Sunday, February 26, 2017

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to run for governor of Tennessee

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to run for governor of Tennessee

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9 Metro Council members ask Judge Moreland to step down


Embattled Judge Casey Moreland who has been accused of impropriety, including having sexual relations with women who appeared in his court has been asked to resign in a letter signed by nine council members.  Those members of the Council signing the letter are  Dave Rosenberg, Sheri Weiner, Sharon Hurt, Robert Swope, Mike Freeman, Burkley Allen, Mina Johnson, Davette Blalock and Jacobia Dowell. For The Tennessean article on this, follow this link. To read the council members’ letter to Moreland follow this link..

WSMV Channel 4

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Protect private businesses from having Nashville meddle in their personnel and employee benefit policies.

Reposted from The Family Action Council Newsletter - Please CALL these senators and urge them to vote YES next week on Senate Bill 127 that would protect private businesses from having cities and liberal elected officials meddle in their personnel and employee benefit policies. 
 
The state should not allow liberal elected officials or liberal cities to discriminate against a business owner because he or she does not provide abortion coverage to employees or provide special legal rights based on sexual orientation/gender identity! 

  • Chairman Ken Yager - (615) 741-1449
  • Senator Richard Briggs - (615) 741-1766
  • Senator Ed Jackson – (615) 741-1810
  • Senator Paul Bailey – (615) 741-3978
  • Senator Todd Gardenhire – (615) 741-6682
  • Senator Jack Johnson – (615) 741-2495
  • Senator Bill Ketron – (615) 741-6853
  • Senator Mark Norris – (615) 741-1967
Senate Bill 127 would prohibit a state or local government official or a city from discriminating against conservative business owners because they don't like their personnel and employee benefit policies (which still must comply with state and federal law). For example, there is nothing to prevent a liberal city council or even a rogue state official from discounting a business' bid on state or local jobs (like paving roads, A/C service, etc.) because the business doesn't cover abortifacients in their group health insurance policy.    

Things like this are already happening in Louisiana and Virginia, and Nashville is already trying to circumvent other state laws. We need to be proactive in stopping this kind of discrimination against conservative business owners before it happens in Tennessee.

Furthermore, allowing cities to essentially require more than what state law requires exposes businesses to potentially inconsistent requirements on personnel and benefits matters. If a business' personnel and employee benefits policies comply with state and federal law, then it doesn't need cities finding "creative ways" to put additional mandates on it.


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Randy Boyd says he is 'heavily leaning' toward bid for governor

Joel Ebert , USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee , WBIR - Former Tennessee Economic

Randy Boyd
Development Commissioner Randy Boyd says he's "heavily leaning" toward announcing his plans to run for governor in 2018 as he believes that no other candidate will top his campaign war chest.

In a telephone interview Friday, the wealthy Knoxville native said since exiting his job as commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development last month he's traveled to slightly more than a dozen counties, including Hamilton, Sullivan, Shelby and Davidson. (link)


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Welfare-Dependent Immigrants Are a Myth

I am in favor of the United States getting control of our borders and fixing our broken immigration system, but there is a demonization of immigrants that is occurring that is simply not supported by the facts. One, is that immigrants are a horde of criminals.  Another myth is that immigrants are all on welfare. This piece published in Foundation for Education debunks that myth.

Welfare-Dependent Immigrants Are a Myth

The notion that immigrants come to the United States to access public programs has become something of a popular myth.

Low-income immigrants are less likely to access public benefits than their native-born counterparts.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), better known as welfare reform, introduced a five-year ban on lawful immigrants using public benefits with very few exceptions, like refugees and asylees. This helps ensure new immigrants are net fiscal contributors to the US Treasury — a fact which empirical studies consistently confirm. Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for public benefits.

Yet some myths are harder to correct than others. Indeed, members of the current White House appear to hold the same misconceptions, as revealed most recently in a draft executive order from January 2017 which claims “households headed by aliens are much more likely than those headed by citizens to use Federal means-tested public benefits.” No citation is provided.

