Monday, October 15, 2018

The 23 worst school in Nashville. These are schools ranked among the bottom 5% of all state schools.

Last month the state of Tennessee issued their list of  "priority" schools. Priority schools are the lowest performing schools in the state. The  list represents the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state based on standardized test results or are high schools with a graduation rate of  less than 67 percent..

Of  the total of 81 schools on the list, 23 are Nashville schools. Nashville was the jurisdiction with the second highest number of schools on the list. Shelby County had 27 schools on the list. Knoxville had no schools on the list and Hamilton County had nine.

In 2015, the last time the list was compiled, Nashville hat only 15 schools on the list. Four school on the 2015 list are now off the list, but more have been added. In 2012, there were only six Nashville schools on the list. Can anyone see a trend here? Our schools are rapidly getting worst.

Two of the schools on the list, Brick Church and Neely's Bend are not overseen by the local school board but are charter schools overseen by the the state's Achievement School District.

Two high schools on the list, Maplewood and Whites Creek, are plagued by chronic absentee rates of 42 percent. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing more than 10 percent of the school days in a given year. 

When School Director Shawn Joseph was asked how many would still be on the list in three years, he said, "none."  My view is that we should not wait to see if he is correct but should replace Joseph now.

Here's the current 2017-2018 list of Nashville priority schools. 
  • Alex Green Elementary
  • Amqui Elementary
  • Antioch Middle
  • Bellshire Elementary
  • Caldwell Elementary
  • Cumberland Elementary
  • Gra-Mar Middle
  • Haynes Middle
  • Jere Baxter Middle
  • Joelton Middle
  • Madison Middle
  • Maplewood High
  • McMurray Middle
  • Moses McKissack Middle
  • Robert E. Lilliard Elementary
  • Rosebank Elementary
  • The Cohn Learning Center
  • Tom Joy Elementary
  • Warner Elementary
  • Whites Creek High
  • Wright Middle
  • Brick Church
  • Neely's Bend
If your student is assigned to one of these schools you do not have to simply accept the fact. Parents now have school choice and may enroll their child in other schools rather than the district school. There will be a  SCHOOL CHOICE FESTIVAL on Thursday, November 15, 2018,  5-7 p.m.at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Follow the above link for more information. .

For more on this story see these links: link, link, link, link.   

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"Moderate" Bredesen spent nearly half a million dollars trying to elect liberals to office

Phil Bredesen talks about how he will be a moderate voice for Tennessee, but history shows he’s spent a small fortune supporting left-wing Democrats.

Bredesen has spent nearly half a million dollars trying to elect liberals to office and backing their out-of-touch policies, and in 2016 Bredesen proudly backed Hillary Clinton for President.
In a state President Trump won by 26 points, voters aren’t going to forget Bredesen fought tooth and nail to support a candidate who called them “deplorables.”
BACKGROUND:
Phil Bredesen spent $460,691 bankrolling liberal Democratic candidates. (Philip Wegmann, “Phil Bredesen spent $460,691 bankrolling liberal Democratic candidates,” Washington Examiner, 6/6/18)
On August 27, 2016, Phil Bredesen Contributed $33,400 To The Hillary Victory Fund. (Hillary Victory Fund, October 15 Quarterly Report (Amended), Federal Election Commission, Filed 8/31/17, Pg. 7088)

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Phil Breden's shameful record on sexual harassment

If Phil Bredesen wants to claim he had a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to sexual harassment, how does he explain this?

