Thursday, October 31, 2013

Forbes: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare

Remember, President Obama saying, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan?"

According to Forbes magazine, 51% of Americans will lose there employer based insurance. Obama knew this as early as 2010. There is no nice way to say it; Obama is a damn lair.

Forbes: Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare.

For the NBC report on the same topic, see this: Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance.  According to this report, "Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law."

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Only 300 Tennesseans have signed up for Obamacare, governor says

Only 300 Tennesseans have signed up for Obamacare, governor says

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A Happy Halloween Cartoon Book
























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1st Tuesday to present Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips


On WEDNESDAY [yes Wednesday] Nov 6th, 1ST TUESDAY welcomes Americans for Prosperity president,  TIM PHILLIPS

Want to hear the critical role AFP played defeating the liberals recall effort of Wisconsin Gov. Scott, Walker? Want to hear about AFP's powerful effort in the first successful recall of the DEM State Senators Colorado ?  Want to hear about the other major defeats liberals have experienced recently...AND... are going to suffer? Want to hear what now makes Tim Phillips - "one of the most feared men in American politics" ??

MANY of you know  -- Local Liberals plans to convert Nashville into "the San Francisco of the South." Want to hear about how AFP is now planning to us combat the Liberals plan for NASHVILLE ????
I am betting that you do.... and that is why I'm very excited for as many of you as possible to join us !

Initially... our hosts at WALLER Law advised that the conference room was booked .... THE GOOD NEWS is that WALLER advised me yesterday they can now host 1ST TUESDAY members,  many members of the TN Legislature and some special AFP guests ... for lunch on Wednesday, NOV 6th.
[yes, for the 1st time ever.. we are meeting on a Wednesday]

Therefore... as usual we will meet at WALLER Law.. 511 Union Street -27th floor. Doors will open at 11AM for Coffee and Social Time. Lunch from Alexander's Catering is at 11:30. Our program will start at Noon with our Q&A session ending at 1:00PM sharp. As usual, lunch is $20 for Members and $25 for Guests. Seating will be limited since we are expecting several AFP friends from around the state to join us for the first time. Secure your seat at our 1ST TUESDAY website at http://1sttuesdaynashville.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=fa7cbc828438464728c6e5491&id=a08653b408&e=46a71a17a8 and then click on Shopping Cart.

IF you are interested in the political future of NASHVILLE... then don't miss this 1ST TUESDAY...[on Wednesday... Nov 6th !! ]...... AND.... expect a very special announcement !!

Secure your seat while space is still available... and prepare for a BIG day at 1ST TUESDAY.
The joint will be jumping !!

See you on Wednesday, Nov 6th !If you visit FactCheck.org you will read the following about the Political Action Committee known as  AMERICANS for PROSPERITY and their President, Tim Phillips.

Political leanings: Conservative/Libertarian
Spending target: Reported to be $200 million, including money for allied groups
Founded by billionaire businessman and conservative/libertarian political activist David Koch, Americans for Prosperity (http://1sttuesdaynashville.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fa7cbc828438464728c6e5491&id=13104c11a1&e=46a71a17a8)  [AFP] has emerged as one of the most influential conservative issue advocacy groups on the national and state political scene. A major force (http://1sttuesdaynashville.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=fa7cbc828438464728c6e5491&id=9ee9497312&e=46a71a17a8) behind the Tea Party movement, AFP seeks to support free markets and entrepreneurship by advocating lower taxes and limited government spending and regulation.
The group’s president is Tim Phillips (http://1sttuesdaynashville.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fa7cbc828438464728c6e5491&id=dd64cff1e9&e=46a71a17a8) , a Republican campaign strategist .......

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Judson Phillips says it is time to end the war on drugs. His solution is no solution.

Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation and an early leader in establishing the Nashville tea party movement, is now a columnist with The Washington Times. In his WT column last Friday he argues that it is time to end the war on drugs. I could not agree more. Phillips lays out how the war on drugs as been a failure and the ill effects it has created and the unintended consequences of this failed policy:

Today it consumes billions of dollars. It has created a law enforcement profit industry, where law enforcement can take money and property away from innocent people. These people, who are frequently not even charged with a crime, are forced to go to court, if they can afford a lawyer, and they are forced to prove their property is lawfully theirs.
The war on drugs has incarcerated tens of thousands of people whose only crime was a drug offense. It has created Mexican drug cartels that terrorize not only Mexico but are now reaching into the United States. These cartels reap huge profits from illegal drugs.
Phillips goes on to argue however that in replacing the War on Drugs, we should regulate drugs and users. He proposes that those who want to use drugs should have to register with the government and they would be prohibited form working in certain occupations and would be prohibited from using public assistance programs. He says, "The the penalties for possession of drugs by an unregistered user should be draconian."

