Read the Health Department memo about why it fired Tennessee’s chief vaccination official

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee made national headlines this week for firing the top vaccination official at the Department of Health . The state has has been mum about the reasons for Michelle Fiscus’ termination, but she has alleged being made a scapegoat for GOP lawmaker anger over a state policy urging teens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Now the state is releasing a memo written by Tim Jones, the chief medical officer at the Health Department, to Commissioner Lisa Piercey claiming Fiscus didn’t work well with others and didn’t seek permission and guidance about the content of a letter “regarding her own interpretation” of state law regarding the authority of minors to get vaccines without their parents’ permission. Fiscus says the letter was drafted by an agency lawyer and “blessed” by Gov. Bill Lee’s office.

UPDATE: The Fiscus camp denies misdeeds, pointing to her glowing performance review as recently as last year.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

To: Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP, Commissioner

From: Tim Jones, MD

July 9, 2021

Re: Expiration of service of Michelle (Shelley) Fiscus, MD

Based on program management deficiencies and failure to follow appropriate processes and procedures, please accept this recommendation to expire the executive service of Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Director, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program (VPDIP), Tennessee Department of Health.

This recommendation is based on Dr. Fiscus’s failure to maintain good working relationships with members of her team, her lack of effective leadership, her lack of appropriate management, and unwillingness to consult with superiors and other internal stakeholders on VPDIP projects.

On multiple occasions during the 2020-2021 COVID response, Dr. Fiscus has failed to maintain satisfactory and harmonious relationships among her team. In February 2021, CEDEP leadership and TDH Human Resources received multiple complaints from program staff regarding her management style, treatment of employees, and poor program morale. Dr. Dunn met with five senior team members who expressed consistent complaints related to management of the program by Dr. Fiscus during the COVID response. He had several coaching sessions with Dr. Fiscus, with minimal improvement in the situation noted. Two of her most senior leaders have subsequently resigned.

On March 7, 2021, Dr. Dunn and I met with Dr. Fiscus and another departmental physician to mediate complaints against Dr. Fiscus of disrespectful treatment and ineffective management. The meeting terminated with a refusal of both parties to communicate constructively, and with a refusal by the other physician to work further on the VPDIP team. Dr. Fiscus was coached on professionalism and teamwork.

Dating back to December 2020, the vaccine planning team required intervention by CEDEP leadership to address inefficient use of team resources, including poor inter-program communication regarding vaccine distribution. Repeated failures by Dr. Fiscus to appropriately delegate to others resulted in repetitive, long, and inefficient meetings. These meetings took already busy colleagues away from other tasks.

Over the past three months Dr. Fiscus requested to give a new non-profit organization TDH funding to support VPDIP activities. This organization was founded and led by Dr. Fiscus, had no Executive Director or other employees, and had no other substantive source of funding. Providing funds to such an entity would be poor judgement and a substantial conflict of interest.

In June, 2021, Dr. Fiscus communicated directly with a state university regarding the department producing COVID-vaccine reports for the institution. She did not notify or consult with supervisors, and the situation only became evident when departmental legal counsel received formal documents directly from the university memorializing the arrangement. The requested reports were not produced by the department.

In May, 2021, Dr. Fiscus broadly shared a letter regarding her own interpretation of state and federal law with external partners with respect to vaccinations and other medical treatment of minors. The letter should have been reviewed by both leadership and departmental legal counsel. However, Dr. Fiscus did not share the letter nor otherwise include any of these parties in the drafting process prior to sending it out. This action resulted in confusion of both law and policy for private providers, parents, and legislators.

These examples clearly demonstrate that Dr. Fiscus’s performance in this role has led to strained relationships with internal and external stakeholders at multiple levels, and to an ineffective and non- cohesive workplace. Her leadership and management of her team does not foster the culture or environment expected at the Tennessee Department of Health.

91 Responses to Read the Health Department memo about why it fired Tennessee’s chief vaccination official

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    That litany of shortcomings should be well documented in her personnel file for a lengthy period and not just conjured up since her this teen vaccination policy recently grabbing headlines.