Bice
Dan O'Donnell
WTMJ Jay Weber

Here’s a look at the detailed and extensive reporting that the Tennessean, the Associated Press and other outlets conducted.
  • As governor, Bredesen’s office shielded top aides from sexual harassment allegations. (Bonna de la Cruz, “Deputy Gov. Pulled Strings In Hushed-Up Harassment Case,” The Tennessean, 12/21/05)
  • Under Bredesen’s administration, sexual harassment problems skyrocketed. (Matt Gouras, “Sexual Harassment Reports Climb,” The Associated Press, 12/12/05)
  • Bredesen’s administration shredded evidence about sexual harassment allegations involving his political appointees. (Brad Schrade, “Investigator Shreds Notes In Bredesen Aide’s Demotion,” The Tennessean, 5/12/05)
  • “Records have shown that when Bredesen’s office becomes involved in a complaint, notes are shredded or not taken, or documents are not released.” (Editorial Board, “EDITORIAL: Bredesen Must Clean Up Conduct, Open Records,” The Tennessean, 7/15/05)
  • “The governor’s office has become involved in a select number of workplace harassment complaints against top state officials and has put them under a veil of secrecy that does not apply to ordinary state works, a Tennessean review of case files shows.” (Brad Schrade, “Bredesen Imposes Secrecy On Select Harassment Cases,” The Tennessean, 7/16/05)
  • The Tennessean reported that “when cases are routed through Gov. Phil Bredesen's office, the files are empty, are shredded or contain only one or two pages with almost no details about the accusations or how the investigations were handled.” (Brad Schrade, “Bredesen Imposes Secrecy On Select Harassment Cases,” The Tennessean, 7/16/05)
  • “Tennessee Harassment Investigations Found to be Incomplete, Inconsistent.” (Beth Rucker, “Tennessee Harassment Investigations Found To Be Incomplete, Inconsistent,” The Associated Press, 12/11/05)
  • Bredesen downplayed sexual harassment saying, “Anytime you mix men and women together in a work environment there's going to be issues.” (Brad Schrade, “Bredesen Imposes Secrecy On Select Harassment Cases,” The Tennessean, 7/16/05)
  • Bredesen called a small fine and minimal suspension “appropriate,” after the President of Middle Tennessee State University was accused of sexually harassing a female subordinate. (Duren Cheek, “MTSU Chief’s Penalty Fair, Too Soon To Tell For TSU Head, Governor Says,” The Tennessean, 12/9/03)
  • Bredesen hired two individuals who oversaw the mishandling of the sexual harassment allegations to run his campaign. (Brent Scher, “Bredesen Reassembles Team That Mishandled Sexual Harassment Claims,” The Washington Free Beacon, 2/6/18)
Michael McAdams
NRSC Regional Press Secretary

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

What's on the Council agenda for Oct. 16: Gentrifying Nashville, increasing the price of a soccer ticket.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, October 16th at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. Here is a link to the Council agenda and the staff analysis for those who want to watch the Council meeting and follow along. Below is a summary of the agenda highlighting what I deem to be the most important items.

There are a total of eleven position to be filled to various boards and omission.  One is the confirmation of Dave Goetz to the Blue Ribbon Commission on government efficiencies and cost savings. Goetz is the former Tennessee Finance and Administration Commissioner serving under Governor Phil Bredesen. One is the confirmation of the appointment of  Dr. Bonnie Slovis to the Hospital Authority. This board which oversees General Hospitals has had a troubled past with conflicts and controversy and resignations.

Four appointees to the Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee are up for confirmation. They are Mayor Briley’s nominees Mr. Brian Kelsey and Ms. Talia Lomax-O’dneal and MDHA’s nominees Mr. Charles Robert Bone and Mr. Bert Mathews.

The Council will elect three member to the Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee. Included among the nominees are Dr. Paulette Coleman, Councilman John Cooper, Mr. Eddie Gray, Mr. Jose Gonzalez, C.M. Jonathan Hall, Councilman Angie Henderson, Mr. Ben Henry Jordan, Mr. Dan Lane, Mr. Jerry Maynard, Councilman. Bob Mendes, Mr. Larry Papel, Dr. Megan Streams, and Mr. Richard F. Warren. I don't know much about most of these people other than the council members. I hope Councilman Cooper is elected to serve on this committee. I have been impressed by his service on the council.