I am afraid what Phillips is proposing is no solution at all. There are a lot of causal and occasional users of marijuana. Does one seriously think these people would register with the government? I know I wouldn't, (if I was a user). There are a lot of users of pot who may only occasionally smoke at parties or with close friends. These users are more like social drinkers. They are not going to register as drug users. There are also users who may smoke a little dope now and then in the privacy of their home. They may get a little buzz a few times a week but they smoke small quantities and a little may last them for months. Does anyone think these people will register with the government and get their drug-user permit? I think very few user of pot, the most prevalent illegal drug, would register?

Maybe registering  heroin addicts has some merit, but I doubt it would work with other drugs. His proposal would not end the war on drugs because to continue draconian measures for non registered users is to continue the war on drugs.

I think we should partially decriminalize pot immediately. No one should be imprisoned for possession of small amounts. Then, we should regulate it, perhaps following the pattern of Amsterdam, or perhaps taxing it and regulating it  much like we do alcohol. I am not coming from an absolutist libertarian position on this issue, but a more pragmatic view. Pot is relatively harmless. It is less harmful than alcohol by far, both as a social problem and a health problem. People should not be criminals for using it. Prohibition of marijuana has not worked. This does not mean that I think meth or heroin or all other drugs should be legalized. We need to decide the best policy with regards to crack and power cocaine. Should those two forms of the same drug be treated so differently?  This, and the policy on other drugs should be examined, but decriminalizing pot is a good place to start. If we end the war on pot, we have ended about 90% of the war on drugs.

I am glad to see Justin Phillips recognize that, "The drug war has been a total disaster on every front." I am afraid however, that his proposal is not an improvement and would not end that war.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Senator Mark Green Fund Raiser Friday Nov. 1.


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Nashville Tea Party Meeting Tues Nov 5, 7PM

From: Ben Cunningham
To: Nashville-Tea-Party-announce@meetup.com
Nashville Tea Party Meeting
Please Join us Tues Nov 5 - 7PM
Meeting Location: Cornerstone Church, in Madison, TN. See Map HERE
726 W Old Hickory Blvd, Madison, TN 37115
We will be in a meeting room and the entrance is in the back parking lot.


Please Join us! Your Country Needs you now more than Ever.
Doug Mathis will perform his hit song America!
Speakers include TN State Rep Judd Matheny and TN Eagle Forum President Bobbie Patray.

Bring a friend. There is no charge for attending and everyonemattending will be entered into the drawing for Two American Eagle One Oz Silver Dollars.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Inspiring story of fallen American hero shared in new book as national movie premiere nears

WASHINGTON, W.V. — Author Jer Dunlap joins with Dan Dietz and Cindy Dietz-Marsh, the parents of fallen American hero Danny Dietz, to share the remarkable story of a young man turned Navy SEAL who gave his life in protection of our country during the ill-fated Operation Red Wings in their soon-to-be-released book “Danny: The Virtues Within”—a story that will soon be featured in the upcoming film, Lone Survivor.

About the book:
Labeled an American hero by President George Bush and retired Admiral Donald C. Winter, the life of Danny Dietz demonstrates that long before the Trident was pinned to his chest, he exhibited the coveted virtues so clearly stated in the Navy SEAL ethos.  From his stories of youth, from the values instilled, Americans will be inspired to embrace a life of virtue which only a few dare to live. Americans will witness the timeless values that comprise our freedom.
“Danny:  The Virtues Within” is a contemplative book of essays focusing on the values of an American boy turned American hero.  The courage, humility, wisdom, character, steadfastness and loyalty that Navy SEAL Danny Dietz demonstrated in his final moments of life, under a hailstorm of enemy fire, took a lifetime to mold and left a legacy from which we can learn about ourselves, about our freedom.
 “From this fallen hero, we learn so much about the virtues that make great men.  And the lives of great men often force us into an examination of the life we’re living. It has been an offer of the lifetime to work with Cindy Dietz-Marsh and Dan Dietz.  In so many ways, this is the book we hoped to never write.  Yet springing forth from the sacrifice of Danny Dietz are the stories of life, of virtue.  In so many ways, working with these Gold Star parents and learning about their Navy SEAL son has changed my life – forever,” said Dunlap.
Published by Winters Publishing Group, the book will be available upon its December 1 release through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.winterspublishinggroup.com, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

