Thursday, August 28, 2014

The most 'American' U.S. city? Try Nashville

by Lance Williams, The Tennessean, Aug. 28, 2014 - Most of us would agree that Nashville is anything but an average city, but a new study shows that Nashville is the most "American" of U.S. metro areas.

By using that description, the study from WalletHub says that Nashville's demographics most closely mirror the U.S. average as a whole.  (link)

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Who got which Committee assignments in the Metro Council.

Below is the Council committee assignments for the coming year. For what it is worth, I have highlighted those Council members whom I think of as the "good" councilmen.  My list of  "good" councilmen are council members who are socially or fiscally conservative.  There are other council members who may be great at constituent service and who I personally like and who may be good council members if judged by different criteria. I mean, I like Karen Johnson, and Walter Hunt and Fabian Bedne and a lot of the others but they would not claim to be conservatives. Some I have listed, I am just assuming are more conservative than most of their colleagues simply because they are identified as Republican; they may not be.  I think there is only one Councilman who has never disappointing me by the way he has voted, so by me listing a councilman as one of the "good" councilmen does not mean I always agree with that person. Also, it is worth noting that there are only a handful of issues where political ideology matters. Anyway, my listing as "good" is more of an impression than a data-based assessment, so take it with a grain of salt.  If I missed someone or you disagree with some of my evaluation, feel free to voice your opinion. Rod

Budget And Finance (13)

  • Pridemore, Bill, Chair
  • Baker, Buddy
  • Bennett, Karen
  • Davis, Anthony
  • Dowell, Jacobia
  • Garrett, Tim
  • Glover, Steve
  • Langster, Edith Taylor
  • Maynard, Jerry
  • Moore, Sandra
  • Pardue, Doug
  • Steine, Ronnie
  • Weiner, Sheri  
Tim Garrett will be the voice of experience and reason on this committee. B&F is the most important committee of the Council.

Charter Revision (8): Johnson, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Banks, Brady; Blalock, Davette; Dowell, Jacobia; Garrett, Tim; Holleman, Jason; Steine, Ronnie


Codes, Fair And Farmer's Market (9): Dowell, Jacobia, Chair; Barry, Megan; Bedne, Fabian Evans, Emily; Holleman, Jason; Moore, Sandra.

There are a lot of problems with Farmers Market. It still can not break even and must be subsidized. There are still those who want to do away with the Farigrounds and sell the property to developers. This could be an important committee.

Convention, Tourism And Public Entertainment Facilities (9): Banks, Brady, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Garrett, Tim; Glover, Steve; Harmon, Chris; Hunt, Walter; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason Westerholm, Peter.
This is an important committee. Again I am glad to see Tim Garrett on this committee.
 
Education (10): Moore, Sandra, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Claiborne, Phil; Glover, Steve; Matthews, Lonnell; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason; Stanley, Bruce; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter.

Federal Grants Review (7): Westerholm, Peter; Chair; Davis, Anthony; Davis, Scott; Gilmore, Erica; Harrison, Frank; Langster, Edith Taylor; Moore, Sandra.

Health, Hospitals And Social Services (10): Gilmore, Erica, Chair; Davis, Scott; Duvall, Robert; Harmon, Chris; Harrison, Frank; Holleman, Jason; Hunt, Walter; Langster, Edith Taylor; Maynard, Jerry; Tygard, Charlie.

Parks, Library And Recreation (10): Bennett, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Claiborne, Phil; Duvall, Robert; Hagar, Larry; Holleman, Jason; Stites, Josh; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter; Tygard, Charlie. 

Personnel - Public Information - Human Relations - Housing (10): Weiner, Sheri, Chair; Banks, Brady; Davis, Scott; Evans, Emily; Johnson, Karen; Matthews, Lonnell; Maynard, Jerry; Potts, Jason; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

Human Relations is the agency responsible for promoting political correctness and sponsors the Youth Pavilion at the annual Nashville gay pride festival. Maybe Josh Stites, one of my favorite councilmen, can can exert some influence to end that practice and maybe work to abolish the agency.


Planning, Zoning And Historical (13)
  • Hunt, Walter, Chair
  • Bedne, Fabian
  • Blalock, Davette
  • Claiborne, Phil
  • Davis, Scott
  • Dominy, Duane
  • Gilmore, Erica
  • Hagar, Larry
  • Harrison, Frank
  • Johnson, Karen
  • McGuire, Sean
  • Tenpenny, Tony
  • Westerholm, Peter

This is one of the most time consuming committees of the council. Councilmen on this committee have to work real hard on what I usually find to be boring issues. Next to Budget and Finance however it is considered one of the most important committees.