Resolutions: There are 24 resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda.  A resolution is on the consent agenda if it passed unanimously the committees to which it was assigned. Since the committees have not met yet, some resolutions which are listed as on the consent agenda may not be on the consent agenda when the council meets. Resolutions on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. Resolutions on the consent agenda are lumped together passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. Any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda. Several of thee resolutions on this agenda authorize the issuance of General Obligation bonds. I would not expect these to be controversial. Usually by the time the resolution to issue the bonds reaches the council agenda the decision to fund the projects has been made by the administration and the council. Here is a resolution of interest:

Resolution RS2018-1455  approves the issuance of up to $25,000,000 in GSD general obligation bonds to provide funding for various projects, $15,000,000 of the bond proceeds would be used for projects exclusively in Council District 1. Some of these are for projects not listed in the Capital Improvements Budget. I would expect this to be deferred or amended or defeated. The Council cannot fund projects not in the Capital Improvements budget. This resolution is sponsored by newly elected Councilman Hall of District 1. Usually these type resolutions are sponsored by the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Bills on Second Reading: There are 16. These are the ones of interest.

Bill BL2018-1188  would establish a committee system to review high-value real property transactions by Metro Government. This looks like a good idea. However the staff analysis says it violates a charter provision so it will likely be deferred for more work.

Bill BL2018-1281 (as amended) would require all metro employees and contractors doing business with Metro with contracts of over $500,000, to take a sexual harassment training course under the Direction of Metro Department of Personnel. There are a couple problems with this. It may be contrary to a state law that prohibits cities from imposing additional requirements on state licensed firms, Human Resources cannot say how much it will cost, and the city does not have the resources at this time to track and assure compliance. This was on Second Reading last Council meeting and was deferred and likely will be deferred again.

Bill BL2018-1329 establishes some rules for the residential parking permit (RPP) program. Some residential areas near popular commercial area have had a problem with parking. Visitors to the nearby commercial establishments have been taking all of the parking on neighboring streets and residents who rely on on-street parking can not park on their own street. This permit system attempts to solve that by allowing only cars with permits to park on that street. If however you want to have guest for a baby shower or family dinner, it means they would be illegally parking on your street. Residents could purchase two guest permits good for a year. While this RPP system is new to Nashville it is common in lots of larger urban areas. No doubt this policy will be tweaked from time to time.  This was on Second Reading last meeting and was deferred. 

Bill BL2018-1334 tweaks the  ticket tax for the Major League Soccer Stadium. I don't expect this to generate controversy, but it might. This would raise the overall price of attending a game and may suppress attendance.
Bills on Third Reading: There are 16. These are the ones of interest.
Bill BL2018-1183  would establish a distance of a quarter of a mile between auto
repair businesses and used auto car lots and "auto services."  This seems like too much micromanagement to me. It also seems like an attack on poor people.  I know Nolensville Road is not very attractive and if you drive the road south of the fairground now, you will see used tire shops and used auto dealers and similar places clustered. A lot of these places are owned by immigrants. Those already operating would be grandfathered in, but if ownership changed the establishment could not continue. I assume that is the way that would work. That is the way it normally works with changes like this.  New used tire shops could not open unless they were 1/4 mile away from other such businesses.  I think we should let the market work this out. Poor people need jobs and places to shop too. Bills like this push out poor people and indirectly cause a loss of affordable housing.  To have affordable housing you need affordable communities. Affordable communities are going to have used tire shops and alternative financial institutions such as pay day lenders. You cannot gentrify all of Nashville and still have affordable housing. 

Bill BL2018-1314   establishes the Blue Ribbon Commission to look for government efficiencies and cost savings. The Commission would be 15-member. This lays out how they are appointed and their duties. I am pleased to see the council doing this. I hope some good comes from it. Despite Metro's rapid growth we have a financial crisis that is only getting worse. 