A sought after speaker and business trainer, Dunlap spends his life expanding freedom, by equipping the American worker.  With a client list of company household names, Dunlap is most proud to have worked with the United States Military, serving four of the five branches with training solutions. Dunlap plans to make the transition from business trainer to speaking on the topics near and dear to his heart:  freedom, American greatness, patriotism, service and sacrifice, and the lessons we learn from the life of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz. He currently resides in his beloved state of West Virginia with his wife and two daughters.
In addition to being the parents of an American hero, Dan Dietz and Cindy Dietz-Marsh dedicate their time to causes bearing Danny's name.  These organizations continue to extoll the values and virtues upheld by their Navy SEAL son.
Jer Dunlap formerly of Nashville served as Chair,man of the Donelson-Hermitage Republican Breakfast Group in 2011.

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Beat Lamar PAC's balance is down to $25

Beat Lamar PAC's balance is down to $25

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Update: It is Kent Wall. Election Administrator to be selected at Davidson County Special Called Meeting 10/28/2013 3:00 PM

Update : 10-29-2013- As expected the Davidson County Election Commission selected Kent Wall as Election Administrator yesterday.

On Monday Oct. 28th the Davidson County Election Commission will select a new Election Administrator. The position of Election Administrator became vacant in May after the newly appointed Election Commission fired Election Administrator Albert Tieche. 

The four nominees for the position are:
  • Joan Nixon, a 28-year career employee of the Election Commission and a Democrat who is currently serving as interim administrator. She was appointed to the position after Albert Tieche was fired.
  • Steven Murff, former program director of the Davidson County Mental Health Court.
  • John Howell, who works in the Nashville hospitality industry.
  • Kent Wall, an election poll worker volunteer and former president of Johnston & Murphy, a subsidiary of the Genesco footwear company. 
Sources tell me that Kent Wall is the favored candidate of Election Commission Chairman Ron Buchanan and the person likely to get the job. Some people have raised eyebrows about the close relationship between the Walls and Buchanans. Kent Wall's wife is Susan Wall, Chair of the Nashville Republican Women's Club and Ron Buchanan's wife is Vicky Buchanan, a Vice Chair of the Nashville Republican Women's Club. I am not sure that there is anything particularly wrong with that. The Election Commissioners are political appointees and one would expect them to be active in party politics and often spouses of people who are active in politics are also involved in politics, however it may appear a little too cozy. For appearances sake it might be appropriate for Ms Wall and Ms Buchanan to resign their positions with the Nashville Republican Women. On the other hand, if Mr. Kent does get the position and all goes smoothly at the Election Commission no one will care, but should their be problems we could expect the press and Democrat activist to try make something of the fact of this close relationship.

I have been told that at the last Commission meeting when candidates were being interviewed for the position of Election Administrator that Chairman Ron Buchanan aggressively questioned John Howell. I was not there so I don't know what occurred, but I heard this from more than one source. One person told me, he treated Howell worse than he did Albert Tieche at the meeting where Tieche was fired. Another person told me that Buchanan treated Howell like a witness on cross examination. If anyone was present at that meeting, I would welcome you leaving a comment to confirm or refute this.

Whoever is appointed Election Administrator, I hope they do a good job and stay out of the news. That may be hard to do however. With Tennessee a Red state except for the Blue strongholds of Memphis and Nashville, Democrats are going to do all than can do to hold on to power. They can be expected to go after the next Election Administrator the same way they went after Tieche. Tieche had an especially challenging job to do. He had several election in a brief period of time, he faced a redistricting and the introduction of new technologies. Also he was the first Election Administrator appointed by a Republican majority Election Commission and he inherited a staff that were all Democrats. The next Election Administrator may not have as many challenges as did Tieche but Democrats can also be expected to make his life difficult and to use ever opportunity to promote an agenda that claims Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters. Whoever the new Election Administrator is, he will have his work cut out for him.