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    Tim Jones wrote this?!?! SHAME ON YOU TIM! You should have your medical license revoked.

    9 kids with the delta variant were put on life support in Mississippi hospitals yesterday.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Any idea if those kids or their parents were vaccinated? Freedom!!!! That’s all that matters. Inside Edition did a piece on a mother by her ventilator-dependent teen’s bedside saying that if she pulled through her covid + kidney failure she’d get her child vaccinated. FREEDOM !!!

    • Avatar
      Cannoneer2 says:

      Looking at Jones’ background, and looking at Piercey’s background, I think that Jones was told exactly what to do, every step of the way. That’s just my theory.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Jones isn’t her direct supervisor. She reported to Dunn who reports to Jones. Dunn probably refused to fire her. I’d like to see the leaked emails there.

        And it further proves my point that Jones is a piece of sh*t who will do anything, including jeopardizing his medical license, to defend our grossly incompetent governor.

        • Avatar
          Cannoneet2 says:

          I would like to see the emails as well. I worked for the Department of Health many years ago. One of the reasons I left was the total priority that politics often took. Your theory here is a good one too.

  • Avatar
    Dave West, Sr. says:

    Here’s hoping “the rest of the story” gets as much attention as Dr. Fiscus has gotten. (But I am not taking odds.)

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Oh, it is. Fiscus just released copies of all her past (stellar) performance reviews and emails proving Tim Jones is a liar. The General Counsel signed off on the memo and said “it has the blessing of the governor’s office”

      Here’s the conclusion of her 2020 performance review in which she received the highest rating of “outstanding” signed by Tim Jones and Commissioner Piercey:

      “Dr. Fiscus has been attentive to her team. She has exceeded expectations in managing all programmatic activities while being fully immersed in C19 response efforts. She has appropriately and effectively advocated for her team. Her program has had some key transitions during this evaluation period which have been managed well.”

      Try again, Tim Jones.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Swift says:

    He said, she said. I won’t be convinced until Tucker/S.I.A. weighs in.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Sometimes I wonder if all my time and effort that I spend in this forum is worth it because one never knows the effect one has on others especially when you don’t see their faces or hear them speak. Then, every once in a while, someone posts sentiments like yours Jonathan and I say to myself “Stuart Anderson, you’re doing great work here, bless you and do keep it up.”

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    I blame #LeeTheTyrant and the state legislators for not know all they Power they gave to the Executive branch.
    TN State Legislature should end all of this destructive behavior of the Governor and his wards.

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    Also, Tim Jones knows that the person who quit didn’t leave because of Fiscus.

    The governor’s office demanded a FASTER vaccination rate. This official responded with the math and said it’s impossible to meet their quota without additional staff. The governor said no, and she quit. The emails are there if anyone wants to FOIA them, Erik.

    It’s a good thing Tim Jones can prescribe himself sleeping pills because I don’t know how else he can sleep at night.

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    Tim Jones is a liar and a coward, but I’m sure his statement was a direct order in case any discrepancy arises (which they just did). He’ll be the next one thrown under the bus.

    No sympathy here, though. You know you’re wrong, and you threw away any respect you had all to defend Bill Lee 😂

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    You know, we (I) are not Anti-Vaxx, I do NOT think a new born or 3 month or 6 month old baby should be vaccinated with 5, 10, …20 different things at the same time. Spread them out.
    But for the Covid Vaxx, it is Experimental, and has not been tested for long term reaction.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    “The constitutional amendment making Tennessee the country’s 16th state gave a two-month head-start for its legislature to begin crafting its own set of laws.”
    Erik, which amendment was that?