Bill BL2018-1316 would establish screening requirements and standards for waste
dumpsters. This is great for those of us who have to walk or drive by unsightly dumpsters but will add expense for the same people who might want to open a used tire shop on Nolensville Rd as described above. Well intention measures like this drive gentrification by making it difficult for poor neighborhoods to exist and if all parts of the town are aesthetically pleasing to middle class taste, you price poor people out of their neighborhoods and this leads to loss of affordable housing and makes it harder for struggling entrepreneurs to start new businesses. You cannot not have a lot of affordable housing without affordable neighborhoods and affordable neighborhoods may have unscreened dumpsters behind tire shops. You can't still have affordable neighborhoods and expect every neighborhood to look like Green Hills. 
To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the MetroYouTube channel.   If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video here the day after or the day after that and provide commentary.

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Music City Republican Women membership drive party

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MARSHA MONDAYS every Monday from 5 - 7pm at Party headquarters on Lafayette Street

From Davidson Country Republican Party:

The Davidson County Republican Party's Candidate Campaign Headquarters will be hosting MARSHA MONDAYS every Monday from 5 - 7pm.

Join us this coming Monday, October 15th to phone-bank for Marsha. Located at 520 Lafayette Street (between 5th and 6th Ave), we are in need of volunteers willing to help us elect our next Senator from Tennessee!

If you can join us, please bring your phone or laptop and email DavidsonCountyGOP@gmail.com.

And even if you can't donate your time, please come by our new space downtown (open Mon. - Sat., 10am - 6pm) to get a sign, become a member, volunteer for one of our candidates, or just talk to like minded conservatives.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Withdrawing from popular culture

Taylor Swift
by Rod Williams - I have finally, almost completely, withdrawn from popular culture.  Part of it may be a function of getting older. When I was younger, I realized that old people often were "out of touch."  They often did not know the name of popular music, or the latest popular sit-com, or the latest fad or the buzz about the most recent movie.  Now that I am older I may, to a certain extend, be following a long time trend in which older adults simply do not care that much about the latest thing as they did when they were younger.  I think looking back, you realize that a lot of things you tried to stay informed about were very transitory and simply lose their importance with time.  Also, when you are young, up until some point in adulthood, you don't want to be uninformed. Popular kids are well-informed about pop culture. Also, being informed about current popular culture simply gives you something to talk about with other people.

I was never one to follow the crowd however.  I always thought caring about which movie star was dating which movie star was shallow.  I was a fan and followed Country Music for many years and kept up with who had out new music and who was winning awards. I often knew who wrote a song as well as who performed it. I had a slight interest in news involving Country music artist but never cared enough to keep up with latest rumor or arrest or lawsuit.

Throughout adulthood, while I did not purposely seek out knowledge of popular culture I did not avoid it.  There was something unifying about sharing your reaction with co-workers and family about what happened on Johnny Carson the night before or recalling a funny skit on Saturday Night Live.   And, I thought some of the old SNL was really funny and clever.  I enjoyed it and enjoyed sharing the enjoyment with others. Still, there were limits to how much of my bandwidth I was going to let be dominated by popular culture.  I could not believe how many and how much people cared when the Beatles broke up. It was kind of a ho-hum event to me. I didn't cry the day John Lennon died.  I never understood the degree of interest in Princess Diana. I thought caring that much about English royalty was just silly. I could care less.

I guess I have always had a certain feeling that being absorbed by popular culture was some how shallow.  Maybe, I even felt a little superior to those who were absorbed by the Princess Diana story and Hollywood gossip. My recent losing of interest in popular culture is not simply a function of a greater degree of the way I have always felt or a function of getting older however.  Now, I am not simply less interested in popular culture, I am purposely rejecting and withdrawing from popular culture. It is not that it just doesn't interest me; I am rebelling against it.