Public Safety - Beer And Regulated Beverages (10): Baker, Buddy, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Evans, Emily; Gilmore, Erica; Johnson, Karen; Langster, Edith Taylor; Matthews, Lonnell; McGuire, Sean; Pardue, Doug; Stanley, Bruce.

Public Works (9) Davis, Anthony, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Barry, Megan; Bennett, Karen; Dominy, Duane; Dowell, Jacobia; McGuire, Sean; Stanley, Bruce; Westerholm, Pete.

Rules - Confirmations - Public Elections (9): Harmon, Chris, Chair; Baker,Buddy; Banks, Brady; Barry, Megan; Davis,Anthony; Mitchell, Bo; Pridemore, Bill; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

This could be an important committee. All appointees to boards and commissions must come before this committee for a recommendation on confirmation. A councilman could exert influence by questioning appointees about their position on policy.  As an example, if someone is being appointed to the Human Relations Committee, a member of this committee could question them and if they support the city hosting a youth pavilion at the annual gay pride festival, the councilman could vote against their confirmation. Or, if they are unaware or unconcerned about the corruption at NES, they may deserve a "no" vote.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the committee simply serves as a rubber stamp for the mayor and does not exert the influence it could have.

Traffic, Parking And Transportation (8): Harrison, Frank, Chair; Bedne, Fabian; Dominy, Duane; Duvall, Robert; Garrett, Tim; Hagar, Larry; Pardue, Doug; Todd, Carter.

With the unsettled AMP issue, this committee could be influential. Several of the members of this committee are critical of AMP.

None of the more outspoken conservatives on the Council, such as Robert Duvall, Duane Dominy, or Josh Stites got a chairmanship.  On the other hand, liberal Council member Megan Barry who is running for Mayor and could benefit from some TV face time did not get a chairmanship.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Charlie Tygard not reassigned to Budget and Finance. Pledges to ask the tough questions from the Council Floor.

Charlie Tygard
Charlie Tygard, in my view, is one of the best  members of the Metro Council.  When it comes to fiscal matters he ask the insightful, probing questions that I want someone to ask.  He is often the lone voice raising concern about Metro's pension liability or debt capacity or getting the details about financial deals.  Knowing Charlie Tygard is on the Budget and Finance Committee, I feel that decisions made by the Council are probably usually fiscally sound or at least more sound than they would otherwise be.

When committee assignments were made this week for the coming year, Charlie Tygard was not reassigned to the Budget and Finance Committee. I guess Charlie Tygard has asked too many hard questions and someone does not want him on that committee. Knowing this was going to happen, he had let it be known that if he did not get the assignment, he would ask his questions from the  council floor. Vice Mayor Neighbors has tried to keep council meetings moving at a fast clip and have all real discussion take place in committee meetings. That is one reason Council meetings are so boring. The vice mayor is not pleased by Charlie's intention to ask questions from the floor.

I have written Charlie a word of encouragement  urging him to stick to his guns and ask the hard questions that should be asked whether he is on the B&F committee or not.  Charlie is term limited and I think he would make a great Mayor and I wish he would run for that office.  If he is not ready to run for Mayor, I would love to see him run for the office of Vice Mayor. He has been elected county-wide as a councilman-at-large and I think he could run a strong race for vice mayor. As vice mayor he would be the one making the committee assignments and the voters of Davidson County could have his expertise for possibly eight more years. 

This story was reported in the Tennessean and you can read about it at this link: Vice mayor, councilman at odds over committee snub.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tennessee BAEO Congratulates STRIVE Collegiate Academy

BAEO

From Tennessee BAEO (Black Alliance for Educational Options):

Tennessee BAEO commends the Metro Nashville Public School Board on its vote of confidence in support of STRIVE Collegiate Academy. 
We are especially proud of Founder LaKendra Butler for working diligently to offer parents and students access to another high-quality charter option in Metro Nashville. STRIVE Collegiate Academy will open in the Fall of 2015, with a goal of enrolling 120 5th graders for the 2015 - 2016 school year. The school will add an additional grade each year through 8th grade. 
 For more information about STRIVE Collegiate Academy and the ruling that will allow it open, read the story on tennessean.com

 Best,
Jennifer Littlejohn 
State Director Tennessee BAEO

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Alexander Calls on Obama Administration to Release Obamacare Enrollment Data

Washington, D.C., Press Release, August 27– U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today joined with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)  to call on the Obama administration to release Obamacare enrollment data that it has withheld from the public since May.