In a new report, my colleague Robert Orr and I demonstrate that low-income immigrants are less likely to access public benefits than their native-born counterparts. This is even true when they are otherwise fully eligible. For example, under current rules for SNAP, noncitizens can bypass the five-year ban if they have children under the age of 18, are blind or disabled, have a military connection, or have worked for 40 qualifying quarters.

Nevertheless, only 35.1% of low-income noncitizen children are members of a low-income household receiving SNAP, compared to 46.8% for the native-born.

Citizen children of noncitizen parents also tend to participate in SNAP at a lower rate.

This report follows up on the report we released Friday on the redefinition of “public charge,” which can be found here.
Reprinted from Niskanen Center
Samuel Hammond is a poverty and welfare policy analyst at the Niskanen Center.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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Help end Forfeiture of Assets in Tennesee

Forfeiture of Assets in a policy that allows the police to seize assets upon a mere suspicion that one has assets that may be involved in criminal activity. One has to prove he is innocent of using the assets for criminal activity to get them returned. The idea behind this concept is that if one in found in procession of large sums of cash, one may be involved in drug dealing or other criminal activity. Sometimes if can take years to get one's confiscated assets returned. It should not be crime to carry cash. The following is  from The Tennessee Eagle Forum newsletter.

FORFEITURE OF ASSETS:
SB 0316 by *Gardenhire,(HB 0421) by *Daniel

Forfeiture of Assets - As introduced, establishes a new procedure for the seizure and forfeiture of assets as the result of criminal activity; requires conviction for the underlying criminal conviction before forfeiture can occur; requires clear and convincing evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture; and provides that all forfeited or abandoned money be deposited in state general fund and all property forfeitures be sold and the proceeds go into state general fund.
NOTE: This is a very important bill and we have seen serious situations here in Middle TN. This article from the Beacon Center explains the details:

Tennessee’s civil asset forfeiture system: Unfair and broken
STATUS: HB 421 will be in Civil Justice Subcommittee for March 1.
ACTION: You will want to encourage the members of this committee to vote for this proposal.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

State Senators hear testimony on the changing national landscape of healthcare

From Senator Jack Johnson - Senate Committees worked at “full steam” this week as state senators examined the budgets of 11 agencies and departments of state government and approved a number of important bills.  The budget hearings, which will continue through March 16, are part of the process of reviewing how taxpayer dollars are spent to examine whether taxpayer money is being used efficiently and effectively to meet the state’s goals.  They also provide lawmakers with an opportunity to talk with state officials about a wide variety of important state issues.

Among agencies appearing before Senate committees this week were the Tennessee Division of Health Care Finance and Administration, which administers the state’s TennCare program, and the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which regulates the state’s health insurance industry.  Both agencies talked about the changing national landscape as Congress and President Donald Trump consider measures to revise, repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is also known as Obamacare.

The federal government has steadily increased requirements on states in regard to populations and services that must be covered by TennCare, which serves the state’s Medicaid population.  These federal regulations block or severely limit a state’s ability to innovate and make changes designed to control costs or promote personal responsibility.

Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak told members of the Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee that Congress should return as much flexibility as possible to the states to address their respective marketplace needs as they consider revisions to the ACA.  In the meantime, she stressed the need to stabilize the state’s individual markets by focusing on key areas that can provide immediate assistance like rating factors, essential health benefits, special enrollment periods and grace periods.

As President-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, McPeak could weigh in on proposals pending in Congress as she recently testified before the U.S. Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions.

McPeak also stressed the need for Congress to remain transparent and to engage stakeholders to minimize surprises in the regulatory system.  She said markets need clarity so that carriers do not exit markets in mass because they do not have an idea of what to expect in terms of regulation over the next several years.

Tennessee has seen rates steadily increase since Obamacare was implemented.  Approved rate increases ranged from seven to 19 percent in 2015, up to 36 percent in 2016 and have increased substantially for 2017.  In addition, a Co-op that provided coverage from 2014 to 2015 had to be placed in receivership due to its instability to provide health coverage to enrollees.

Even with rate increases, Tennessee’s individual insurance market continues to struggle, McPeak said. Presently, the state has three insurance carriers, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Cigna, and Humana, offering policies on our Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).  However, the future of Humana is in question after the insurer announced last week that it plans to stop selling insurance on the FFM in 2018.  The move particularly impacts the greater Knoxville area where no other insurers are present on the exchange.  McPeak said she is continuing talks with Humana in an effort to get the company to continue coverage.