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Marsha Blackburn is so funny, “The Senator and her colleagues introduced a resolution to condemn the use of Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools and teacher training programs.”
    Why don’t she introduce a bill to get the Federal Government out of the education business and defund the department of misinformation (Education)?
    She also says that she is pushing back on the Our Of Control Spending. But when the Republicans are in control, she votes for EVERY Big Spending (and Unconstitutional) Bill and Increase the Debt.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      So much of life is simply a matter of prioritization James. For example, instead of calling our attention to the fact that Marsha (Heritage-87%, CFG-89%), who isn’t up until 2024, isn’t consistently conservative how about joining me in the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project so in about one year from now we can replace the already retiring Republicans far more liberal than Marsha as follows:

      In Alabama Mo Brooks (Heritage-89%) replacing Richard Shelby (75%),
      In North Carolina Ted Budd (99%!) replacing Richard Burr (65%),

      In Ohio Josh Mandel replacing Rob Portman (60%), and
      In Missouri pray the Jason Smith (87%) runs so he can replace Roy Blunt (64%).

      A few bucks from a lot of conservatives strategically placed at just the right time and we might just be able to reverse this country’s downward trajectory yet.

      • Avatar
        James White says:

        I would Stuart, but the Heritage and the CFG do not use the Constitution as their only grading tool.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Whatever! The three Lamars are so damn awful that we must make certain that their replacements are not a sequel to what has gone before. My four suggestions will at the very least be certain to accomplish that, and it sure beats just sitting around through 2022 complaining about Marsha, Trump, etc. etc.

    • Avatar
      Eddie White says:

      Abolishing the DOE might be a worthy goal. However, shifting the goalposts so that it deminishes the resolution on CRT is not the right approach. CRT is a hot subject and I appreciate Sen Blackburn’s resolution in opposition. Are you a supporter of CRT? Were you happy that Blackburn and the Republicans proposed the resolution? Will the resolution pass? How many Republicans will support it and how many will Democrats oppose it? Are you more concerned with the Republican senators who will support this resolution than you are you are the Democrats who will oppose. With the leftward shift in this country led by the Democratic Party, you want to criticize the conservative Republicans for trying? This is what happens when you place yourself so far out of the mainstream that you become an ineffective agent of change. You choose to sit on the sideline and watch rather than participate in the battle that is being fought. Being a conservative or constitutionist is not enough if you have no means to impact change.

      • Avatar
        James White says:

        Eddie, I am most definitely Not a supporter of CRT.
        I can only vote for the person that will support the constitution.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Of course, Eddie you are so right. For Marsha to introduce legislation that hasn’t the slightest chance of being brought up for a vote like abolishing the DOE with the Democrats in control of Congress and significant Republican opposition from centrists/tepid conservatives is simply a waste of time whereas opposition to CRT can attract some Democratic votes and unanimous Republican support.

        Again, that’s the problem with perfectionists in this imperfect world in all things not just politics. To sit and complain in and of itself is not anywhere near as effective as complaining AND doing something effective about what you are complaining about. In democratic politics you need your views translated into political action through a political party. In a country with a first-past-the-post electoral system that means you need one of the two major parties to reflect your views. For conservatives in the U.S. that’s the Republican Party so our efforts and contributions must be directed at candidates in Republican primaries. Everything else is small ball.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Why don’t you tell me the 3 most objectionable things being taught in CRT. To be against something it will help to know (factually) what is actually being taught. So what are the top 3 things being taught that YOU (not Stuart) object to.

        • Avatar
          James White says:

          It promotes racist culture-shaming
          Required “anti-racism” training programs force teachers to openly promote in their classrooms Black Lives Matter propaganda and the 1619 Project
          The purging in English classrooms of the classic books of Western Culture and replacing them with “young adult literature,” books laden with extremely graphic sex scenes, violence, and even incest.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Since my comment was beneath Eddie’s the question was for him.

            Who told you it involves race shaming? Or here’s another question: should German’s be ashamed of the holocaust? Is it wrong to teach German children that it was Germans who killed 1 M Jews? And should they be proud of that or ashamed of that or just have no feeling one way or another? And when the Jews were exterminated did that create more opportunity (remember Jews controlled the financial institutions in Germany prior to the war) for Germans once the Jews were killed or run off?

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            1. CRT may have a number of iterations but the ones I am familiar with seeks to attach to heterosexual, Caucasian males the role of oppressors just by the fact that they possess those immutable characteristics while attaching the role of oppressed to Negroes, females, sexual eccentrics the role of oppressed.