“The last public update by CMS on enrollment numbers was on May 1, 2014,” the senators write in a letter to the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Marilyn Tavenner. “With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage. “

Alexander and Barrasso request a detailed breakdown of the age of the individuals who enrolled in the Obamacare exchange, what type of plans they enrolled in, who paid and did not pay their premiums, and which individuals have cancelled coverage.

Today’s letter continues Alexander’s efforts to make information about the Obamacare federal exchange public. The House of Representatives earlier this year passed legislation authored by Alexander to require the Obama administration to provide weekly reports to Congress, states, and the public about the federally run exchange in 36 states, including easily tracked data such as the number of individuals who have visited the site and the number who have successfully enrolled, their zip code, and the level of coverage they’ve obtained. The reports would also be required to contain information on the department’s efforts to resolve the site’s widespread technical problems.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not brought the legislation up for a vote in the Senate.

Today’s letter from Senators Alexander and Barrasso also highlights recent investigations that call into question the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration this past May.

“Since the last enrollment report issued by CMS, numerous investigations raise questions about the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration in May. For example, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General found that the marketplace could not resolve 2.6 million out of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the eligibility system created by your agency was not fully operational…With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage,” the senators wrote.  

Full text of the letter below:

August 27, 2014
The Honorable Marilyn Tavenner
Administrator
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244

Dear Administrator Tavenner,

We are writing to ask that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) update Congress and the public regarding enrollment in the health insurance exchanges. The last public update by CMS on enrollment numbers was on May 1, 2014.  Numerous Administration officials touted the enrollment totals reported by CMS.  Former Secretary Sebelius was quick to praise CMS’s report and stated that the exchange enrollment exceeded expectations.

Since the last enrollment report issued by CMS, numerous investigations raise questions about the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration in May.  For example, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General found that the marketplace could not resolve 2.6 million out of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the eligibility system created by your agency was not fully operational.

In addition, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report detailing the results of their “secret shopper” investigation which attempted to test Obamacare’s enrollment controls.  The results were frightening as eleven out of the twelve fake applications created by GAO were approved.
Finally, your own agency recently acknowledged that over 300,000 people have not responded to problems found with their immigration and citizenship status.  Despite repeated efforts to contact these individuals, they have not provided the documentation to prove that they can legally receive plans through the exchanges.  Unless these people can address this problem, their exchange coverage will terminate on September 30th.

With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage.  Therefore, we request you provide the following information.

1.      The number of individuals who selected an insurance plan through the health insurance exchanges from the beginning of the 2014 open enrollment period through August 15, 2014.
2.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan, but failed to pay their first month’s premium.
3.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan and paid their first month’s premium.
4.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan, paid their first month’s premium, but then failed to make subsequent payments and therefore are no longer enrolled in their exchange insurance plan.

To ensure this information provides the most complete picture of the number of individuals who are currently enrolled in exchange insurance policies, please provide a breakdown of these answers based on the state, medal level, and age of the enrollees.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this request.  We would appreciate a response by September 9, 2014.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Conservative Groups meeting Wednesday August 27th: Guest Speakers are Senator Mark Green and Sheriff Daron Hall

From Tony Roberts:

Our meeting for August will be held at the City Club downtown, 201 4th Ave. North Nashville, Tennessee, from 5:30-7:30, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. 

Our keynote speakers are State Senator, Dr. Mark Green and Davidson County Sheriff, Daron Hall. This meeting will focus on information from the state level to the safety issues of Davidson County and immigration reform.
Janice Johnson will speak on the constitution legalities of the selection of our judges in the county and what we must do to be complacent with the constitution.
Networking will start at 5:30 and the program starts at 6:00. Parking is free underneath the building and a special reduced menu is available.
We as a nation are facing the demise of our freedoms and we must stand firm to stop the eroding of our constitutional rights. Please RSVP.

Tony Roberts, Dan Davis, Juan Borges and all conservative groups.
My Comment: Senator Mark Green is a rising star in Tennessee politics. If you do not know Senator Mark Green, take advantage of this opportunity to meet him. Below is his bio:


86-Green-Mark-07-08-2010-200x300Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam

In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.


Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.

Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division. (read more)

Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf
Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf
Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Advanced Placement U. S. History reflects revisionist views of American history.

The following is reposted from the Tennessee Eagle Forum Newsletter. To read much more on the liberal basis in Advanced Placement United States History curriculum, follow this link. Important historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin are not taught yet Chief Little Turtle and the Black Panthers are. The Advanced Placement framework curriculum paints colonists as bigots and glosses over the Greatest Generation's fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed. 
 