In the past, popular culture served a function. It has always been awkward to talk about serious matters with people you don't know well.  Politics and religion are best avoided with casual acquaintances, but sports, weather and popular culture were fairly safe. There is little that is safe anymore.  You can talk sports if you can avoid the disrespect the flag movement. You can talk about the weather but someone may pipe up and blame the recent weather on global warming and then you get in uncomfortable territory.  Popular culture is absolutely no longer safe territory.

I think popular culture has always, since at least the sixties, had a leftward tilt. Certainly the world of rock music was part of the left-wing counter culture movement of the late sixties. Other parts of culture was touched less and as the sixties faded, musicians were either less political or kept their opinions more to themselves. While popular culture may have leaned left, there was a distinction between "counter culture" and popular culture. Now, the popular culture is the concluding victory of counter culture. There are politically correct ways to think that dominate the culture.  Acceptance of deviancy, unwed mothers, the "right to chose," diversity, and hating Trump are norms of popular culture. These norms are not opinions that one keeps to themselves. Those who do not share these norms are bullied into keeping quite and are marginalized.

In recent years, especially the last two years since Donald Trump has been in office, popular culture has become part of "the resistance." Popular culture is no longer a reflection of a system of shared values that avoids making others uncomfortable.  The NFL has endorsed the movement to disrespect the flag. The Vice President cannot go see a Broadway play without being called out for booing.  The awards shows of all types have become occasions for Trump-bashing speeches.

The worst offenders are the late night talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Colbert, and Jimmy Fallon. They are liberal through and through.  I have never watched any one of them for very long. I have never watched a complete show of any. I always change the channel in disgust soon after the monologue starts. I have not even sampled one in about the last year.  Jack Parr was before my time, but I watched Johnny Carson growing up until well into adulthood.  Johnny Carson was on TV from 1962 to 1992. That is thirty years and I never knew if he was a Republican or a Democrat.  Johnny Carson was someone that a politically mixed family could watch together without anyone feeling uncomfortable or getting mad.  He could bring people together rather than driving people apart.  Since Carson, David Letterman and Jay Leno were much the same.  They would do humor at the expense of the powerful but it was never vile and cruel and it was not designed to inflame political passion. Now late night TV is more like a political rally and only those left of center could find it funny.

Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards recently went political and took the opportunity to campaign for Democrats. She had previously been careful not to be drawn into stating her opinion on political matters but she recently broke her silence to endorse Democratic candidates for Congress Phil Bredeson and Jim Cooper.

“In the past," said Swift in an Instagram post, "I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country.”

At the AMA awards Swift was awarded the Artist of the Year award. “This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people?” Swift told the audience. “It is the midterm elections on November 6. Get out and vote."

Rather than boycotting Taylor Swift, which would do no hard because I was never going to go see her in concert or buy a Taylor Swift CD anyway, I am withdrawing from popular culture.  Recently, I had the occasion to go see a concert at Ascend of Steve Earl, Lucinda Williams, and Dwight Yokum. I love Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yokum and have several CD's of each of them. Luckily, they did not get political but Steve Earl sure did. He took a couple opportunities to proclaim that the people were going to retake the country and to bash Trump. He even changed the lyrics of a song to bash Trump. It kind of spoiled the evening for me.

I stay informed, and I get news from a variety of sources not just those that tell it fair and balanced. I even watch Rachel Maddow and the left-wing pundits of MSNBC. I want to know what the left is thinking. I am not withdrawing from being an informed citizen.  I am withdrawing from being made to feel "like a whore in church."  I am withdrawing from being lectured to by someone whose views I abhor. I especially am withdrawing from spending my money for someone to insult me.  I will only attend events that I think are safe from offense. Luckily, there are still plenty of neutral non-political things one can do, but if you do not want to be insulted, angered and offended you cannot watch the late night comedy talk shows or most award shows.  Also most stand up comics are funny only if you are a liberal.  Back before dropping Netflix, on several occasions I tried to watch a standup comic. The humor almost always involved bashing of Trump or traditional values.  I think at this point, the only award show still safe to watch is the CMA's. If an artist takes the opportunity of being honored, to offer a political opinion with which I disagree, I will also mark the CMA's off my list too.