            2. No one today should be ashamed of anything for which they bore no blame. Parents may be rationally blamed for the sins of their children, and even that is questionable. Rational people should not blame children for the sins of their parents – that’s absurd.

            3. “Germans” were not guilty of killing 6 million Jews. The killing of the Jews was an imperfectly kept secret from the German people during the war and wasn’t part of the National Socialist Party platform before taking power. Those individuals responsible for the concentration camps were responsible for killing the Jews i.e. a small fraction of the German people. The same is true of Caucasian Americans today regarding slavery that was abolished 1865.

            4. It is not wrong to teach Germans about the history of the two World Wars that their country encouraged/started anymore than it is wrong to teach Americans about slavery and racial discrimination. In the case of slavery and discrimination it is wrong over-emphasizing the role those things played in our history to the exclusion or de-emphasis of the great contributions America and Americans made to western civilization.

            5. All kinds of collective guilt is wrong. It has been the basis of all kinds of injustice all through history (e.g. the Jews didn’t kill Christ any more than the Turks killed the Armenians any more than the Germans killed the Jews). Individuals killed the Jews and when they were caught and their role was material enough for killing the Jews, planning WW II etc. they were hung. END OF STORY.

            6. Certain Germans were enriched by the confiscation of Jewish property. After the war those who possessed the confiscated property had to disgorge and return it to the proper owners. German industrialists had to pay fines and were put in jail for using slave Jewish labor. Considering the decimation of the Jewish population of Europe and the ruination of Germany because of its refusal to surrender until it was physically eliminated it was determined that the only way to compensate the Jews for their lost property was for Germany to pay indemnity to Israel of a certain amount as soon as Germany was economically able as well as paying individual slave laborers who survived for their labors. As I recall this was begun and ended in the 1950’s immediately after the war and eventual was ended then as well. This was not something that was to continue in perpetuity for generation after generation of Germans paying and generation after generation of Jews receiving.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Germany (those living TODAY) just finally paid off the debt to Israel in 2010. So the people who were born and Worked and Paid taxes for all those years since the early 1930’s have been paying regardless of “the sins” they personally committed.

            If we feel Pride in the work of our Founding Fathers to this very day why should we be exempt for feelings that stem from their negative actions? If we feel pride in the WW1 and WW2 heroes who came back to elect politicians who instituted Jim Crowe laws why are we exempt from feeling negative about that? And the WHOLE POINT of the Bible is about Children (all of humanity) suffering for the sins of Adam and Eve. You don’t believe in the Christian Bible , Stuart??????

            Your other examples are too wrong in points of fact for me to go through them one on one. But where is your parrot to whom the question was posed.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Obviously the debt that Germany owed from its enslaving and killing the Jews as well as starting and being solely responsible for WW II was so great that we didn’t want to cripple the Germans with debt payments after that war as we did after WWI so we strung the payments out far longer than I thought. A strong quickly rebuilt West Germany was a high priority for the U.S. and its allies so burdening the Germans who had nothing to do with the war for the sins of their fathers was a necessary downside of that policy. The only alternative was strapping Germany with burdensome debt as we did after WWI and apparently no one wanted to go through that again especially in the face of the threat of Soviet aggression.

            Blaming children for the sins of their father is wrong and unjust whether sanctioned in the bible or not. It’s fine and important to learn about various facts in our history in order to have a better understanding of the present and feel one way or another according to our own personal temperament. What isn’t fine is to over-emphasize the negative parts in order to make the point that is so important to Cultural Marxists that western civilization in general and the U.S. in particular is irredeemably bad and needs to be “fundamentally changed.” Our founding father’s belief in liberty and limited government and their risking all to found such a government is what is important and should be emphasized for example. The fact that some owned slaves which was quite common in the late 18th and early 19th centuries throughout the world is much less important. Any curriculum that gives those things equal importance or makes the slave owning more important than the founding is more leftist politics rather than history and should not be taught in government schools.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Re: German payment MADE BY those who did nothing wrong. I thought YOU said (re-read what you wrote, and wrote, and wrote) those who did nothing wrong shouldn’t pay.

            The American government is the entity that forced Germans who had nothing to do with the atrocities to PAY. AND the reason Everyman is condemned to physical death is a result of being punished for the sins of Adam and Eve. Every Christian beliefs in visiting the sins of the father on the children as a concept. Whether its Germans or modern day American taxpayers grossing up Blacks for the sins of the past we’ve been creating set asides and give aways for long long time through Republican administrations.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            It is not often that I articulate this truth for it is not often that I get to do so but because something is traditional or a belief rooted in biblical interpretation and the fact that “we’ve always done it this way” does not make it right. Visiting the sins of the father on the sons is indeed a tradition like, uhhh, slavery used to be (in this hemisphere at least), but we shouldn’t do it. IT’S OUTRAGEOUSLY UNJUST. (I’ve explained why we accepted the downside of innocent Germans paying for the acts of their fathers. Under the circumstances and given the choices I believe the Germans agreed given the prosperity that resulted from our aid and their strung out reparations payments.)

            I’m a libertarian who believes in individual liberty and responsibilities. I therefore don’t believe in collective guilt, responsibility, victimhood etc. etc.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          It also is a Cultural Marxist device intended to cause Americans to lose national and civilizational pride and self-confidence by over emphasizing the effect of the mistreatment of minorities in this country while de-emphasizing the miraculous foundations of this country based on liberty of the individual and limitations on government. Miraculous because while these thoughts were bandied about in France and England by philosophers before the American revolution it was in the United States that these thoughts were first put into practice by a significantly large country. And of course, CRT becomes moronic when it seeks to blame and denigrate Caucasians today for the bad in American history while giving Caucasians no credit for what is good. In short a poisonous, irrational dogma that should be purged from government K-12 education and the subject of critical examination at the university level.

          BTW, I believe we are having school board elections this fall throughout Tennessee. I know that the Williamson County School Board is woefully in need of members who will stand up to members of the grievance industry as well as see to it that CRT is banished from the schools no matter under what deceptive name it rears its head. Stay tuned.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            Run Stuart Run!
            really

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            No actually (since I taught an AP course ititled Communism Fascism and Democracy) that Marxism didn’t take hold in the West. UNIONS forestalled the need for a revolutions since they moved Robber Barrons and others toward a greater share of wealth for workers. Collective bargaining whereby more sophisticated and educated and skillful negotiators would represent the largely uneducated in dealing with big business owners.

            But again I can’t take the time to refute each of your misunderstandings.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Your understanding of issues is largely a function of your selective sourcing and since your sourcing is largely driven by delivering choir-approved messages that get ratings you need to broaden you sources IF getting to truth is of any interest to you.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            We are talking identity politics and CRT and you go off on a riff about New Deal economic history and seem rather self-satisfied that you made a devastatingly good point. On the contrary, you made no relevant point at all or didn’t explain whatever point you were trying to make well. Why don’t you have another go.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            The reason that we didn’t have the revolution that Marx predicted was the gains made by workers organizing and gaining concessions and that went on long before the FDR.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Perhaps a little, but it was obvious after WW I which went EXACTLY as Marx predicted but was followed by only one successful Marxist revolution that the working class had not developed the revolutionary class consciousness that Marx predicted. Even worse, leading communist theoreticians led by Antonio Gramsci who went to the Soviet Union in the early 20’s came back and said that nothing like the Soviet nightmare would ever be accepted by the working class in the west. It was that realization that resulted in the creation of Cultural Marxism.

            Marxist theoreticians came to realize that western worker had allegiances to nation, religion, family, etc. that interfered with their class consciousness and hence their revolutionary zeal. It therefore became the function of leftist politics to dismantle those allegiances that we see today. The fact that the working class were not going to participate in a Marxist revolution was obvious in the early 1920’s. Franklin Roosevelt and his destructive New Deal did not save us from revolution but he did quite a bit to destroy the country that our founders intended us to be, so that’s something.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Marx called on everyone to Give “according to their means”…..by which he meant a 100% effort. Everyone was required to study and learn to their academic capabilities, to Work to their physical and mental capabilities AND THEN and ONLY THEN were they able to take “according to their need”.

            Hell we don’t even require any such thing in the USA and haven’t for decades. If everyone followed Marx prescriptives their could be no drug abuse, alcohol abuse, no crime and Very Little Taxation. The biggest practical problem with Marxian theory is that it ignores the reality of human nature: people are FLAWED AND LAZY.

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            I find it interesting that Stuart uses the words “Overemphasizing” in explaining almost all of his complaints of when written history goes wrong. The fact that Stuart is the only person that gets to define Overemphasizing to his liking so that all of his thinking fits so nicely into the “correct history” according to Stuart. Talking about slavery is “overemphasizing”, CRT is “overemphasizing.” It’s that “command and control” thinking once again on the conservative side. Talking about voter rights is “overemphasizing” but the conservatives believe: If you can’t beat em, Don’t let them Vote!!

        • Avatar
          Eddie White says:

          I don’t go down your rabbit holes

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Good for you Eddie! I’m a sucker for MARLE’S questions leading inevitably to an indictment but there’s no reason for anyone else to be. Next time you might request to have a lawyer present before you answer.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            You don’t have the brain power to go anywhere by yourself Eddie. Only after Stuart makes a failed stab at do you even squawk in. Not unexpected from a bird brain.

  • Avatar
    Eddie White says:

    James, every party and candidate will say they support the constitution. If you are a conservative, you have to support the candidate and party that reflects the more conservative application of the constitution. That is Marsha Blackburn and the Republican Party. Tennessee will not elect a senator more conservative than Blackburn. But they could elect a senator more liberal. Senator Sasser and Gore have been our senators in the past. It could happen again. The Republican Party, not a more pure Conservative party, is the only way that will not happen.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      One needn’t go to Sasser and Gore. Tennessee isn’t electing a Democrat, not now and not in the foreseeable future. WHAT ABOUT LAMAR (Heritage-50%)?!?!?!?!? Now something like that is possible as recent history has shown that’s why it breaks my heart to see the James of the world waste their time in the outer reaches of politics when their efforts are so needed elsewhere.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      Saying they support the Constitution and actually doing so are two different things. Marsha used to come to town a boast about how conservative she voted, but then you ask her about why she voted for something unconstitutional that you point out, then she stops coming around.
      Typical politician, talks Right votes Left.

      • Avatar
        Eddie White says:

        So your point is that because Sen Blackburn did not agree with everything you considered “constitutional “, she is not worthy of support? Not a winning strategy. How many candidates in a given election will meet your definition of “constitutional” on every issue? My long time friend Sen Mae Beavers was one of the most conservative senators to ever serve in the Tennessee senate. But I did not agree with her on every issue. That did not make her less conservative. It did not make her “unconstitutional “. She was a very effective conservative senator and a much better alternative than Bob Rochelle who preceded her. Ideological perfection can be a real albatross around a persons neck.

        • Avatar
          James White says:

          Yes, it is a lot like marriage, 89% faithful will not cut it.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            James, they (RINOs Marsha, Eddie and Stuart) need YOU more than you need THEM. Never forget that and never compromise your principles.

          • Avatar
            Eddie White says:

            No, the Republican Party does not need James to be successful. James needs the Republicans to stop the leftist Democrats.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            BINGO!!!!! That’s the point James! Politics IS NOT like a marriage. Politics when you are trying to wedge 330 million people into TWO parties isn’t a matter of being 100% faithful to any dogma or ideology. It’s a matter of moving things in your direction election after election after election. Three yards and a cloud of dust kind of thing. Throwing long bombs can’t possibly accomplish anything except wasting three downs then kicking the ball to the other side who pushes things even farther in the opposite direction.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            And Stuart knows a lot about successful marriages! How many did he have again? I would definitely take his advice, James.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            Eddie, who is going to stop the leftist Republicans.
            And Stuart is right about the TWO party system, that is why I am not of those parties.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Of course, James, we do that in the Republican primaries especially whenever an open seat comes up and it’s jump ball time. Hence the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project.