Mike Bell
Dolores Gresham

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham and Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell ask Tennessee Board of Education to Review Effects of New Requirements for Advanced Placement History Exams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Darlene Schlicher
August 26, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  --  Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) have called on the Tennessee State Board of Education to conduct a review of the new framework and materials used in all Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses taught in Tennessee classrooms.  The request was made by the lawmakers in a letter to Board Chairman Fielding Rolston and comes after widespread criticism that the new College Board framework for APUSH reflects revisionist views of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of U.S. history, while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.

Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes that students can take while still in high school.  Most colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying scores.  The exams are produced by the College Board, a private company, which also is responsible for the SAT college admission test. 

"There are many concerns with the new APUSH framework, not the least of which is that it pushes a revisionist interpretation of historical facts," said Chairman Gresham.  "The items listed as required knowledge have some inclusions which are agenda-driven, while leaving out basic facts that are very important to our nation's history.  We need a full review of the framework by our Board as to its effects on Tennessee students and our state standards.  We have also asked the Board to provide a forum in which parents and other concerned citizens can let their voices be heard on the matter."

Tennessee law specifies students in the state must be taught foundational documents in U.S. and Tennessee history.  It also provides that instructional materials, specifically in U.S. History, comply with this state mandate. 

The APUSH framework includes little or no discussion of the founding fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and other critical topics which had previously been included in the course.  It presents a negative interpretation regarding the motivations and actions of 17th - 19th century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War.

In addition, the APUSH framework excludes discussion of the U.S. military, battles, commanders, and heroes, as well as mentioning many other individuals and events that shaped the nation's history like American icons Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, and Dr. Martin Luther King.  The requirements do not include the study of the Holocaust.

"The APUSH framework appears to differ greatly from Tennessee's U.S. History standards," added Chairman Bell.  "This interferes with our state law and standards for U.S. History if our teachers focus on preparing their pupils for the AP examination, which is a very important test for college-bound students.  We have worked very hard over the past several years to ensure that our students are learning history based on facts, rather than a politically-biased point of view."

Approximately 500,000 students across the nation take Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History each year.  Tennessee has worked diligently over the past several years to push students to take Advanced Placement exams as part of the effort to increase the number of citizens with post-secondary degrees. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nashville will have chance to vote on wine referendum

WSMV Nashville
The Davidson County Election Commission announced today that enough verified signatures had been submitted to add the Wine in Grocery Stores ...(link)

Comment: I'll drink to that.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, August 25, 2014

Alexander continues push a federal ban on airline passengers making cellphone calls.

Sen. Lamar Alexander is continuing to push a ban on airline passengers making cellphone calls during flights. Alexander joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in sponsoring a bill last year known as the  Commercial Flight Courtesy Act that would ban in-flight calls on commercial airlines. Today he called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose formal rules that would prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights, preserving the “last vestige of quiet in our busy skies.”

Cell phones on a plane: Do we need a federal law?


He doesn't have safety concerns but says cell phones would be annoying. At one time cell phone use in flight was banned because of fear they could interfere with airplane communications, but that has been determined to not be true.

Today, he said, “I’m glad the Department of Transportation is serious about putting the brakes on a bad idea before it takes flight.” Alexander said in a statement. "Banning in-flight cellphone conversations would bring us one step closer to avoiding something that the two million passengers flying each day do not want: to be trapped by a seat belt in 17-inch-wide seats thousands of feet above the ground, listening to the same thing we hear in airports — arguments with spouses, next week's schedule, or last night's love life," he said.

I agree that sitting next to someone on a flight yammering on, on their cell phone would be annoying but I think this is something the government should stay out of and let people and the market resolve this.  Few People use their cell phone in movie theaters but it is not because of a federal law.  We do not need to make a federal crime out of everything that might be annoying. I know some people have no manners at all and would talk non-stop but other may answer a call about a sick child or a change in the appointment time of the meeting they are in flight to attend. Some people would be totally inconsiderate but others would say, "I apologize but this is an important call," and they would keep it short.

If the majority of people found cell phone use annoying, the airlines would ban their use.  One does have a choice of airlines they fly; some airlines might allow cell phone use and other airlines might ban them.  If either avoiding cell phone users in flight or being able to use your cell phone in flight was important to you, you could let that be a factor in choosing your airline. Some airlines might have cell phone sections of the airline or come up with policies of no calls over three minutes duration.  The market and people could work this out without the heavy hand of government deciding it for us.



Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Lunch with Arthru Laffer, fund raiser for Senator Mark Green

Arthur Laffer
Luncheon with Dr. Arthur Laffer
Thursday, August 28th,
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Maggiano's, 3106 West End Avenue, Nashville.