My withdrawal has not been painful. I have had no withdrawal symptoms. I am not missing it. In some ways it has felt liberating. In addition to avoiding anger, offense and insult, I am avoiding a lot of pure mind-numbing shallow garbage.  With the choices available through devices like Rhoku, there is much more to watch than the major networks.  I cut the cord about a year ago and do not have mainstream network TV. I do not miss it.  For comedy, I love the Greg Gutfield show on Fox News. It is a news opinion show but he cracks me up. His opening monologues are very funny. Unfortunately, he has a new episode only once a week. I wish his show would be expanded into a format that also covered broader topics and had musical guest. The show is funny but, not something you want to watch with your liberal siblings.

I know my withdrawing from popular culture will not change it, but if enough of us did, it might.  It might change it by making the award shows and late night TV comedy talk shows avoid politics. Some standup comics might find other topics to talk about. Award shows, comics and late night talk shows might move back to being non-political or neutral. They might discover that some things can be funny that both Republicans and Democrats can enjoy. Or, it might change the culture by offering a conservative alternative to a show like Jimmy Fallon.  I can see Greg Gutfield hosting that type of nightly show.  There is a lot of talent that is not left of center or overtly political.  That talent needs a platform and I suspect that we may have reached a point to where there is a market for it.

The danger with the popular culture becoming the exclusive playground of the left is that there probably will eventually develop a conservative alternative. How far will it go? Will we reach a point to where conservative and liberals wear different brands of tennis shoes?  Will we have Republican restaurants and Democrat restaurants?  I would prefer a return to a society that existed when people would talk about the latest Johnny Carson episode around the water cooler. I would prefer a climate in which you could pay money to be entertained and not be insulted.  I doubt that is the direction we are headed.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Recalling the solemn experience of honoring the flag

by Judd Cowan - We were out for a photo shoot this weekend, and we stopped by Saint Henry’s

Judd Cowan
church (where I have been a parishioner for most of my life). I ended up doing some reminiscing while we were taking some pictures around the church property, and I thought I would share them with you.

I am an Eagle Scout, but during my days at Saint Henry’s School I was only a tenderfoot or second class scout (ranks for people who are not familiar with scouting). Being a Scout, I knew how to fold a flag and ended up on flag patrol. There were always three of us. Awkward, almost teenagers wearing ill-fitting khaki pants and white oxford shirts. Doing our best to model military precision, we’d start from the edge of the sidewalk and march in tandem to the flagpole. One of us lowered the flag, one caught the bars, and the other unhooked it and held the stars for folding. We’d walk Old Glory back to the office and put it into storage until the next morning.

I remember it as a solemn experience.

I never realized it at the time, but we children understood that tradition of honoring our flag twice a day in its most pure and beautiful sense. When we folded and carried the flag, it was without criticism or jingoism. We didn’t know much about the world, but we had recently witnessed 9/11. We understood that our nation’s ideologies were under attack. We fathomed that our flag was hated by evil men around the world. We saw it defamed, trampled, and burned in the news.

I don’t think that I could have appreciated our nation’s freedoms at the time, but I understood our place in the world simply by how other people, cultures, and nations reacted to our national symbol. We were children, but we went out in the cold, in the heat, and in the notorious Tennessee ice and did our best to honor Old Glory.

G. K. Chesterton once said “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” Our flag doesn’t stand for one group or ethnicity, like it would anywhere else in the world. Our flag stands for the ideas composed by our Founding Fathers; the ideas fought and died for by our citizens for over 200 years. When we honor our flag, we’re not just heralding a square of cotton. We’re celebrating over 200 hundred years of brave men and women who have dared to question mankind’s historical norm of tyranny and despotism. We’re celebrating this bizarre American experiment that, against all odds, has flourished and brought the world into the greatest age of prosperity ever known. I’m proud to say that I took part in the respectable tradition of honoring our flag. 

Judd Cowan is the Republican candidate for State House seat district 50 and has a good chance to unseat Bo Mitchell. He needs financial contributions and volunteers. To visit his website, follow this link.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to be 1st Tuesday guest, Wednesday Oct. 17th.

From Tim Skow: 
 
1ST TUESDAY Members and friends

With the ROLLER COASTER over the last 3 weeks and early voting starting starting OCT 17th... 

WHAT could be more timely than a 1ST TUESDAY event featuring each of the following?? 

A] The man who hired ''JUSTICE Kavanaugh'' to join the BUSH '43 White House team for 3 years.
B] A man who played a key role in the process of getting Supreme Court nominees approved
C] A man who knows 1st hand what President Bush was doing to help get "JUSTICE Kavanaugh" confirmed
D] A man who with the latest insights and polling numbers from Republican National Senatorial Committee 


IMAGINE .... having all of this... AND MORE... for lunch on the 1st day of EARLY VOTING !! 
[ Yes!  ... Early voting in TN starts next week on Wednesday, October 17th !! ]


Many of you know that before President Bush nominated Alberto Gonzales to become his next US
Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General,
Al spent several years as the President's Chief Legal Counsel. Al's first role included a myriad of tasks including helping the President determine who to nominate for a Supreme Court opening and overseeing the confirmation process. Al also hired and oversaw the powerful legal staff the office of the President requires. For one of the most critical roles, Al hired a rising super star in the legal community, 
none other than ... Supreme Court Justice-to-be ... BRETT KAVANAUGH!  
Al also knows ALL the 2018 players [ McConnell, Schumer, Grassley, Feinstein, Graham, Collins and more]. You're invited to hear 1st-hand from someone who has been there before, and knows what has been going on behind the scenes the last 3 months. Rest assured ..... THIS WILL ANYTHING BUT BORING !! 

ALSO - We will get a private internal polling update from the Republican Nat'l Senatorial Committee.

WHAT an EVENT will have on Wednesday, October 17th !!

Doors at WALLER Law [511 Union Street] open at 11:00am. Lunch starts at 11:25 with program at NOON sharp! Al will follow a brief update from the RNSC with a Q&A session till 1:00pm. Event is $20 for 2018 Members and $25 for Guests. Secure seating at http://www.1sttuesdaynashville.com 

REMEMBER ... parking under the building is just $7 for 2 hours. 

Expect more updates ... AND ... Soon !!

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, OCT 17th ... if not before [see events reminders below]
Thanks!
Tim Skow
Host of 1ST TUESDAY 

*  Nashville Republican Women meet OCT 10th -- featured guest, State Party Chairman Scott Golden
* DEBATE ... Marsha's last tangle with Phi Bredesen  ... Wednesday, OCT 10th at 6PM
* DEBATE ... Bill Lee and Karl Dean on FRIDAY - OCT 12th at 6pm

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Shawn Joseph has got to go!

About as soon as Shawn Joseph was hired as Director of Metro Schools I started thinking he was the wrong person for the job. I don't recall the early specifics but over time more and more issues came to light that made be more certain that he was not doing a good job. For one thing, and the most obvious, is that our schools are getting worse. This was born out by declining enrollment and falling test scores. As Nashville's population is growing school enrollment was shrinking.  Maybe that is a function of the demographics. Maybe, it is only childless couples and single people moving to Davidson County but I doubt it.  I suspect that couples with school age children are moving to surrounding districts or sending their kids to private schools. Simply from anecdotal reports and opinions of average people, I concluded there was something terribly wrong with Metro Schools.  When a company or institutions is failing, the first place to look is at the top.  Maybe, it is time for new leadership.

