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”.

EXPLAINED: GOV. LEE’S “STUDENT-BASED FUNDING FORMULA” MONEY GRAB

LEE’S NEW PUBLIC SCHOOL MONEY GRAB COMES INTO VIEW

 For months Governor Lee has been touting his new “STUDENT BASED FUNDING FORMULA” which he says will revolutionize how Tennessee funds our public schools. The plan has been very short on details by design, but after the press conference he gave yesterday we now have enough clues to understand what’s really going on.
Previously, Governor Lee did all he could to get private school vouchers passed, even reportedly offering military promotions as bribes to squeak it through the house. Unfortunately for him, the courts held up his unconstitutional plan (SO FAR).Now, instead of steering public dollars to private schools, Lee has begun a partnership with HILLSDALE COLLEGE, a private Christian school in MICHIGAN with close ties to BETSY DEVOS led by Larry Arnn, who Trump appointed to lead his history-whitewashing “1776 Commission” in response to the 1619 Project.

In the State of the State, Lee talked about bringing in Hillsdale to teach our kids to be “informed patriots”, by which he means he wants to fill their heads with propaganda and avoid them learning the the harsh truths of our past.

What Lee didn’t mention in his speech was the fact that he has apparently asked Hillsadale to bring 50-100 CHARTER SCHOOLS to Tennessee, which Arnn mentioned at a meeting in Franklin last September in AUDIO WE UNCOVERED THIS WEEK:

“Governor Lee wanted 100 charter schools in TN.”

When asked about it at a press conference yesterday, Lee did not deny it. He instead leaned into it, saying CHARTER SCHOOLS are a big part of his plan, and repeatedly making a point to call them “PUBLIC” schools – by which he means they’ll be taking our PUBLIC SCHOOL funds.

So instead of strengthening our public schools and funding them properly, Lee is telling us he’s willing to pour another $1 BILLION into our schools BUT ONLY IF WE ADOPT HIS STUDENT-LED FUNDING PROGRAM – which would mean those dollars would follow kids to Charter schools like these Hillsdale schools.

Charters are privately run enterprises. Now Lee thinks he can dodge the accusation of “Steering public funds to private schools” by saying these charter schools are “public schools”, but as someone said recently: Calling charter schools “PUBLIC” because they get public funds is like calling defense contractors public companies.

This has clearly been the plan for a long time. Even the MOMS FOR LIBERTY WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHAIR has been posting about the Hillsdale Charter school planned for Williamson since last year – and we’re told a petition has been pulled in Montgomery county as well.
They want our (underfunded) public school funds to send their kids to what will essentially amount to a publicly-funded private school.

It’s an attack on our public schools. A heist. They’re steering our public school funds towards a network of private schools by another name, run by a Trump loyalist who wants to whitewash our history and fill kids’ heads with propaganda.

And to top it all off, Lee has rigged the charter approval process. So even when communities vote to REJECT these schools, a state board handpicked by the governor can overrule these local decisions.

Worried yet? You should be. Strengthening our public schools should be our top priority. This new “STUDENT-BASED FUNDING FORMULA” SCHEME is just a new way for Governor Lee to steer our public dollars to private companies run by his friends, and he’s using these “PUBLIC” Charter schools as a vessel to do it… and our public schools will suffer.

Florida’s ed commish praised Lee and put it in this distasteful way at Hillsdale College👇🏽WATCH: “YOU CAN’T PUT THE ANIMALS BACK IN THE BARN”😳 – meaning once kids go to a charter school, we have no choice but to keep sending them money because you can’t force them to go back.

OUR QUESTION: Is Gov. Lee’s attempt to use public funds to create a network of private schools (while calling them “public”) even constitutional? Hopefully someone smarter than us can figure that out.

We’ll be here to cover it, and that’s thanks to your support, so Please consider chipping in monthly if you’re not yet doing so, even if it’s just a few bucks – the monthly support truly keeps us going. 

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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.

 

 

HILLSDALE PREZ: “GOV. LEE ASKED FOR 100 TN CHARTER SCHOOLS”

This week at the propaganda-filled State of the State Governor Lee went on a diatribe about “informed patriotism”, saying schools have become “centers of anti-American thought” it would be a priority of his to make sure Tennessee kids learn “unbiased” history – by which he meant very biased history viewed only through his own white, Confederate-uniform-in-college-wearing prism.

To *help* TN kids learn that Deformed Patriotism, Lee said he was going to hire HILLSDALE COLLEGE, a Christian school in Michigan headed up by Larry Arnn, who Trump appointed to lead his “1776 Commission” to write a report to county the harsh truths of the 161 Project. (the first thing Biden did was unpublish its whitewashing view of our history… Arnn once made headlines for calling minority students “dark ones”)

Lee’s speech contained few details about the contract, but we’ve since uncovered some audio from a meeting in FRANKLIN, TN in September of last year (see below) when Arnn revealed that Governor Lee had asked him to bring 100 CHARTER SCHOOLS (!) to Tennessee.

Arnn says he only promised to deliver 50.

We know from sources that charter school applications have already been submitted in WILLIAMSON and MONTGOMERY Counties at least – possibly more.

This is more evidence that Governor Lee is no friend to public schools. The $1 BILLION in new funding he promised our public schools is coming with strings, and the goal is clearly to fund a network of private Christian schools in Tennessee, where he can steer our money to through his vouchers – and the state-level charter school approval board he has rigged to overrule local officials that may not want charters in their area is clearly also part of the plan.

This is an attack on public schools. All of it. From the book censorship, to history-whitewashing, threatening teachers, the mask fight, vouchers, Lee’s charter program…

There is a LOT of money in education, and they’re coming for it.

Are you paying attention yet?

Here’s the part of Lee’s speech we’re referring to:

MCMINN COUNTY BANS “MAUS”, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING HOLOCAUST BOOK

Continuing the recent spate of conservative book-banning initiatives, The Mcminn County School board just voted to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “MAUS” by Art Spiegelman from all of its schools, citing the inclusion of words like “God Damn” and “naked pictures” (illustrations) of women.

There is no video available of the meeting, but here are the MINUTES in their entirety.

We called the board and asked if the book being about the Holocaust had anything to do with the decision, and were told it did not. Still, the climate of conservative censorship, the passage of history-whitewashing laws that threaten fines to teachers who teach the truth, and the push towards the banning of books across the state by groups like “Moms for Liberty” makes it fair to question the timing.

The Vote was  10-0, with Yes votes from: Denise Cunningham, Bill Irvin, Quinten Howard, Sharon Brown, Mike Cochran, Mike Lowry, Donna Casteel, Jonathan Pierce, Tony Allman, Rob Shamblin.

Much of the discussion revolved around how books are selected for the curriculum, with finger-pointing at state standards which have become a popular punching bag among conservatives lately. They also discussed the possibility of redacting the words they found objectionable, but decided it would be better to ban the graphic novel altogether.

Let’s also remember that in East Tennessee we recently saw Coach Hawn fired after 17 years for leading a discussion about White Privilege, which is as real as oxygen. And the Tennessee state legislature recently passed their history-whitewashing “anti-CRT ban” which actually threatens to impose massive fines on teachers/districts that teach the truth about our history, and race.

Regardless of why this decision was made, we’re in a climate where a sustained attack is being made on our schools, our teachers, and the truth. The anti-Critical Race Theory furor ginned up by Republican think tanks for political gain morphed into an excuse for right wing folks to try to cancel diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and things they don’t agree with in general — and now Conservative book-banning is really having a moment.

We have to teach the truth about our history. Or it will be repeated.

Below is what some of the various board members had to say in the meeting (contact info here):

Tony Allman, School Board Member: “Why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy… I am not denying it was horrible, brutal, and cruel. It’s like when you’re watching tv and a cuss word or nude scene comes on it would be the same movie without it. Well, this would be the same book without it… If I had a child in the eighth grade, this ain’t happening. If I had to move him out and homeschool him or put him somewhere else, this is not happening.”

Jonathan Pierce, School Board Member: “My objection, and I apologize to everyone sitting here, is that my standards matter- and I am probably the biggest sinner and crudest person in this room, can I lay that in front of a child and say read it, or this is part of your reading assignment?”

Mike Cochran, School Board Member: “I went to school here thirteen years. I learned math, English, Reading and History. I never had a book with a naked picture in it, never had one with foul language. In third grade I had one of my classmates come up to me and say hey what’s this word? I sounded it out and it was “damn,” and I was real proud of myself because I sounded it out. She ran straight to the teacher and told her I was cussing. Besides that one book which I think she brought from home, now I’ve seen a cuss word in a textbook at school. So, this idea that we have to have this kind of material in the class in order to teach history, I don’t buy it. “

A few in the room came to the book’s defense. We’re told many teachers in the county are upset about the decision, some seemed in favor of just removing the objectionable words:

Julie Goodin, Instructional Supervisor: “I can talk of the history, I was a history teacher and there is nothing pretty about the Holocaust and for me this was a great way to depict a horrific time in history. Mr. Spiegelman did his very best to depict his mother passing away and we are almost 80 years away. It’s hard for this generation, these kids don’t even know 9/11, they were not even born. For me this was his way to convey the message. Are the words objectionable? Yes, there is no one that thinks they aren’t but by taking away the first part, it’s not changing the meaning of what he is trying to portray and copyright… I have an eighth grader and even if you did pull this book I would want him to read it because we have to teach our kids. Are these words ok? No, not at all that is not acceptable, but the problem is that we are 80 years removed from the Holocaust itself. I just think this is a grave starting point for our teachers. I am very passionate about history, and I would hate to rob our kids of this opportunity. Are we going to be teaching these words outside of this book as vocabulary words? No, you know me better than that Tony Allman. ”

Melasawn Knights, Federal Programs Supervisor: “I think any time you are teaching something from history, people did hang from trees, people did commit suicide and people were killed, over six million were murdered. I think the author is portraying that because it is a true story about his father that lived through that. He is trying to portray that the best he can with the language that he chooses that would relate to that time, maybe to help people who haven’t been in that aspect in time to actually relate to the horrors of it. Is the language objectionable? Sure. I think that is how he uses that language to portray that… We are trying our best to redact the best we can and follow the law and that is what we felt like we have done to address the concerns of that language, the best we could. We think it is a valuable book and most of the supervisors here have read it.”

Steven Brady, Instructional Supervisor: “Every lesson we teach gives us a chance to make a change for the better for our students. When we teach habits of character, we are teaching our students how to be better people. There was a time where that happened every day at home, but when we think about what’s going on now and in the lives our students live in, many of them live in broken homes when they are at one house one day and another house the next. The list goes on and on of the things they have to deal with. Whether we realize it or not, school is the most stable thing in many of our students lives. What students see and hear where they live, may not be appropriate in some settings and we have a chance with every lesson to change what our students see is ok. We get a chance to kind of influence their ethics, their morals, their upbringing. I appreciate the stand that you all are taking to assure the public that we care about our kids, and we believe it’s important to teach our students the difference between right and wrong and help them be ethical people with compassion and morals with respect for others. We are not promoting the use of these words, if anything we are promoting that these words are inappropriate and it’s best that we not use them. It’s inappropriate for school, for our conversation here and you may hear that at home, you may see that on tv, but we do not promote that. There are many lessons that can be learned through this book about how we treat others, how we speak, things that we say, how we act and how to persevere. I just wanted you to get an idea of why these lessons are structured like they are and how this text is just surrounded by excerpts and articles and the things we do to build that background knowledge and the opportunity we have to make a difference in our students lives.”

 

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

REP. TIM RUDD VS. MLK’S POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching this weekend, Representative London Lamar (D-Memphis) introduced a resolution honoring him at the Tennessee legislature today. One would think a resolution honoring a man every Republican will claim to appreciate come Monday would sail through – but this being Tennessee, you would be wrong.

Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) objected to some of the language in the resolution – specifically the language that talked about the Poor People’s Campaign, which Reverend Dr. William Barber now leads to continue the work of Dr. King.

You can read the initial draft of the Lamar resolution HERE.

And the adjusted version HERE.

Both versions include many facts and statistics about poverty in America, and Tennessee specifically, including the fact that 19.5 percent of Black people in the U.S. live in poverty, that Black Americans had the highest rate of poverty across the racial groups, and that Tennessee has one of the highest poverty rates in America.

Below is the language that was removed because Rep. Rudd objected to it – keep in mind Tennessee Republicans also blocked a resolution honoring Dr. Barber not long ago. (Here’s our interview with Dr. Barber, who is a great man, and who is fighting as hard for America’s poor as anyone).

WHEREAS, in order to observe, reflect, and celebrate the fullness of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, we must take up and reckon with Dr. King’s rejection of the economic status quo and his shift toward economic justice in the later years of his life; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King believed that without economic justice it would be impossible to achieve the full citizenship that was promised to all marginalized people by the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King, Marion Wright, and the SCLC launched the Poor People’s Campaign as the beginning of a new co-operation, an understanding, and a determination by poor people of all colors and backgrounds to assert and win their right to a decent life and respect for their culture and dignity; and

WHEREAS, at the Campaign’s conception, Dr. King sought to organize 2,000 poor people to go to Washington, D.C., southern states, and northern cities to meet with government officials to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children; and

WHEREAS, on May 12, 1968, roughly one month after the assassination of Dr. King, his widow, Coretta Scott King, led thousands of women to activate the Poor People’s Campaign. On May 13, 1968, Resurrection City was erected on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and – 3 – 011285 over the course of the next month, demonstrators outlasted the staggering heat to demand economic opportunity at different federal agencies; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the 1968 leg of the Poor People’s Campaign, 200 counties received free surplus food distribution, and some federal agencies agreed to hire poor people to lead poverty programs; and

WHEREAS, the Poor People’s Campaign continues today, advocating for its Declaration of Rights and the Poor People’s Moral Agenda, which tackles systemic racism, poverty and inequality, ecological devastation, national morality, and war economy and militarism; and

WHEREAS, according to the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity at the The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, “policy drives the racial wealth gap.” This means that “policy changes rather than behavioral changes” are the key in closing the wealth gap across racial groups. As legislators who craft state policy, legislators must ensure that the policies they create do not exacerbate but rather work to shrink the existing disparities; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified and worsened the existing wealth inequalities across racial groups; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King’s economic justice work remains unfinished today. State legislatures must commit to and reaffirm their commitment to manifesting and actualizing the fullness of Dr. King’s dream; and

As a reminder, here’s Rev. Dr. Barber calling out Governor Lee to his face on MLK Day a few years back. One of our favorite clips ever:

TODAY’S HOLLER: DID REP. FAISON PANTS HIMSELF?

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DID FAISON PANTS HIMSELF? 
BY TRYING TO PANTS THE REF, DID REP. FAISON PULL OFF HIS OWN
– METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING?

👖💥REF PANTSING CONTROVERSY UPDATE: REP. Brandon Ogles (R-FRANKLIN) re-posted a post today about TN GOP caucus chair Rep. Jeremy Faison making national news for trying to PANTS A REF, calling it “disgusting”, and seeming to question if he’s fit to serve both as GOP caucus chair and as a representative entirely.

The post also calls on Speaker Sexton to act. 👀

💥This comes after we learned from our own SOURCES that Republican Scott Cepicky has allegedly asked TN House GOP caucus chair Jeremy Faison to RESIGN as caucus chair over the embarrassing nationally viral ref-pantsing incident. Here’s some Video, ICYMI.
To be clear, neither Ogles nor Cepicky are picture perfect in their own rights, by any stretch. Cepicky in particular spent a long time calling COVID no worse than the flu, until he eventually stopped. (He also lists himself as a professional athlete on his legislative bio even though his NFL “career” consisted of being a walk-on punter cut in training camp… but we digress.)

The question remains: Will Faison survive as caucus chair? Is his seat at risk? By trying to pull off a ref’s pants, did he pull his own caucus chair pants off, so to speak?

Only time will tell. But we will be here watching.

We’ll make sure to ask Jeremy about this in person when the legislature starts back up TOMORROW. We’re able to do this work because of your support, so Please consider chipping in monthly if you’re not yet doing so, even if it’s just a few bucks – the monthly support truly keeps us going. 

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TODAY’S HOLLER:
REPUBLICANS TO CARVE UP NASHVILLE: “into multiple congressional seats”. Not content with a 7-2 split (despite a significant % of TN being Dems), Speaker Sexton & the TN GOP will try to take a blue seat from VERY BLUE Nashville. Not democracy. There is ZERO good faith reason not to have independent, fair districting. 🇺🇸

KNOXVILLE ACTIVIST HUMILIATED BY DEPUTIES: It seems the warrant Knox County Sheriff Spangler’s Office arrested activist/former council candidate David Hayes for outside a Knoxville PD meeting was for “obstructing a roadway” at a peaceful protest about the police killing of a student (Ant Thompson). They humiliated Hayes and carried him to a detention roomwhere he says they punched him. Here’s video of him being carried & humiliated. Here’s David telling Knox News about being punched by deputies while in custody.