Senator Mark Green would like to invite you Lunch and to meet one our our neighbors in Nashville, Dr. Arthur Laffer, a famous economist for President Ronald Reagan. You see him often on Fox and will be able to get to know him by asking him questions that will make you laugh. Dr. Laffer is very animated and entertaining. Please make reservations to: jeff@markgreenfortennessee.com.
$250/person, $500/Co-Host or $1000/Host

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Jim Tracy explains why he did not contest the primary election.

Dear Friends and Supporters,
I am announcing my decision about whether or not to file a contest of the August 7th Republican Primary for the Fourth Congressional District. When I started this campaign, my goal was to offer the citizens of the 4th District a choice in who to represent them in Congress. I presented my plan to offer conservative, effective leadership, and my opponents offered theirs. And after over 75,000 votes were cast in the Republican Primary, less than 40 votes separated the incumbent Congressman and me.
Our campaign staff and volunteers have been diligently gathering and analyzing information from all 16 counties in the District. Through the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as directly, we have communicated with the County Election Commissions.  Our staff has attended many of the meetings at which Election Commissions counted provisional ballots, as well the meetings at which the Election Commissions certified the votes in all of the August 7th elections. A great deal of information has come to me through formal and informal sources.
For example, there were votes by people who were not on the rolls and should have cast provisional ballots, but voted on machines so there was no way to determine whether those were legal votes.  There were voters who were not given ballots for the primary election, but only for the General Election. There are counties that are split between the Fourth District and a different district, either the Seventh or the Third, and we know of at least one voter who was given a ballot for the wrong Congressional District.  We know of a voter who was told that he had already voted, when he had not, which leads to the inference that other voters were told the same thing and did not take the time to assert their rights. 
We have consulted with knowledgeable people, and I have consulted with my family and, most importantly I have prayed for guidance.  In the end, the decision of whether or not to file a contest was mine and mine alone.
I have decided to refrain from contesting this election. I am not willing to put the State Republican Primary Board, the Secretary of State’s Office and Division of Elections, the County Election Commissions, the campaign staff, my volunteers, my family and the public through additional weeks of litigation, with uncertainty as to who the nominee will be.
State law provides that ballots must be ready to send out to military, overseas and other absentee voters 45 days before the November election, and I am not willing to put them in a difficult position. A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican Party and the conservative cause in Tennessee.  Contests of primary elections are extremely compressed.  The Fourth District is geographically widespread.  Under state law, if there is a recount, all votes in every county must be recounted, even in counties where we are confident that the counts were accurate.  A recount does not uncover votes that were illegal or that were illegally kept from being cast.  These factors weigh against a contest.
I assure the public that the Secretary of State’s office, and the Division of Elections in that office, have been responsive, fair and objective and have done their job in an exemplary way.  That office is in the best of hands.  Chairman Chris Devaney, the staff and the counsel for the Tennessee Republican Primary Board went into action immediately after Election Night to prepare for a contest, and I thank them.  I am forever grateful to my family, staff, volunteers, contributors, and the voters who placed their faith in me and have encouraged me throughout the campaign and in this decision-making period. I also want to comment that the press has reported fairly, neutrally and calmly, and I sincerely appreciate their demeanor. 
I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him. One reason why I am at peace about my decision is that I am devoted to my service as the Senator from the Fourteenth Senatorial District of Tennessee. Serving the people of the Fourteenth District and helping to make Tennessee a better place to live, work, do business and go to school is a high honor.  I will continue to serve in the Senate with dedication, energy and integrity. Much is at stake for our country and our state; I look forward to helping us meet the challenges ahead.

God bless and Thank you,
Jim Tracy

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alexander: People of faith should not have their government tell them how to practice their religion,

In June after the Supreme Court ruled that the owners of Hobby Lobby did not have to violate their conscience and provide certain birth control drugs for their employees, the Obama administration started looking for a work-around. Friday, the administration issued new rules that will still enable employees to get free contraception through their company-provided insurance plan but would have the funding for that part of the plan come from the insurance company.  This would apply to faith-based non-profits and some companies. The company or non-profit would have to apply for this accommodation.  This is smoke and mirrors to make it appear that the company is not providing it but still make it available through the employer's insurance plan.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “What these rules do is help ensure that women have access to contraceptive coverage while respecting religious beliefs."

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander on Friday, August 22 issued the made the following statement:

“People of faith should not have their government tell them how to practice their religion, and these proposals still infringe on the First Amendment’s protections. Instead of trying to find a different way to do the same thing, the Obama administration should admit that Obamacare was an historic mistake, and work with Republicans in Congress to start over to repair the damage it has done and prevent future damage with step-by-step reforms that reduce the cost of health insurance and expand freedom and choice.”

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories