Saturday, August 31, 2013

More about that "Beat Lama" event today

This report from Bill Hobbs on Facebook:

 Fox News contributor David Webb (left), Senate candidate Joe Carr (center) and Kevin Kookogey on stage at the "Beat Lamar" event in Nashville. I was at another event down the hall, but slipped in to take this photo. The crowd probably numbered 150 people (I was told the room was set up for 200 chairs, and it appeared to be about 75% full.)

This report from Channel 2 tells us who was involved and who funded it: Finding 'Ted Cruz of Tennessee' event Saturday in Nashville.

The Scene reports:
Bad News for Lamar: Tea Partiers Vow to Stand United 

 The tea party settled one question this afternoon at a meeting to audition candidates to challenge Sen. Lamar Alexander in next year’s GOP primary. Both Joe Carr and Kevin Kookogey promised they'll drop out of the picture if tea partiers are rallying behind the other guy.

Carl Boyd Jr. was there and posted this picture and message on Facebook:

Carl Boyd Jr. was there and posted this picture and message on Facebook: Me and fox news contributor David Webb at the beat Lamar Forum! David was the moderator. He did a great job!  Me and fox news contributor David Webb at the beat Lamar Forum! David was the moderator. He did a great job!

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From "I have a dream," to the nighmare of Black in America

The historic March on Washington of fifty years ago has been commemorated this month by a memorial march on Washington,  numerous interviews with elderly civil rights leaders reminiscing, lengthy  newspaper stories, and the analysis of the importance of the event by academics, pundits, and politicians in interviews, in forums and on panels.

While many expressed the opinion that there is still work to do and lamented that Blacks had not made more progress in achieving equality, many couched there arguments about the lack of Black progress in terms of "economic justice," and a failure of society to do enough.  Some said, America had not lived up to the dream.  It was sometimes subtle, but the thrust of the analysis was that the reason Black Americans had not made more progress is that they are still oppressed. There was a message that lack of equal outcomes is proof that  society is still racist.

Since 1963, official school segregation has disappeared and discrimination in public accommodations has ended and voting rights have been guaranteed. There are no more "Whites Only" lunch counter, or Black and White water fountains or restrooms, yet  in some ways Black Americans have been losing ground since 1963 despite law after law, million spend on anti-poverty programs and school busing and preferential hiring practices and school admission policies and quotas.

  • In 1963, Black unemployment was at 10 percent; it is now at 13 percent. Of course this is deceptive because to be counted as unemployed one has to be actively looking for work. Fewer Blacks are in the work force today than in 1963.
  • In 1963 while Black unemployment was 10%, White unemployment was only 5%. Today, while Black unemployment is 13%, White unemployment is only 7%. The gap has hardly changed.
  • Since 1963, the wealth gap between Black and Whites has actually increased. 
  • The Black poverty rate in1963 was 48% and by 2000 had fallen to 22%, but now has climbed back to 28%.
  • Despite the end of official school segregation, Black school children are almost as segregated as they were in 1963. 74% attend "intensely segregated (90 to 100% non-white)" schools.
  • The marriage gap between Blacks and Whites have widened. More whites marry than Blacks and the gap is larger than in 1963.
  • 52% of Black children are living in single-parent homes, compared with 20% percent of White children. This gap is larger than in 1963.
  • The incarceration rate of Black men is more than six times higher than that of White men,  larger than the gap in 1960.
  • In the early 1960's 23% of Black children were born out of wedlock, now it is 73%.

There are more and more statistics that could make the point. Black children, especially Black boys, are expelled from school or get in-school suspension more often than White children. Black youth are incarcerated at a much higher rate than White children. There is a large gap between Black home ownership and White home ownership. Black on Black crime is much greater than in 1963.

I do not think these statistics indicate that America is a racist country and that Black are oppressed. It is not White people that make Black children misbehave and require more suspensions, or Black men rob and murder and require more imprisonment, or make Black women have children born out of wedlock. There are pathological, self destructive behaviors in the Black community. We can't simply stop incarcerating Blacks until the ratio of Whites to Black represents their proportion of the population.  We can't mandate that Black be allowed to get home mortgages regardless of their credit worthiness. We can't require equal outcomes.

I know that there are reasons for the disparity between Blacks and Whites. Slavery and Jim Crow had an impact on the Black family and wealth creation. However, many immigrant groups have come to this country with nothing and achieved the American dream in  a generation. How long can we continue to blame Black lack of progress on slavery? Why have things not improved much, and in some cases gotten worse since 1963?