NOTICE OF DAVIDSON COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION MEETING
The Davidson County Election Commission will hold a “Special Called” meeting on  Monday, October 28, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. This will be at the new location of the Election Commission, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217
Get Driving Directions
 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Man Who Raped Teenage Boys to be Honored with Postage Stamp

Man Who Raped Teenage Boys to be Honored with Postage Stamp.
What is this country coming to? Maybe our Metro Human Relations Commission should change the name of their annual Youth Pavilion at the Nashville Gay Pride Festival to the "Harvey Milk Youth Pavilion.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jon Stewart Delivers Blistering Takedown of Obamacare Rollout.

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Kathleen Sebelius Trying to Explain Healthcare.gov

A SNL spoof.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

For The Love Of Music: The Story of Nashville - Official Trailer of the documentary funded with flood relief money





I am bullish on Nashville. I love this city. I would not want to live anywhere else. I love that Nashville is "music city." I look forward to seeing the half-hour-long special ABC documentary on Nashville.

However, it concerns me that $300,000 of the money to produce the documentary came from federal flood relief money given to Nashville following the 2010 flood. You may also recall that $7.1 million in federal money intended for flood relief went to the downtown riverfront redevelopment.  

I have no problem with federal money being used to help people recover from a natural disaster. I have no problem with federal money going to a city to help the city rebuild public schools and infrastructure damaged in a natural disaster. However, experiencing a natural disaster should not be like winning the lottery; it should not be a windfall. 

No wonder our Country is broke.

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Green Hills traffic problem to be solved by replacing center turn lane with a median.

The Green Hills Area Plan calls for banning most left hand turns and developing a median in Hillsboro Rd, among other things. I like walkable pleasant cities but am skeptical that you can get people to give up their cars and can turn an area like Green Hills into a pedestrian -friendly area. Part of the plan however makes a lot of sense, such as connecting the Mall to other commercial areas so one does not have to get in the car to go a short distance and the realignment of some of the intersections. If I lived in the area, had a financial interest in the area, had to travel through the area, or visited it often, I would take the time to learn about what is proposed for Green Hills.

Community Meeting: October 28

There will be a community meeting on Monday, October 28, 2013, from 5 pm to 8pm at Hillsboro High School, 3812 Hillsboro Road, Nashville, TN 37215, to review the recommendations from the Green Hills Area Transportation Plan, other mobility solutions, and related amendments to the Major and Collector StreetPlan and the Green Hills-Midtown Community Plan. This community meeting will be held in an open house-style format, and residents are encouraged to stop by during the time frame to discuss the recommendations and provide input.

Public Hearing: November 14

Additionally, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) will hold a public hearing during the regular Planning Commission meeting on November 14, 2013, at 4:00 pm in the Sonny West Conference Room of the Howard Office Building, to consider amendments to the Major and Collector Street Plan and the Green Hills-Midtown Community Plan. The Major and Collector Street Plan was adopted on April 24, 2011, by the MPC. The Green Hills-Midtown Community Plan was adopted on July 28, 2005, by the MPC.
The purpose of these amendments to the Major and Collector Street Plan and the Green Hills-Midtown Community Plan are to include recommendations from the Green Hills Area Transportation Plan and other mobility solutions to improve the transportation network in the Green Hills Area. The Green Hills Area Transportation Plan can be reviewed online at http://www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/Planning/docs/subarea10/GreenHillsAreaPlan_2011-08.pdf.
If you have questions about these meetings, you can contact Michael Briggs,Transportation Planner, at 615-862-7219 or Michael.Briggs@nashville.gov

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Republicans need to stop demonizing those who agree on goals but disagree on strategy

In a recent post on this blog I gave my own postmortem analysis of the government shut down and debt limit battle. I essentially said that while I totally agree with the objective of defunding ObamaCare, I thought a better strategy would have been for the house to pass the defund version of the continuing resolution, knowing it would fail in the Senate, then pass the delay version, knowing it also would also fail in the Senate, and then let the continuing resolution pass. The outcome would have been about the same; all Democrats would have been on record of even opposing a delay, but we would not have had a government shutdown. Instead of the strategy House Republicans followed, I thought we should focus on winning elections and once we take the Senate, then focus on the repeal and replace of Obamacare.

My friend Gene Wisdom disagreed with my view and commented that he thinks the House battle, while doomed to failure, showed courage and commitment to principle and did not distract from election chances in 2014. The 2014 elections are still sometime away and things can change in that period of time, but I think it is undeniable that the shutdown hurt the Republican "brand." (I normally resist using trendy words like "brand" but it conveys the message.)

