIN: This bill is radical. There are no exceptions, even for rape or life of the mother… Governor Lee is lying or he doesn’t know what bill he signed. Either is disqualifying.” Governor candidate Dr. Jason Martin was in Nashville for the rally against the TN GOP trigger ban. He also CHALLENGED HIM TO A DEBATE.

WATCH: “That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people. That whole week I didn’t sleep.” S. Carolina Republican Neal Collins regrets his abortion ban vote now that life-saving care is (PREDICTABLY) being denied. #BandOffOurBodies #RoeRoeRoeYourVote

FLASHBACK: “This is gonna let a violent rapist choose the mother of his child, but not let a victim of rape to determine if she’s going to carry that child?” Rep. Lynn told Rep. Gloria Johnson the truth — that THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS in the TN GOP abortion ban… then walked it back👇🏽🤥

Kaiser Health News reporter Brett Kelman says the TN GOP abortion ban has his family thinking about leaving 👇🏽 Really sad what this radical extremist supermajority is doing to our state. 😳

🔥ODESSA KELLY: “This is white supremacy. Class warfare. State-sanctioned violence… Republicans have given us a moment in time to say we defeated FASCISM.”
TN-7 candidate Odessa Kelly didn’t hold back today. Tennessee becomes a forced birth state TOMORROW. #BansOffOurBodies

As Tennessee becomes a FORCED BIRTH STATE under this Republican supermajority we just got more evidence that treating women as 2nd class citizens will getcha beat. #BansOffOurBodies

😳FRANKLIN, TN: “Teens teach themselves sex Ed BECAUSE THE ADULTS WON’T” TN Republicans (JACK JOHNSON) banned anything but abstinence-only education (which doesn’t work) — so now in Jack Johnson & Governor Lee’s home county teens try to protect themselves.

FLASHBACK: “FOX 17 investigation found 17 TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN lawmakers who supported unemployment cuts accepted PPP loans for their businesses — a combined $12.4 MILLION.” So spare us the student loan crocodile tears. 🐊

😂 #studentdebtrelief

The White House is bringing the thunder on these Republican student debt PPP loan hypocrites 🔥 👀

“271,000+ TENNESSEANS WILL HAVE THEIR STUDENT LOANS CANCELED UNDER BIDEN’S PLAN…” No wonder Republicans are so upset.

TRAE CROWDER: 🔥 “I’d like to think experiencing a form of suffering would make you sympathetic to those in a similar plight, as opposed to resenting them when they’re relieved of it… but what do I know? I never read the Bible or nothin’.”

Williamson County pastor 👇🏽

SSSSSHAPIRO: We’re honored to be included in this article about tweets ripping Ben Shapiro’s loan forgiveness hypocrisy.


REMINDER: The same Republicans complaining about student debt cancellation cheered as Trump let them write off 100% OF THEIR PRIVATE JETS. (while slashing trillions in taxes for the wealthy)

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “I will never apologize for helping working Americans & the middle class — especially not to the same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut that mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations.” #CancelStudentDebt

Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt — $10,000 for anyone making under $125,000 a year, $20,000 if you went to school on Pell Grants.

REPORTER: “Is this fair to people who didn’t take out student loans?” — 🔥BIDEN MIC DROP: “Was it fair to people who didn’t own multi-million dollar businesses to watch those guys get huge tax cuts?” 👀 🎯 *moonwalks away*

The NY TIMES picks up the story of disgraced ex-speaker Glen Casada and his chief of staff Cade Cothren getting arrested by the FBI and facing 20 counts.

CASADA LEAVING THE COURTHOUSE: “Glen, do you owe Tennesseans an apology? Do you feel bad? Should the Governor be worried?” Disgraced ex-speaker Casada leaving the federal courthouse after pleading not guilty to all 20 counts… they face many years and fines, 20 count indictment includes bribery, laundering, conspiracy, kickback…

CADE COTHREN SPEAKS ON HIS WAY OUT THE COURTHOUSE AFTER PLEADING NOT GUILTY TO 20 COUNTS: “The truth will come out, Phil.” —- Or maybe it already did, Cade? 🤔

🤣 CASADA IN CUFFS REACTION: GOV. LEE – who hands out no-bid contracts like candy, didn’t remove an admitted sexual abuser, maybe offered a military promotion to pass his vouchers, betrayed teachers, etc… now has “no tolerance” for lack of integrity? LOL. 🤷🏻‍♂️ #CasadaInCuffs

😳MUST-WATCH SUPERCUT: FOX TRASHING TEACHERS.  Again — it isn’t just HILLSDALE & @GovBillLee. The war on our teachers & schools is the right-wing’s core agenda.

CHATTANOOGA: Republican school board member RHONDA THURMAN (a regular focus for us) complains “Hispanic students who speak little or no English are overwhelming Hamilton County schools” calls them a “mind-boggling burden” on schools 🤔😳

⚾️ NOLENSVILLE advances to the 🇺🇸 Little League World Series championship to face HONOLULU Saturday (winner faces the winner of Chinese Taipei vs. Curaçao)

WATCH: “Elections are about choices. There has never been a clearer difference between 2 candidates.” TN-5 congress candidate senator Senator Heidi Campbell says she’s trying to unite while far-right extremist Mayor Andy Ogles tries to divide, and says a new internal poll has her ahead.

Priorities. 🇺🇸 #CancelStudentDebt

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TN DEMS VOW TO STAND UP TO DRACONIAN REPUBLICAN ABORTION BAN

This week Tennessee Dems held a press conference vowing to push back on the Republican abortion ban, and the brutality it entails. Below are some clips.

 

WATCH: “IT’S LEGISLATIVE VIOLENCE—women are not equal if we don’t have control over our own health decisions.” At a presser on the TN GOP extreme abortion ban Rep. Gloria Johnson says more women will die, Tennessee’s economy will get hurt as events & businesses choose other states.

TN-5 CANDIDATE SENATOR HEIDI CAMPBELL: “We’re here with you… we’re not backing down. Our Tennessee daughters deserve to grow up with the same rights & freedoms as our sons.”🎯 #BansOffOurBodies – TN Dems vowed to carry bills pushing back on the draconian, violent abortion ban.

SEN. LAMAR: “I’m devastated. I’m angry. It’s an ABOMINATION —- they never take a stand on ‘life’ outside the womb.” Senator London Lamar says the extremist TN GOP abortion ban will force rape & trafficking victims to carry to term, and Black women will be impacted most. #BansOffOurBodies

SEN. YARBRO TO TENNESSEE: “It’s time to WAKE UP.”🔥 – Yarbro rightly says TN is 1 of the most dangerous places in the developed world to get pregnant because of a brutal TN GOP supermajority, calls out Jack Johnson for minimizing rape pregnancies. (especially for young girls)

REP. CLEMMONS: “Make no mistake, they’re not going to stop here.” – John Ray Clemmons says the TN GOP will keep taking away rights until voters stand up to them, calls on men to stop hiding behind party and stick up for their families, thanks his female colleagues for their leadership.

YES, THEY WANT TO FORCE LITTLE GIRLS TO CARRY BABIES: Jim Bopp of National Right to Life – who has been to Tennessee to testify for Republicans – says YES, THE 10 YEAR OLD RAPE VICTIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO GIVE BIRTH. Monstrous.

PSA…

RALLIES ACROSS TENNESSEE #BansOffOurBodies

This weekend Tennesseans all over marched in support of women’s rights. It was a beautiful sight to see.

Here were some of the best moments and signs we saw.

LIVE: BUSTING REPUBLICAN ABORTION MYTHS (with Francie Hunt)

Francie Hunt of TN Advocates Planned Parenthood joined us to walk through a Republican talking points memo on abortion and set some things straight.

PODCAST HERE.

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.

VIDEO: “THE PEOPLE’S STATE OF THE STATE”

VIDEO of the protestors who showed up to make their disapproval of Governor Lee known at the capitol this week.

 

 

INTERVIEW: ARSON AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD KNOXVILLE with ASHLEY COFFIELD

OPINION: I SPEAK FOR MYSELF, REP. TIM RUDD

Earlier this year, President Biden announced that employers with 100 or more employees will need to mandate COVID vaccines or weekly testing for their workers. Although this was intended to help ease the effects of the pandemic, many people believe this new mandate crosses the line; including TN representative Tim Rudd (R-MURFREESBORO).

Rudd, who wrote an opinion piece in The Tennessee Conservative in September, claims Biden isn’t helping anybody with this mandate, especially Tennesseans.

I, an East Tennessean with medical professionals in my family, am here to tell you that Rudd is wrong.

Nearly four months after this mandate was first implemented, a new variant of the virus has moved into our country, and (according to USA Facts) there is a daily average of 2,437 COVID cases in Tennessee. I do not believe the 20,000+ deaths my state has witnessed are something that should be politicized. My community, my family, and my friends are all suffering from COVID in different ways; I am not embarrassed to admit that my state needs help controlling the pandemic and its fatalities.

But, like Rudd, some of us feel this mandate couldn’t possibly be helpful since it was put in place by a Democrat. Rudd explicitly states that “you are either on Biden’s side or the side of Tennesseans”, and it is quite evident by his language that he believes Tennesseans don’t want to abide by this mandate.

While his beliefs are not far-fetched, Rudd has forgotten that Tennesseans, regardless of their political identification, do not want their voices muffled by politicians.

Tim Rudd does not speak for me or for other Tennesseans. We speak for ourselves. Our opinions, regardless of what they are, are special to us. We pick and choose our own battles, and we allow ourselves to have respect for one another.

Rudd’s willingness to assume that all of us feel threatened by a vaccine is insulting, and quite frankly, humiliating to myself and others that I know. His promises to protect all Tennesseans might as well be empty, as he seems to care only for certain groups of people.

His opinions, though not the same as mine, are ones that I respect. I ask that Rudd treat opposing views with the same respect that I offer him.

COVID is something we all wish would cease to exist. Nobody enjoys living in a global pandemic, especially one that has changed our realities so drastically, but it is our responsibility to take steps that protect ourselves and our loved ones. Everybody should have the opportunity to feel safe and to protect their communities, and in my opinion, this mandate helps to make that happen.

It is within all of our best interests to help protect each other and to acknowledge our differences instead of ignoring one another.

Lauren Barton is a sixteen-year-old writer living in the Knoxville area. She is the founder of Tectonic Magazine and often writes about local politics. You can follow their Twitter: @laurenbarton03