In my view, greater than the legacy of slavery or Jim Crow, the cause of the current pitiful state of Blacks in America is the welfare state and anti-poverty programs. We had a war on poverty, and poverty won. When one is given just enough that one is better off not working than working, when one is clustered in communities where there are no role models of successful people, when government policy makes the male a family liability, then people are trapped in poverty. With public housing, food stamps, Tncare, and a free cell phone, working becomes too expensive. We have had the wrong incentives in place. Our government policies have created a dependent class.

What is to be done?  For a short while, the experiment with welfare reform showed that people who had never worked could learn to work. We need to return to an aggressive policy of welfare reform. We need to greatly reduce the food stamp program and phase out public housing. Most of all, however, we need to promote education and marriage. Marriage and education are effective at reducing poverty.

It is racist to assume Blacks cannot learn. Our public schools have failed many children, but have especially failed Blacks.  There are examples across the country where Blacks are excelling. Many of those examples are in charter schools. Soulsville Charter school in Memphis is a good example. For the last two years, every high school graduate of that school got accepted into college. These are Black children from the inter city, most being raised by single moms. Instead of heading to prison, young boys in this school are headed to college. We need this model duplicated across the nation. We need to embrace what works.

There is probably nothing that would do more to advance the Black population than to encourage marriage. Of children in single parent households, 37% are poor yet only 6% of children in two-parent household are poor. There are many more Black children in single-parent households than White children. This is not the way it has to be.  The Black church should promote marriage, assistance programs than discourage intact families and reward single mothers should be changed. Instead of celebrating single mothers, we should shame them. It should not be a cause of celebration when a young single girl gets pregnant. From seat belt use, to smoking,  to ecology, attitudes have changed over time. Public disapproval of behavior can change behavior.  We need to change the public attitude about having children out of wedlock.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

I think Cooper is right and Corker is wrong.

I hate to say it, but on the issue of our involvement in Syria, I find myself in closer agreement with Rep. Jim Cooper than I do Senator Bob Corker. Corker has said that to keep Syria from falling into the hands of violent extremists we should vet and back more moderate rebel groups.

I have no objection to that in principle. I am not opposed to it as a general strategy that might work in certain situations.  During the cold war I was an enthusiastic supporter of our support for Nicaragua's freedom fighters, the Contras. We stopped the spread of Communism in central America. I thought we should have done more of that kind of think.

We funded and trained the Mujaheddin and they drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. Despite the fact that Afghanistan eventually ended up with the Taliban in charge, I still think we did the right think. The Russian defeat in Afghanistan hastened the end of the cold war and stopped the Communist advance. In Syria however, I am not so sure there is a viable, moderate element. I fear Syria will end badly regardless of what we do.

Cooper who sits on the House Armed Services Committee says it’s hard to tell exactly who in Syria is a moderate that the U.S. might think about arming. "Our human intelligence on the ground is very weak," he says.  "You can’t tell this from satellites and things like that.  So we really should be careful.  Look before you leap."

See, Cooper Skeptical After Corker’s Call To Vet And Arm Some Syrian Rebels.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Corker supports limited attack on Syria but says Obama should seek Congressional approval. I think we ought to stay out of this war.


In an interview on CNN’s “OutFront,” Senator Bob Corker called on President Obama to call Congress back to Washington to seek approval for possible surgical, proportional military action in Syria.

Corker says we have been slow to support the moderate, vetted, resistance in Syria; he supports a limited proportional military response to Syrian use of chemical weapons; he opposes American "boots on the ground," he says the president has met the war powers act requirement to "consult" with Congress, but should go further and seek Congressional approval.

I normally think Senator Corker is a wise and reasonable person and of course I am not privy to the secret briefings and have not studied the situation like Senator Corker. However, I not persuaded we ought to get involved.  I think we should not bomb Syria.  I think we need to stay out of this conflict.

I understand that our President drew a line in the sand, and Syria has apparently crossed it. Despite my dislike of this President, in foreign affairs the President speaks for the country.  I understand we will lose face if we do not respond.  We will be shown to be a paper tiger. I think we should be concerned when international norms on the ban on chemical weapons are violated.

However,  before I could be persuaded that a military response to Syrian use of chemical weapons was called for, I would have to be persuaded that it was in our national interest to respond.  I am not sure it is.

 Is there really a "vetted," " moderate" element in Syria? If we weaken the Syrian regime and the opposition takes power, will that opposition be the Muslim Brotherhood or an Al Qaeda-friendly government.  We should not do anything that would bring a pro Al Qaeda government to power. Syria's Assad is no doubt an evil man and Syria is an enemy of Israel and the United States.  They are a sponsor of terrorism. I am not opposed in principle to covert military action.  If there was a viable, vetted, moderate opposition  with a reasonable prospect for taking power, I would not oppose us training and aiding them. But, I do not want America to be fighting on the side of Al Qaeda and that looks to me like what we would be doing if we help overthrow Assad.

While ever since World War One the world has abhorred chemical weapons and they are considered a "weapon of mass destruction,"  but they are not on the same scale as nuclear weapons. In the genocidal mass slaughter of the Tutsis by the Hutus somewhere between 500,000 and million people were killed and we did nothing and I not sure we should have. The weapon of choice in that war was the machete. Secretary of State Kerry says 1429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack. That is terrible but just because they were killed with chemical weapons, I am not so certain that we have an obligation to respond. If people are killed by chemical weapons, machetes, or a 500 pound conventional bomb, they are just as dead.

In my view, we need to stay out of this war.


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Lamar's new ad: Standing up Against Obamacare




NASHVILLE, TN – Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign today announced the launch of a statewide television ad setting the record straight regarding Senator Alexander’s consistent, principled stand against Obamacare.

The ad begins, “Lamar Alexander led the conservative fight against Obamacare. Voted twenty-three times against it. Stood up to the president at the White House Health Care Summit.”

Alexander’s debate with President Obama at the White House Health Care Summit is highlighted in the spot.  The two spar over Alexander’s statement that the president’s plan would lead to more expensive
health insurance premiums for individuals.  Later, both the president and Fox News affirmed that Lamar was right, and the president was wrong, about the true costs of Obamacare.

The 60-second television ad airs statewide beginning August 29.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

08/27/13 MNPS Board Work Session. No agreement yet on a school calendar.




This meeting is two hours long and was a work session. The primary topic  was a strategic plan. I have not watched this session myself yet, so I don't know what took place. I may not get around to watching it, so if you are interested in what happened don't wait for my summary, go ahead and watch it. 

 The calendar discussion begins at time mark 1:37:53.

This is the Tennessean's report on the meeting. 

School board agrees to seek a more permanent calendar

The Tennessean, Aug. 27, 2013 - Metro Nashville school board members once again failed to come up with a 2014-15 school calendar Tuesday night, but they did agree on one thing. (link)

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Polls show Lamar "very strong."

CQ Roll Call, August 28, 2013 - Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., holds a massive lead over current and potential primary opponents, and holds a high job performance rating from likely Republican primary voters in the Volunteer State, according to an internal poll provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call. Alexander leads recently announced primary opponent Joe Carr 64 percent to 22 percent,..(link)
Of course, this is early polling and a stronger candidate may emerge to challenge Alexander, but at this point it looks like Joe Carr will not be a serious threat.  Knoxville Mayor Tim Burchett, does better in the poll than Carr in a match up with Alexander with Alexander polling 62% and Burchett polling 23%.

The poll shows Alexander doing well with key subgroups:
  • Strong Republicans approve by 74 to 21 percent.
  • Evangelical Christians approve by 70 to 24 percent.
  • very conservative voters approve by 58 to 35 percent.
  • Strong Tea Party supporters approve by 57 to 41 percent.

Click here to read the polling memorandum from Northstar Opinion.

Below is what others are saying about the poll:

The Tennessean:  “U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is beginning his re-election campaign with a three-to-one lead over his Republican primary opponents…” 

The Memphis Commercial Appeal “Challengers of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander have an uphill battle deposing the senator in next year’s Republican primary…”

Nashville Post Politics:  “Alexander polls well among conservatives”
The Hill 
Lamar Alexander is in a strong position to stand up to a primary challenge…”

The Chattanooga Times Free Press:  “U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander poll shows him 'very strong'”

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MNPS Board has been violating the sunshine law

School Board, Register Used Secret Meetings to Discuss Legal Strategy, Other Issues

Read this. This is clearly illegal, they know it is and it has been going on for months!