Recently three school board members, Fran Bush, Amy Frogge and Jill Speering, wrote an opinion piece in The Tennessean and laid out a long list of particulars as to why Leadership change is needed at MNPS.  Some of this I had observed and knew; some was new to me. Here is a summary of the reasons these school board members say it is time for a change:

  • The number of Nashville’s priority schools (those in the bottom 5 percent of the state) has more than doubled under Director of Schools Shawn Joseph’s watch, making Nashville the district with the greatest number of priority schools in the State.
  • Proficiency levels in nearly every MNPS high school have dropped.
  • Only about a quarter of MNPS students read proficiently on grade level.
  • Director Joseph is paid substantially more than any other superintendent in the state and yet employee morale is at an all-time low, and the district suffers a chronic teacher shortage.
  • Cronyism abounds.
  • The director insists on using a bus driver as a chauffeur, even though no previous MNPS director has required a personal drive and this had a time when there is chronic shortage of school bus drivers leading to long commute times and wait times for students.
  • He has cut effective reading programs.
  • He is forcing highly skills teachers to teach from cookie-cutter lesson plans.
  • He has attempted to ban school staff from talking to school board members. 
  • Sexual harassment lawsuits and claims of inappropriate behavior by district employees and leaders continue to arise and the Director attempts to sweep these concerns under the rug and minimize them. 
  • The Director has apparently broken stat law by failing to report teacher misconduct to the state.
I would add to the list these:
  • He has cut "Legacy positions" include things such as  world language, Suzuki Strings, STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math), advanced academics, International Baccalaureate and overall enhanced staffing. These are programs that attract parents who want a better education for their child. Cutting these programs drives away the best students. Also, by losing these better students we lose the funding they bring to the schools system from the state.
  • He does not share our "Nashville values."  He played a snippet of a  rap song to the school board members at a school board meeting as an example of songs that provide him with inspirations with the going gets tough. The song contained the words "bitch," "Nigger," and "fuck," and praises pimping and taking a hit off of blunt, and getting locked up and says that "real hoes still know they gots to fuck." (link)
It is time for Dr. Shawn Joseph to resign or be fired. We need new leadership at Metro Schools. 



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Happy Columbus Day!


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Nashville's middle class in growing and Nashville's income inequality is actually lessening.

In an article published in the Tennessean on Sunday it is reported that contrary to what many believe, 

new census data shows that the city’s income inequality is actually lessening in Nashville. Nashville’s economic growth attracts both higher-paying jobs and rising wages in low-skilled sectors. According to census data, the middle class has been growing in the greater 14-county Nashville metro area.

According to Alan Berube, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, “Nashville stood out among larger Metro areas of having a larger than average middle class. The kinds of industries that have been growing — they pay better than they did before. There seems to be an engine of prosperity in Nashville that’s helping pull the income distribution to the right."

Here is an excerpt from the article:
In 2017, 63.2 percent of the metro area’s households were in the broad middle class, defined as having incomes between $23,000 and $113,000, according to the Brookings analysis of Census data. That’s up from 61.6 percent in 2000.

It represents the seventh-fastest middle-class growth among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. Meanwhile, the share of households in the low-income category dropped.
This is good news. As one sees the change taking place and the loss of small 1950-style brick homes replaced by more expensive larger homes, one may just assume that this signifies a change for the worse for those who cannot afford those new homes. However, one needs to keep in mind that many can afford those new homes. Incomes are increasing.  Those homes are affordable for most people in Nashville.

The article does not delve into who is living where. When one says "Nashville" in a news report they are not usually referring to the urban area of Nashville or even Davidson County but a 14-county area that is the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area. That includes Watertown and Burns as well as Franklin and Brentwood. There obviouosly are pockets of less wealthy and more wealthy which result in the average.  In any event, this is good news. The gap between the poor and the rich is getting smaller in Nashville, not larger.

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The Brett Kavanaugh Senate Confirmation comic book





















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Blackburn Has 8-Point Lead Over Bredesen, CBS News Poll Finds

Blackburn Has 8-Point Lead Over Bredesen, CBS News Poll Finds

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