In 73 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, particularly the more rural areas of the State, Tennesseans only have one insurer option. This is down from 2016 when the state had two carriers offering policies in all Tennessee counties.  


The highlighting in the above is that of the editor. 

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There is massive opportunity for voter fraud to occur and go undetected.

Former Davidson County Administrator of Elections Albert Tieche says that while we do not have proof that massive voter fraud exist, there is massive opportunity for it to occur.  To read his insightful and well-documented essay on the topic follow this link.

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CAFFEINATED CONSERVATIONS - Sat., Feb. 25 noon to 2 Uncommon Grounds

CAFFEINATED CONSERVATIONS - Sat., Feb. 25 noon to 2 Uncommon Grounds

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Comptroller: Funds for hungry Tennessee kids spent on hotels, Xbox

by Anita Wadhwani , USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee - A report by the Tennessee Comptroller detailed hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable spending for food programs intended to feed low-income children under the oversight of the Department of Human Services. (Read more)

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What happened at the Feb 21st meeting? Protestors take over the meeting and call Councilman Hastings a "House Nigger." The city approves $13.7 benefit deal for Opryland Hotel.



The big news from this council meeting is that protestors disrupt the meeting protesting the police shooting of an armed convicted criminal almost two weeks ago.  The victim was Black and the Police Officer was White. The city has appropriately responded to the shooting and the Attorney General invited the FBI to conduct the  investigation into the shooting.

The Council disturbance starts at about timestamp 10:00 in the video. The camera stays focused on the front of the chamber and the sound is off so you really can't tell much about what transpired from the video. At timestamp 21:00 Vice Mayor Briley takes control and calls the meeting back to order and recognizes Councilman Karen Johnson who moves to allow a twenty minute comment period by the protestors at the conclusion of regular business.

The protestors who commandeered the meeting are given the podium at timestamp 1:28:35. The worst comment of the evening was when a speaker wearing a clerical collar called Councilman  Hastings a "house nigger" and an "uncle Tom." I am pleased to see Vice Mayor Briley come to the defense of Councilman Hastings and say that those comments were inappropriate.

The "Reverend" calls Councilman Hastings

a "House Nigger."

Some may have felt that Vice Mayor Briley should have taken a much stronger stand and had the protestors physically removed from the chamber. I do not join those in that criticism.  I think it was better to deescalate the tension and let the protestors have a forum rather than the alternative. I think this was handled in about the best way possible. There are legitimate questions as to what transpired and I tend to think it better to listen to people and let people vent rather than use force to restore order, within reason. Several of the speakers sound somewhat reasonable. Others however are very radical.

There is not a lot of legislation of interest or controversy on the agenda. This is a meeting where you don't really need an agenda or agenda analysis to watch the meeting but if you want to read the agenda and analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link. Appointees are confirmed unanimously as is the norm and all bills on First Reading are approved as is the norm. The only Resolution not on the Consent agenda is RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-566  by Scott Davis which expresses support for the Medical Cannabis Access Act currently pending before the Tennessee General Assembly. It is deferred one meeting. To see the sponsors comment on the resolutions see timestamp 30:53.

In what appears to be a subtle slam at President Trump for his temporary ban on immigrants from dysfunctional countries that produce lots of terrorist and for his resuming enforcement of our nations immigration laws, the Council passes  RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-568, recognizing February 19, 2017 as a Day of Remembrance, commemorating the historical significance of Executive Order 9066.  That was the Executive Order signed by Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt that imprisoned Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japaneses decent following the outbreak of World War II. I support the resolution condemning that shameful chapter in American history.  I fully expected this resolution to pass and I would have obviously voted for it, if I served in the Council. I expected it to pass on Consent without ceremony or grandstanding as do other resolutions on Consent, however. It's passage draws audience applause. To see the Council floor action on this resolution see timestamp 32:45-36:30. 
Ryman renderings of major water park at Opryland

Bills on Second Reading
BILL NO. BL2017-589  is the bill that would grant a $13.7 million incentive package for Opryland Hotel to build a water park. This water park would be for the use of hotel guest only and not the general public. The argument for this type of crony capitalism is that it has an economic impact, including increased sales tax revenue and employment. Councilmen John Cooper, Colby Sledge and Jim Shulman were the only votes in opposition. To see the discussion see timestamp 44:12-104:48.  To see The Tennessean coverage of this issue follow this link.