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David Webb will moderate this Saturday's BEAT LAMAR Forum

Fox News Contributor and Sirius/XM Radio Patriot Network talk show host David Webb will moderate this Saturday's BEAT LAMAR Forum in Nashville, according to event organizers. (link)

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Rand Paul voted with Obama 41% of the Time!

Another tea party favorite, Utah's Sen. Mike Lee voted with Obama 51% of the time!


Carr’s Case Against Lamar Alexander Lacks Context
 
By Nathan L. Gonzales, Roll Call, August 27, 2013 - “If Lamar Alexander is voting with Barack Hussein Obama 62 percent of the time, he’s voting against Tennesseans 62 percent of the time,” state Rep. Joe Carr told a Nashville radio station last week. You’ll be surprised to know that Carr left a bit of context out of his comments in his primary challenge to the Volunteer State’s senior senator.

Carr’s remarks suggest that all votes “with” Obama are bad votes, for Tennessee and for the country. But that means Carr should be aiming his fire at virtually all of the GOP senators in the country, not just Alexander. (link)

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A Beat Lamar Meeting this Saturday

From Ben Cunningham of Nashville Tea Party:

ALERT: Beat Lamar Meeting Very Important Meeting Saturday. Hear from the Candidates who want to Beat Lamar and let'scome together and discuss how we can put someone in Congress who will change the disastrous course of our Nation.

When: Sat Aug 31 1:00PM. Starts at 1:00PM just after lunch but you may register as early as 9AM

Where: Nashville Music City Sheraton Hotel near the airport, 777 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 

Who is invited: Open to anyone who wants to hear from candidates and Beat Lamar. No Charge to attend. Please Join us! The first200 attendees will get a free BeatLamar T-shirt!! Also, there will be training earlier in the day for those who want to go door to door in the BeatLamar Campaign: Sat Aug 31 11:30 am to 12:15 pm. If you would like to sign up for this training, email beatlamar@gmail.com.

This blog may post items of interest to conservatives, libertarians, or the community at large from time to time. Such posting is a public service and does not constitute and endorsement of the event. 

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More Scores. Lamar, more liberal than Jim Cooper? So says Joe Carr. Not true.

Joe Carr has put out a press release claiming Lamar Alexander is more liberal than Jim Cooper. While some of us may wish Alexander was more conservative, Joe Carr misspeaks the truth. Alexander is considerably more conservative than Jim Cooper. These days a liberal Republican is more conservative than a conservative Democrat. Jim Cooper may be a conservative Democrat and Lamar may be a liberal Republican, that still make Lamar a conservative and Cooper a liberal. The truth should matter.

Here are some ratings.

American Conservative Union, 2010 rating  Source: Project Vote Smart. link

Lamar Alexander  80%
Jim Cooper 35%

Americans for Prosperity, lifetime score 
Lamar Alexander 76%
Jim Cooper 22%
National Journal
Lamar Alexander 66.5%
Jim Cooper 39%
Club for Growth
Lamar Alexander 68%
Jim Cooper 26%
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Lamar Alexander 67%
Jim Cooper 0%

Depending on which hand full of votes the scoring agency chooses to include the scores may vary, but clearly Lamar Alexander is much more conservative than Jim Cooper. Below is the Carr press release.


ALEXANDER VOTING RECORD MORE LIBERAL THAN DEMOCRAT JIM COOPER

Murfreesboro, TN—Rep. Joe Carr criticized Senator Lamar Alexander’s liberal voting record today. Alexander, responding to a question from Knoxville’s WBIR, said “I hope Tennesseans will look at me and the score card…”

“I hope Tennesseans take Senator Alexander up on that offer and examine his scorecard,” Carr responded. “They won’t like what they find. The scorecard reflects what we’ve been saying: Alexander is ranked the third most liberal of Tennessee’s eleven member delegation, with an unacceptable 41% conservative voting record.”

“Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper scored higher than Alexander. That’s very troubling to conservatives, and they realize it’s time to make a change in leadership. You also have to consider that the average Senate Republican has a 67% conservative voting record. I don’t think Tennesseans are going to let Senator Alexander get away with calling himself a conservative when he is that far below average,” predicted Carr.

According to Heritage Action for America, Alexander earned a dismal 41% conservative score based on his voting record, falling below Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper from the 5th Congressional District.

Congressional scorecards from conservative organizations Club for Growth and Madison Project demonstrate a similar liberal voting pattern.

