Friday, May 25, 2018

Briley wins big. No runoff.

David Briley won the election for mayor with 54% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Carol Swain came in second with 23% of the vote. To read The Tennesseean's story on the election follow this link.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ex-judge Casey Moreland pleads guilty to federal charges after investigation

Casey Moreland
Casey Moreland
The Casey Moreland scandal is a disgusting tale of corruption, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, greed and taking advantage of the powerless by the powerful.  I hope they throw the book at him.

Nashville is probably no more corrupt than many other cities but power corrupts. Casey Moreland is an example of why we need a vibrant press, an engaged political opposition, citizens who are paying attention, and a healthy skepticism and distrust of government.  For more on the Casey Moreland affair follow these link: here, here, and here.

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Bob Corker: Donald Trump abusing power, 'dangerous' to say auto imports may pose security threat

Senator Bob Corker
 About the time I was sort of warming to Donald Trump and thinking maybe he was not the populist, intemperate, irrational buffoon I originally thought he was and thinking maybe he wouldn't really start a trade war, he has made me think maybe my original assessment was correct. He has kicked things into high gear by called for new tariffs on imports for cars, trucks, SUVs and car parts.

He had backed off his aluminum and steel tariffs, had not torn up NAFTA and was talking about rejoining the Trans Pacific Partnership. His challenging China on currency manipulation and theft of intellectual property seemed appropriate and measured. I was beginning to buy the argument that he is really just a good negotiator and starts with a ridiculous opening gambit and then moderates.  Now, I am beginning to think he really is a mercantilist protectionist who really wants to start a trade war.

It is bad enough that Trump is threatening a full scale trade war that may cost American consumers and halt the economic boom, but he is doing much worse than that, according to Senator Bob Corker. Corker says Trump is abusing his authority by initiating an investigation into whether importing automobiles poses a threat to national security.  Here is the statement issued by Corker's office:
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Trump administration announced it was initiating an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to “determine whether imports of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts into the United States threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232.”

“I am very concerned about the president abusing the authorities granted to him in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962,” said Corker. “There is no reason to use this provision to consider imposing tariffs on the automobile industry, and this appears to be either an attempt to affect domestic politics ahead of the election or for some other transactional purpose regarding ongoing trade discussions. This is a dangerous course and should be abandoned immediately.”

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Today, May 24, 2018 Special Election, Mayor and Council District 1

Polls Will Be Open 7 a.m.–7 p.m. on May 24, 2018

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Metro Buys HCA $1 Million In Office Furniture

When Metro gives taxpayers money to big corporations it is almost always disguised as helping the poor. It is to help provide jobs in "pockets of poverty," or to clear "slum and blight." The city provided $66 million in corporate welfare to HCA which earned profits of $2.7 billion last year. Included in the subsidy was $1 for moving expenses which could include new furniture. Conference room furniture, including a table with "premium wood finishes" for $8321.25, a Guitar Pick Table for $4190.18 and a Tuxedo Sofa for the Executive Lounge Area for $6540.45 are among the things for which we taxpayers paid. Who thinks we need to raise taxes so we can provide more corporate welfare? To view the News Channel 5 video follow this link.

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NFL: Players must stand for anthem or remain in locker room

(AP) -  imageNFL owners have approved a new policy aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the "The Star-Spangled Banner" but requiring them to stand if they come to the field. (link)

Rod's comment: Good solution, finally.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

50-Cent Property Tax Increase Proposed By Metro Councilmembers

50-Cent Property Tax Increase Proposed By Metro Councilmembers   led by At-Large Councilman Bob Mendes

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Mayor Briley resurrects $125M downtown flood wall and protection system proposal

by Rod Williams - Mayor David Briley is reviving the proposal to build a massive flood wall to protect downtown from

a future flood like occurred in 2010.

Briley has added the flood wall back to the city's proposed capital improvements budget. This proposal has been rejected by the Council on three previous occasions. The Capital improvements budget is not really a budget but a planning document that list projects the city would like to build, list a revenue source for funding the projects and prioritizes projects.

The 2010 flood of Nashville produced 2 billion dollars in damages, however it was not all downtown.  The wall would only protect downtown but everyone would pay for it by an additional fee added to their water bill.  The 2010 flood was considered a "1000-year flood" meaning the likelihood of such a flood occurring is only once in a thousand years.

The wall would consist of supports, (fence post) permanently in place and in the event of a flood, large slats would be placed in the grooves in the supports, creating the wall.  In essence the wall would be constructed when a flood was approaching.

Assume 75 years from now we have another 1000-year flood, am I the only one that thinks the wall may not work?  Any number of things could cause it to fail.  Due to road or subway or other construction, some of the supports may have been removed and not replaced or a slight shifting of the earth due to a tremor or blasting may mean the pieces no longer slide into the upright grooves. Proper training  may not have taken place and pubic works may no longer knows how to make the pieces fit.  Or, some of the slats may have been relocated and no one knows where they are.  I don't think this is far-fetched.  Government is not even very good at maintaining things used every day.  I am just not confident that something that may never be used will be properly maintained.

In addition to thinking it is difficult to plan for such a system and doubt that it will work when needed, I would assume that protecting down town will cause worse flooding elsewhere.  If water cannot flow into downtown, will it not force more water into east Nashville?  The water has to go somewhere. This proposal needs to be defeated again.




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How Council members voted on urging the Governor to veto a bill banning santuary cities

Recently the State legislature passed HB2615, a bill that  would prohibit sanctuary cities in Tennessee and require local law enforcement officials to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to hold immigrants for purposes of deportation.  Advocates of illegal immigration, such as Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, opposed the bill. Others opposed the bill the bill on practical grounds, contending it will make it more difficult to get illegal immigrants to cooperation with police if they fear the local police are acting as ICE agents.  Others opposed it due to a stated believe that the State should not be telling cities what to do. Cities do not have sovereignty, of course and derive their power from what is granted by the State. States have every right to set rules for cities.  Liberals do not understand the basic government structure or purposely make an invalid comparison when they claim that the relationship of the Federal Government to the State government is comparable to the relationship of state government to cities.

I support the bill that passed.  The State was right to require cities to cooperate with the Federal government to enforce immigration law. Governor Haslam allowed the measure to become law without his signature.  He had been heavily lobbied to veto it.

At the May 15th council meeting, the council passed Resolution RS2018-1222  requesting that Governor Bill Haslam veto that legislation. The vote was 21 in favor of the resolution, four opposed and four abstaining. Here is how they voted. 

Voting Yes, voting in favor of the resolution urging a governor to veto the bill banning sanctuary cities in Tennessee  (21): Sheri Weiner, Cooper, Gilmore, Mendes, Hurt, Shulman, Hastings, Haywood, Scott Davis, Withers, Anthony Davis, VanReece, Sledge, O'Connell, Mina Johnson, Vercher, Karen Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, and Lee.

Steve Glove
Voting No, voting against the resolution urging a veto (4): Steve Glove, Steve Glover, Mike Freeman, and Russ Pulley.

Steve Glove
Russ Pulley
 
Mike Freeman


 Casting a vote to Abstain (4): Jeff Syracuse, Roberts, Elrod, and Davette Blalock.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Trump to Hold Campaign Rally in Nashville on May 29

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally in Tennessee later this month on the same day he will headline a fundraiser for Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her Senate bid.

The rally will take place on the evening of May 29 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are available online. (link)

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