So outside a CITY discussion about policing, Deputies grabbed, carried, humiliated a black activist (former council candidate) over warrants related to peaceful protests about the police killing of a black student. Knox County’s message is loud and clear. The man ran for City Council as the warrant was still active and was in rooms with police… he says he was never officially cited, and didn’t know about the warrants. They waited for the exact moment to send the largest message to arrest him. We have questions. Will Spangler and Mayor Jacobs have answers?

NOT-SO-GRAND, OPRY: “I am extremely confused by the welcoming of Morgan Wallen to the Opry stage last night… It felt like a slap in the face.” — Holly G, founder of Black Opry, writes a letter to Opry owners expressing dismay that they welcomed Wallen after his “N Word” usage.

MORE REPUBLICAN VACCINE DISINFORMATION: More vaccine disinfo from TN GOP state Rep Susan Lynn… ignoring all data, cherry-picking stories she *hears* — and Speaker Sexton says nothing. Some actual numbers… overwhelmingly most severely Sick are un-“vexed” 🧐

Maybe Governor Ron Desantis should talk to his own wife about his anti-testing crusade? 😳😷

HIJACKING MLK: The Tennessean picks up the story of Bernice King rightly calling out Carol M Swain & Moms For Liberty WILCO for the hypocrisy of using her dad’s image to raise💰at an anti-diversity event at the Factory when M4L fights against MLK/civil rights books.

COACH DIES OF COVID: GALLATIN HIGH girls basketball coach Jerry Landers has died of COVID-19 after being placed on a ventilator. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the community. 😷

Rolling Stone rightly highlights *Pastor* Ken Peters in a story on the burned Planned Parnethood Knoxville clinic— “Did the rhetoric of Pastor Peters’s extreme anti-abortion church literally help stoke the flames?” The clinic noticed a change when he arrived. And he’s no stranger to “fire” references.

WATCH: “It was terrifying… nobody was hurt, thank goodness, but the fire was enormous… WE ARE DETERMINED TO REBUILD.” – Ashley Coffield of Planned Parenthood TN talked to us about the arson (terrorism) that burned their clinic in Knoxville. PODCAST

“THIS SAD MAN”: Chris Hayes roasted spineless Ted Cruz for groveling for forgiveness after calling the insurrection “terrorism” — he calls it a “mistake”, but he said it MANY times. His only “mistake” was telling the truth in a party where that’s the only sin. #TreasonDay

NASHVILLE DJ WALKS OUT: DJ AJ KANG says he walked out of his set after REBAR owner Rhonda Russell told him to “stop playing that ni*ger music” because there were “too many black people in the crowd” Adding: “I’m half black and I do not support racism”

UNLICENSED BOUNCERS UPDATE: “4 of 6 bouncers at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row who held down DJ BARRETT until he died in August 2021 (charged for reckless homicide & aggravated assault) not properly licensed.” VIDEO of DJ: “I can’t breathe!”

RECORD JOBS: While Marsha & Hagerty ask “WhErE ARe tHe JoBS?” despite 3.9% unemployment, Trump Jr.  helped them out with a self-own by posting Biden’s historic first 11 months job growth: “Check out how much better Biden is doing than my dad!” 🤦🏻‍♂️

🗣 “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.” — Barbara from Abingdon, VA writes a letter to the editor in BRISTOL, TN addressing the ARSONIST Who burned down Knoxville’s Planned Parenthood Clinic — pointing out the people they actually hurt.

NO-BRAINER: “Ossoff’s bill makes it illegal for lawmakers & their families to trade stocks” Any Senator/Rep who won’t support this ain’t there for the right reasons. And it ain’t just Pelosi. (👋🏽 Corker, Blackburn, Hagerty, Green, etc..) – good for Ossoff for leading on this. He says he wants a GOP co-sponsor for his congress stock trading ban… Does seem a little crazy to think that might happen, but kinda seems right to make a show of looking for one — If nobody bites, that says a lot in itself. Then he should push it anyway.

TOP: What’s actually happening.
BOTTOM: What the Bullshit Factory is focused on.

TOP SEED IN THE AFC: 91 different players. Lots of injuries to stars. And still… #1 seed in the AFC! Coach Vrabel should be the NFL Coach of the Year, and it isn’t close. #TitanUp

CARTOON OF THE DAY: “KING & CRT”

Josh Black sums up Tennessee in one tweet… 🎯 ❄️

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INTERVIEW: ARSON AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD KNOXVILLE with ASHLEY COFFIELD