“Senator Alexander has missed several opportunities to lead as a conservative. Instead he’s sided with liberals time and time again. Whether failing to stand with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on defunding Obamacare, voting to give amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants or voting with President Obama 62% of the time—Lamar has lost touch,” Carr said.




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Monday, August 26, 2013

MNPS: Fund Students Before Systems

Facts about Tennessee Charter Schools

August 26, 2013

Dear Friends,

Section 12, Article 11 of Tennessee’s Constitution tasks the General Assembly with supporting, maintaining, and setting the standards for the delivery of public education.  The General Assembly, in turn, empowered local school boards to oversee the development of systems of free public schools. However, with only one in five Nashville students attending a high-quality school, it is time we ask the Metro Nashville Public School Board (MNPS) to reexamine the system and structures they are fighting to preserve and focus on the impact that system has had on the lives of students.

Rather than disseminate legal claims with no merit or declare they do not have the resources to both create more high-quality seats and grant teacher pay raises in next year’s budget, MNPS must reconsider its outdated approach to school funding that preserves the unexamined infrastructure or “fixed costs” of a system that is failing to provide a high-quality education for every student.

Simultaneously, MNPS must look to its high-performing charter and district schools to identify best practices for educating students and disseminate them across schools. This is because Nashville charters are among the best schools in the city, are overrepresented on the Reward Schools list, and account for nearly all of the biggest middle school growth gains in the city.

The bullets below provide some additional information about why MNPS should employ the same innovative and collaborative thinking it has previously shown to implement a funding system that puts the needs of students first. This will be further detailed in a forthcoming Whitepaper that we will release in coming weeks.

We will continue to work with MNPS and all charter authorizers across the state to ensure that every parent has access to a quality school for their child.

Greg Thompson, CEO
Tennessee Charter School Center


Nashville charter school facts
  • Nashville families need more high-quality public charter schools. According to data from MNPS meetings, only one in five students in Nashville are enrolled in a high-quality public school. This means that far too many students are trapped in schools that are not providing them the education they need.
  • Tennessee citizens want more charter schools. According to Vanderbilt University, two-thirds of Tennesseans support opening more charter schools.
  • On average, Tennessee charter school students receive a better education than their district peers. According to the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, Tennessee’s charter school students gained the equivalent of an additional 86 days of learning in reading and 72 days in mathematics in comparison to their traditional public school counterparts. These results were among the highest of all states studied.
  • Nashville charter schools are overrepresented on the Reward Schools list. Despite representing only 10 percent of all public schools in Nashville, one-third of all Reward Schools were charters.

                            - The Nashville charters on this year’s list of Reward Schools are:
                                                             KIPP: Academy Nashville.               
                                                             Liberty Collegiate Academy.                        
                                                             Nashville Prep School.                                         
                                                             STEM Prep Academy.

School funding facts

  • MNPS’ current school funding model preserves infrastructure over innovation. The current funding model in Nashville reflects an approach to school funding that presumes the need to preserve the unexamined infrastructure or “fixed costs” of a system.
  • MNPS’ current school funding model preserves programs over progress. The current MNPS funding model ignores the disparate staffing, programmatic and academic needs different student populations present at the school level.   It assumes that every school needs the same amount and type of resources. 
  • MNPS would do well to follow the example of many urban school districts across the country that have moved towards student-centered funding models, and away from models that preserve programs and buildings at the expense of high-quality seats and teachers.
  • Student-based budgeting allows MNPS to strategically invest public dollars in schools that deliver results, while divesting funds from schools that are not delivering a high-quality education to their students.
  • Student-based budgeting seeks to distribute funds equitably, according to the number and specific “types of learners” enrolled in a particular school rather than focusing on funding buildings, adults, or programs dictated district-wide through a centralized process.
Originally distributed by Lipstick on a Pig.

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Anti-Heritage, Pro-Obamacare event draws "about 100." Heritage event, 700.

In response to the Heritage Action town hall on Obamacare, local liberal leader Mary Mancini of Citizens Action organized a Tennessee for All Town Hall "TO COUNTER MIDDLE-TENNESSEE VISIT BY DIVISIVE JIM DEMINT AND HERITAGE FOUNDATION." (link)

The event featured Council member Erica Gilmore and Michelle Johnson, Executive Director of the Tennessee Justice Center, among others. According the Channel 2, the Heritage event drew 700 people and the room was at capacity. Mary Mancini's event drew "about 100 people" according to a liberal activist Cathrine Hill

To see a video report of the Heritage event follow this link

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Ron Paul said in Nashville: Seeds Have Been Sown, Massive Crash Looming


Dr. Paul Speaks In Nashville, TN
Dr. Paul Speaks In Nashville, TN
by Michael Lotfi, August 26, 2013, Nashville -A few of the leading names in the political realm came together in Nashville, Tennessee over the weekend to discuss the Federal Reserve. They called it, A Night of Clarity. The conference boasted a room of more than 500, packed wall to wall with a surprisingly wide range of audience demographics. Typically, at such events where former congressman, Dr. Ron Paul is featured the crowd is young and energetic. This crowd was unique. The median age was approximately 40 years old. Many attendees were former business, economic & marketing majors who are now leaders in their chosen industry. Attendees came from all over the country to hear the six man team make their case against the Federal Reserve.

The night featured speeches and book signings by:

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Beth Harwell not sold on Nashville's Bus Rapid Transit ARC

WPLN News, August 26, 2013 - The most powerful Nashvillian in the state legislature is not sold on the Bus Rapid Transit proposal being hyped by the city’s mayor.  The $174 million project is banking on the state for 20 percent of its funding.  Pulling it off would be tough, if not impossible, without support from House Speaker Beth Harwell.

 “I want to be open to the idea, but honestly, that’s a lot of money, and we have a lot of other needs across the state, so I think it would be difficult.” (link)
My Comment: I think I am with Beth Harwell on this.  I am not adamantly opposed to it, but have reservations.  I think that for Nashville to remain a pleasant livable city and accommodate more people we are going to need mass transit. I have visited a lot of wonderful cities and most wonderful cities have mass transit. I do think BRT makes more sense than subways or light rail. However, I am not sold on the idea that the ARC is cost effective. I am not sold on the route. Maybe we should start with a smaller project, perhaps just downtown to five points and see how that works.

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Report on the Constitution Refresher

by Gene Wisdom


We conservatives in America cherish the document by which this nation of free men governs itself.  We love reading about those who handed it down to us as well as the principles behind it.  Americans as worthy as our veterans and as lowly as our politicians swear oaths to defend it.  And it is by the sacrifices of the former and the legislative recesses of the latter that we still enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by its limits on government. 

And so I joined many of my fellow conservatives for the Constitution Refresher class on August 17 organized by the 9-12 Project of Tennessee and taught by attorney and Tea Party leader Hal Rounds, and held at Three Brothers Restaurant in Murfreesboro.  It is a good thing for activists to reflect on their animating ideas and Mr. Rounds provided an excellent opportunity to immerse ourselves in our charter of government, its history, and ideas, and how it was designed to bind that government. 

He did an excellent job in the eight hours provided of detailing how our Constitution was shaped by Founders who left the Old World seeking freedom and opportunity, and took us through the Declaration of Independence and then through the document itself as well as its amendments.  All this while taking several questions from the audience.  If there was a disappointment in the presentation it was that it is not a week long or even a full weekend course.  I would love to have seen more flesh on the history and principles of the Constitution, more discussion of the disagreements even among fellow conservatives on such ideas as incorporation (of the Bill of Rights through the 14th Amendment), nullification, and judicial review as well as a more detailed examination of Supreme Court opinions. 

There was one exchange toward the end of the course which I did find rather disturbing.  The instructor mentioned the “might have been” of a Congressional payment to former slaveholders as compensation for the loss of their “property” (i.e., their slaves and fellow human beings) following the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment.  When I mentioned the clear injustice and evil of paying one group of men for enslaving other men I was met with defenses such as slaveholders paying for brogans for their slaves and the expense of providing them with homes/shelter.  It seemed to escape them that farmers provide shoes and barns for their horses but that treating humanely is not the same as treating humanly—and morally.  Not to mention the further injustice of asking other Americans to pay for compensation of this evil.  If anyone stood to be compensated it was the former slaves themselves by having their life and liberties stolen and beaten from them.  Oh, there were the hand-wringing protestations of “Of course, it’s evil”, but the tenor of the discussion was a not understated, “But it wasn’t that bad.” 

This was but a very short, albeit troublesome, exchange in what was a very rewarding and fruitful weekend of being reminded and taught why our Constitution is important and why devoted activists in the Tea Party, 9-12, ACT for America, and dozens of other organizations in our state and nation continue in daily honorable efforts to protect it and our liberties.  Energy is good, activism is wonderful, but we must not neglect our education in the principles we seek to defend.  Thank you, 9-12 and Mr. Rounds.  

Gene Wisdom is an Alabama native but has lived in the Nashville area since 2007. He, his wife Vicki, and their dog Savannah live near Nolensville.  Gene is a conservative activist and leads the Conservative Fusion Book Club. 

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sen. Alexander responds to criticism of his record on Obamacare

The Senate Conservatives Fund radio ad attacks Alexander, claiming he has supported the Affordable Healthcare Act:

Alexander defends his record:

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Heritage Action for America's Obamacare Townhall Thrusday night

Conservative groups span country in effort to defund ObamaCare Aug 22, 2013 Reported By Nadia Ramdass,

WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

Nearly seven hundred people were in attendance at last night's health care town hall reports Channel 2.

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Senator Corker: the reason that we do the things that we do around the world is because it’s in our own interest.

Bob Corker at the World Affairs Council meeting in Nashville:

“I heard another Senator say last Sunday morning on one of these programs that all of us participate in that we’re giving aid to a country and they don’t even like us.  Well, that’s not why we do what we do.  I mean, the reason that we are involved around the world, and the reason that we do the things that we do around the world is because it’s in our own interest.” (link)
There is an isolationist strain in American politics that advocates withdrawing militarily and diplomatically from the world. This view is often advocated across the political spectrum from liberal passivist to libertarian isolationist to nativist populist who make up part of the conservative movement. When people in foreign counties take to the streets and burn the American flag, many Americans will ask, "why should we be sending them foreign aid?"

For one thing, those burning the flag may not represent the majority of the populous of that nation.  We should not allow the most violent and extreme who take to the streets to color our view of a whole nation. For another thing, it is worth keeping in mind that our whole foreign aid budget is less than one percent of the federal budget. Many think it is a huge sum of money; it is not. To keep shipping lanes open and markets functioning is worth the cost. And, if we can influence events with aid we may have to rely less of force. As Bob Corker said, "the reason that we do the things that we do around the world is because it’s in our own interest."

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Senator Corker at World Affairs luncheon says deficit spending is the greatest threat to America.

Today I attended a luncheon conference of the World Affairs Council here in Nashville at the Renaissance Hotel . I did not do a count, but probably 300 people were in attendance. Civic leaders, business leaders, non-profit leaders, religious leaders, academics and current and former political leaders were in attendance, including former Mayor Bill Purcell and Congressman Jim Cooper, and several State Senators and Representatives.

Governor Bill Haslam introduced keynote speaker Senator Corker, and the event also featured Wes Blumenshine from Caterpillar Financial, Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Wayne Culbreth (USA), and Pastor Dan Scott from Christ Church Nashville, who all described why programs funded by the U.S. International Affairs Budget are critical to Tennessee’s future.

Senator Corker spoke for maybe twenty minutes sharing his experience in Washington as the senior minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his various travels around the world in that position and his evaluation of the challenges we face in the world and his views of America's position in the world. Corker was then interviewed in a casual set-down interview by David Brody, Chief Political Correspondent, Christian Broadcasting Network.

During the interview, Brody asked a Senator Corker what he saw as the biggest threat to American security today. Corker replied that that was "no-brainey." He said, by far the greatest threat to our national security was America's deficit.

“Withdrawal from leadership will make us less safe, have us miss opportunities for greater prosperity and stability, and potentially sow the seeds of greater indebtedness. There’s no nation in the world that is impacted as much as ours when there’s economic stability around the world. But the greatest threat to our ability to lead is our fiscal situation. I was asked recently in a discussion with young people about how the U.S. can regain our competitive advantage from a rising China. I said then and will reiterate today: we must get our fiscal house in order.

He said if we do not get an handle on run-away spending we will not be in a position to exert influence in the world. He said if we cannot solve the debt crisis, nothing else we do in the world will matter.

Hearing Senator Corker's comments about the deficit made me even more disappointing with the so-called conservatives on the Metro Council who on Tuesday night voted to send the Congress a letter urging them to end sequestration, make no meaningful spending cuts and take the counter productive action of increasing the corporate income tax.

When cities around the country unanimously pass resolutions such as the shameful resolution passed by our Council on Tuesday night, it must weaken the resolve of members of Congress to address this serious threat to our national security. I do not see how patriots would not have voted for that resolution. 