  • Avatar
    Eddie White says:

    James, the best example of what I am talking about would be Bernie Sanders. He is by his own standards considered a socialist. He could join the American socialist party. But he and AOC and others are choosing to operate in the Democratic Party. That is giving them influence on national policy. Sanders and AOC dislike some of the Democratic party platform and leadership, but they realize it is the only way to influence policy on a national scale. If they chose to participate only in the socialist party, they would be nothing.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Well done Eddie. Perfect!

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Bernie Sanders is an elected independent. So your example really strengthens James’ point. Ideologues can be elected outside the major parties.

      Your example also demonstrates the fundamental difference between the parties today. No matter how much Trump, Fox, Tucker, etc. want to spin it as the party of AOC, Democrats keep nominating center-left candidates in all but the craziest districts (e.g. Brooklyn).

      Bernie Sanders ran for president twice and Democrats voted to block him from the nomination twice. AOC has taken on many establishment, pro-police Democrats. NYC Democrats said no and nominated Eric Adams.

      Republicans are elevating anti-vaxx crazies at an alarming rate, especially if they have reality TV experience. Why has Caitlyn Jenner been given three full hour interviews on Fox News prime time?

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        I want to know what bathroom Jenner used during the breaks. What you SAY on FOXX to drive ratings is one thing; what your organization DOES is another. What did they do??? Stuart wants this sexual eccentric to be use the men’s. Was she told to do so?

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Now there is a question worth pondering by the committee of theoreticians of StuartAndersonism. After you have engaged in a sufficient amount of chemical interventions and self-orchestrated mutilation do you ever reach a point where you can use the private facilities devoted to the use by members of the sex other than the one of your birth? I would vote “no” because sex in immutable, but it’s an interesting question nevertheless.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          If R Jenner is elected Governor there will be many many many many functions that the sexual eccentric will be required to attend or maybe even preside over.

          What will all the sexual eccentric bashers such as yourself do to square this circle IF the Republicans don’t provide special arrangements OR require Jenner to use the Men’s room?

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            If Jenner is elected, Ronna ROMNEY McDaniel will have to cross Nashville off the 2024 RNC shortlist.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          I promise, cross-my-heart, to go down that particular rabbit hole with you when a Republican sexual eccentric is elected governor of California. Of course, it is California, so being a sexual eccentric does improve his chances somewhat I guess.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            His chances? Why do Tucker, Hannity, Trump, and the Fox News newsroom use Jenner’s preferred pronouns (she/her)?

            GQP Civil War

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Every question or ideological box you paint yourself into is a Rabbit Hole. Every criticism of a man who spent 4 years governing on whimsy and lies is TDS. Every comment not in praise of politicians who’ll do anything in order to secure re-election is being “madame no”.

            Lot’s of labels in service of nothing substantive but easier for you pet Parrot to comprehend. Moving him beyond “polly want a cracker?” is challenging, I’m sure. And you love to lavish praise on him. Something you may note I don’t do to enjoin folks on here (Gwendolyn….I wish I had a daughter blah blah blah….but she didn’t bite did she?)

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Well, no. A “rabbit hole” is a place to which someone wants to take the discussion that is far off the topic which is the article that Erik posted. Now there are interesting intellectually challenging rabbit holes and there are pointless, abstract rabbit holes that no one other than the lead rabbit wants to go. All very subjective of course. For example, a detailed discussion of CRT in the Responses/Replies to an article about some fired bureaucrat in Tenn. state government – good rabbit hole; a discussion of bathroom facilities to be used by a REPUBLICAN sexual eccentric after being elected GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA bad rabbit hole IMHO.

            TDS is maddening continuing criticism of Donald Trump, rather than simple criticism of Donald Trump. I would say the frequency of my references to the 3 1/2 Lamars Project is pretty much the outer limits of reasonable frequency one should mention something. Seems to me that your negative cracks about Trump far exceed mine about the Project though I may be rapidly catching up to you. Again, all very subjective I know but the Project is so darn interesting and important while Trump’s shortcomings are what they are and SO WHAT?