Bills on Third Reading
BLL NO. BL2016-492  clarifies and modifies Short-term rental (STRP) rules. This passes on a voice vote without discussion. For a lot of background and links to other stories on this topic follow this link.  This bill is really pretty simple and just tweaks what already exist. It does not include a moratorium or ban on Short Term Property Rentals.

Important announcement regarding short term rental. There are three new bills addressing Short Term Rental Property that have been filed scheduled for public hearing on March 7th. The three bills will be delayed for public hearing until April 4th. One of these bills would ban all new non-owner-occupied STRP, one would impose a 36-month moratorium on them and one would impose a 12-month moratorium. To hear the announcements see time stamp 1:25:33. Those who care about this issue may want to listen to the announcement. Be aware that between now and then their will be Planning Commission consideration of these bills also. If you care about this issue then you may want to get involved.

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Latinos for Tennessee Supports President Trump's Immigration Plan

Press release, Nashville, Tennessee - Latinos for Tennessee, a non-partisan organization committed to protecting and promoting faith, family, freedom and fiscal responsibility issued a statement in support of President Trump's latest immigration announcement that includes enforcing existing immigration laws while accommodating young adults that were brought to this country illegally, at no fault of their own, in a federal program commonly known as DACA.

"President Trump demonstrated good judgment and compassion in his most recent immigration order while also following through on his promise to enforce existing immigration laws. The reality is that if we are to remain free and prosperous, no one can be above the law. What's more, to rebuild trust with the American people to push for a permanent immigration solution, our government needs to immediately expel those that have come here to our country to commit crime and be a burden on society," said Lopez.

Lopez continued, "It is also important to note that President Trump is simply doing what prior administrations have previously done by enforcing existing immigration laws, including former President Barack Obama, who was described by National Council of La Raza's Executive Director, Janet MurguĂ­a, as the 'Deporter in Chief' after deporting millions during his administration."

The Executive Director of Latinos for Tennessee concluded: "Latinos for Tennessee has always been, and remains, supportive of immigrants, and of our immigrant community here in the great state of Tennessee and around our country. But to do this, we must discourage continued illegal immigration and work to improve the legal avenues for legal immigration. We are confident that President Trump understands this and we support him and his administration for doing what is necessary to ensure that we remain a country of laws, and also a country of immigrants."

Latinos for Tennessee has a presence in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga and is the only ideologically conservative Latino organization in the state of Tennessee.
For more information, visit http://latinosfortn.com.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Time to push back against the left and make our voices heard!

RAIN OR SHINE

Time to push back against the left and make our voices heard!

We strongly support President Trump in his effort to put America First and we are holding rallies to show support for President Trump’s policies

There was a spontaneous uprising of grassroots activists that voted for President Trump to find a way to let people know that we support his agenda. Unlike those protesting against President Trump’s vision, we are a diverse coalition that are the heart and soul of America that wants our nation to fulfill our potential, as the greatest nation on God’s green earth!

The rallies will be positive, patriotic, uplifting, and open to anyone that supports an America First agenda.

Bring your umbrella and chair if warranted!


Facebook link.

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Protestors disrupt Metro Council Meeting

A couple dozen protestors interrupted the Council meeting Tuesday night shortly after the meeting started. The were protesting the shooting of armed convicted criminal  Jocques Clemmons by police officer Joshua Lippert. After about a twenty-minute interruption the council agreed to give the protestors time at the end of the meeting to address the council and present their demands.  For more on this follow this link, this link, and this one.

As soon as the video of the meeting is available, I will post it. About the only item of any controversy or interest on the agenda was that the Council voted 33-3 on Second Reading to advance a $13.7 million incentive package for Opryland Hotel to build a water park (link.).

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