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Donelson Republican breakfast with Spcial Guest Dr. Ming Wang


Shoney's at the Airport location/Donelson
546 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN   (615) 883-8110
Sat, 8/24, 8:30 am

with
Dan Davis
 Mr. Davis will talk about the mission of the Tennessee Republican Minority Coalition and its activities.
and
Dr. Ming Wang, MD, PhD
Appreciating Freedom in America -
Living through China’s Cultural Holocaust

Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD (laser physics)
President, Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce (www.tccc.us)
Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center (www.wangcataractLASIK.com)
Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration and Wang Foundation for Christian Outreach to China

Dr. Ming Wang, a Harvard and MIT graduate (MD, magna cum laude) and one of the few cataract and LASIK surgeons in the world today who holds a doctorate degree in laser physics, will present a talk entitled “Appreciating Freedom in America – living through China’s Cultural Holocaust”.

Dr. Wang is the only surgeon in the state who performs 3D LASIK (ages 18-60), 3D Forever Young Lens surgery (ages 40-65) and 3D laser cataract surgery (ages 60+). He has performed over 55,000 procedures, including on over 4,000 doctors. Dr. Wang has published 6 textbooks and a paper in the world-renowned journal "Nature", holds several U.S. patents, and founded the Wang Foundation for Christian Outreach to China and the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration, which has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge.

Growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, Ming--a teenager at that time--faced the devastating fate of being deported by the Communist government to the poorest parts of China where he, along with millions of other Chinese youth, would be condemned to a life of poverty and hard labor. Ming learned to play the Chinese er-hu violin as a way to avoid deportation. A chance meeting with a visiting American professor helped Ming come to America, so in 1982 with $50 and a Chinese-English dictionary in his pocket, he arrived here in the U.S.

Having suffered through and survived China’s Cultural Holocaust, Dr. Wang is deeply troubled by the direction towards dead-end socialism that America is heading today. Because he has “been there, done that,” and knows that socialism does not work. He will talk about his “Great American question,” namely, why was the idea of freedom able to take root in America over two hundred years ago, yet was not able to take root  in many parts of the world even in the 21st century today? Dr. Wang will share his feelings on the importance of protecting our freedom!

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Governor Huckabee Sends Statewide Fundraising Letter for Lamar Alexander

“Like Ronald Reagan, Lamar knows how to govern with conservative principles, and he uses this experience to get results.” -- Governor Mike Huckabee 

 

Press Release, Aug. 22, 2013. NASHVILLE, TN – Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign today shared a statewide fundraising letter signed by Governor Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee’s letter opens:

“When I was Governor of Arkansas, we did not have a Republican United States Senator, so I used to ask Lamar Alexander if he would mind moving a little west and being Arkansas’ other senator. I needed somebody I could talk to, somebody who is a conservative, and someone who understands – as Ronald Reagan did – how to govern.”

Huckabee’s letter praises Alexander’s accomplishments as governor: recruiting the auto industry, defending the state’s right-to-work law, building a four-lane highway system to attract industry, standing up to the unions, paying teachers more for teaching well, balancing the budget and leaving the state with a AAA bond rating.

Huckabee lists Alexander’s most recent conservative ratings from his time in the Senate:
• An “A” rating from the National Rifle Association
• 100% score from National Right to Life
• 100% score from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
• 100% score from the National Federation of Independent Business

He reminds readers of Alexander’s leadership role at the White House Health Care Summit, writing:

“[R]emember the health care summit where the president sat around the table with thirty or forty members of Congress? Remember who the Republicans called on first to say what they thought of Obamacare? It was Lamar Alexander. If you have forgotten about it, visit www.repealobamacaretn.com to watch it. Lamar told the president Obamacare wouldn’t work, and the president said it would. Well, guess who is right and guess who was wrong? Lamar was right, Obama was wrong. We’ve got to keep Lamar’s voice in the Senate, reminding the president of what works.”

The full letter is available here.

The Alexander campaign is chaired by Congressman Jimmy Duncan with co-chairmen Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker Beth Harwell as well as Congressmen Blackburn, Roe, Black, Fincher and Fleischmann.

The campaign’s Honorary Co-Chairmen include former U.S. Senators Howard Baker, Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson as well as former Governors Winfield Dunn and Don Sundquist.

Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Statewide Committee to Elect Lamar Alexander are all 13 living former state Republican Party chairs.

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