            I have now lived long enough for someone to criticize me for too easily lavishing praise. Goes to show if you live long enough. . . in short, not something that I’m known for. I praise Eddie or James when they make a particularly good point as I do when someone pokes fun at me in a particularly witty way. It’s how I was brought up I guess. How you remember my off-hand comment about “Gwendolyn” – interesting. I still think its a beautiful name and it wasn’t intended to go anywhere and there was nothing to bite at. Sometimes I think you may over analyze things but that gets us into “micro-analysis” which I best leave for another post.

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            Cryan says:

            MARLE, at the end of the day the only thing Eddie and Stuart want is to be fellated by Marsha Blackburn, Sarah Palin, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. They are the boomer version of simps and incels.

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            MARLE says:

            And we don’t have to wait for Jenner to be elected. She is invited to party-sponsored events as we speak. Are R’s asking her to use the men’s room???? You remember, in just recent times, the bathroom headline was a big deal in TN, in NC and across Trump country. Surely they haven’t capitulated to cancel culture already, have they?????

            What’s the answer Stuart?

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            Cryan says:

            Caitlyn Jenner is a leader in the Trump-led Republican party. She will be whether she’s elected governor or not. She is a FIXTURE on Fox News. Republicans love Reality TV shows, and as long as they control the party, Trump and Caitlyn Jenner are the party bosses.

            Marsha better get in line, Stu, or Kid Rock will primary her and WIN.

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            MARLE says:

            Anyone who shows up with a hint of your notion of what a conservative is gets praised in what looks like an effort to recruit additional birds for the menagerie. I don’t have to do that but sadly it looks like you do….but it’s not working.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Since you insist. I don’t have the slightest idea of where the Republicans are asking Jenner to go to the bathroom and I don’t care! Give him his own “Sexual Eccentric Restroom” that’s how I would handle it but they haven’t consulted with me and if Jenner is such a loyal down-for-the-struggle Republican he would use that restroom and not make a big deal out it either.

            REPUBLICANS CAPITULATING?!?!?!?!? BEARS DOING IT IN THE WOODS?!?!?!? Come on MARLE stop kidding around. Did I ever tell you about the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project?

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            Cryan says:

            Oh, that’s the thing you say when you’re trying to divert Republican money out of state away from Bill Lee’s opponents.

            RINO Yankee Transplant

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          Taxpayer #314 says:

          StuartAndersonism sounds just like the HeritageScoreHistorys and none of it is worth even five minutes of your time.

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    MARLE says:

    You and your band of merry men brought up CRT. What has that got to do with Erik’s blog on the firing of due to a released health memo.

    YOU and your band of merry men start discussions all the time off topic. But it’s a rabbit hole when someone asks the question : What are the 3 top teachings of CRT that bother you?”

    That led to topics you don’t want to discuss thus they get the label rabbit holes. Mirror mirror. Look in the mirror.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Has nothing to do with Erik’s article so it was a “rabbit hole” but a good rabbit hole as I said and I gladly followed you and my merry man in and enjoyed the discussion. It’s an odd numbered year and nothing much is going to happen in Tenn. in 2022. Poor Erik has a political journal/blog to put out and these are dog days to be sure. Rabbit holes are therefore welcome at times like these. Some are interesting, some are not, that’s all. Each of us gets to decide and reply or fail to reply accordingly.

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    Cryan says:

    James, what’s more important, Stuart’s Alaskan Senate race or defeating Bill Lee? Which will have more of an impact on you and your family’s lives?

    Stuart doesn’t even care about his Alaskan Adventure. He (and his parrot) are just trying to divert money out of state and to demoralize us to the point of just handing a second term to the weakest governor facing reelection in state history.

    The only enjoyment we’ll get from Stuart’s quest is the day we can say Ohio nominated JD Vance, Alabama nominated Jessica Taylor, and Missouri nominated Mark McCloskey – and all of his RINOs lose. Don’t forget Mo Brooks’ lawyers filed a motion to dismiss that placed all blame on Trump for inviting him on Jan. 6. Let’s see how long that endorsement lasts.

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