Many Republicans argued that this government shutdown would not be as damaging to Republicans as the 1996 shutdown. They argued that ObamaCare was unpopular and that the grassroots tea party, Fox news, talk radio, and social media had lessened the influence of the mainstream media. It appears that, that was wishful thinking. Greater blame was placed on the Republicans for the 2013 shutdown than was for the 1996 shutdown. What the polls don't measure however, is how much people care. The shutdown was not even an inconvenience for most people. If you were not on vacation trying to visit a national park, you may have not even known there was a shutdown. People may blame the Republicans more and still not really care about the issue all that much.
 
If Obamacare is still viewed as a disaster by 2014, and there are not more government shut downs, then perhaps Republicans can recover and win some Senate seats and maintain a House majority. Time will tell, but as of now, Republicans are liked even less than in the recent past.  To stand any chance of doing well in 2014 we have to recover some lost ground. Unless Republicans can improve their standing with the American people, we may lose Senate seats and may even lose control of the House.

Sept. 2013 poll
Despite all of the above however, I am not certain that if we would have not had a government shutdown, that the strategy of playing nice and hoping to win elections would have been a winning strategy either. Writing in National Review OnLine, Andrew C. McCarthy says:
To buy the GOP establishment’s "repeal by winning elections" alternative, you also have to believe that Republicans are going to repeal a vast entitlement that has, by then, been on the books, with millions of Americans drawing subsidies, for at least four, and more likely six or more, years.
He says the House strategy of repealing ObamaCare by forcing a government shut down was a "hail Mary pass," but says the Republican strategy of repeal by winning elections is not even a hail Mary pass but is, "the art of the impossible."

So, where do we go from here? For one thing, we need to stop demonizing those who agree on goals but disagree on strategy. Those who wanted to attempt to defeat ObamaCare by closing down the government and forcing a defunding or delay as the cost of  reopening the government should not be denounced as crazies and terrorist and anarchist, and those who want to repeal and replace ObamaCare by winning elections should not be demonized as traitors, RINO's and sell-outs. Good and reasonable people can disagree on tactics and strategy. We must unite and fight to elect Republicans, repeal Obamacare and cut government spending. Even a "liberal" Republican is more conservative than a "conservative" Democrat. A vote for any Republican is still a vote for a Republican majority and a Republican President of the Senate, and Republican Chairmen of committees. Those who are looking for ideological purity are shooting themselves in the foot.

The second thing we have to realize is that we may lose. ObamaCare may be here to stay. Along with ObamaCare other changes may occur. High unemployment and lessened economic growth, less rugged individualism and less opportunity for advancement, a sluggish economy and culture that does not welcome innovation and a burdensome bureaucracy that inhibits economic growth and innovation may be the new normal and our country may become a nation that more closely resemble European nations than the America of the past. Personally, living in a society that resembled England or France would not be that terrible. This passage from Charles Murray's Coming Apart, I think, says it best:
Europe has proved that countries with enfeebled family, vocation, community and faith can still be pleasant places to live. I am delighted when I get a chance to go to Stockholm or Paris. When I get there, the people don't seem to groaning under the yoke of an oppressive system. On the contrary, there's a lot to like about day-to-day life in the advanced welfare states of western Europe. They are great places to visit. But the view of life that has taken root in those same countries is problematic. It seems to go something like this: The purpose of life to to while away the time between birth and death as pleasantly as possible, and the purpose of government is to make it as easy as possible to while away the time as pleasantly as possible- the European Syndrome.
I don't want it to happen. Something valuable would be lost for ever if American continues on the path we are taking. The trajectory we are on did not start with the election of Barack Obama. It has been happening for a long time. A change has been occurring in the American character. It is not just all politics and the last election. As institutions no longer work, the family structure weakens, and values decline, people are more inclined to look to government as the solution to all their problems and for their sense of identity.  A guaranteed income and six weeks paid vacation becomes more important than the opportunity to achieve enormous success. Mediocrity and equality become more valued than excellence. I fear Americans no longer wants to be exceptional. We want to be average. We want to be like other modern industrialized Western nations.

I don't want the American example of free markets, individual liberty, and self-sufficiency to disappear, but I am afraid it is happening. America is becoming less exceptional day by day. We are not there yet however, and maybe we can reverse the trend and reclaim the America we knew. I am not ready to give up the fight but the future is not guaranteed. 

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10/22/2013 MNPS Board works sesssion on MLK magnet

This workshop deals with the future of Martin Luther King magnet school. Several proposals are discussed. Director of Schools Jesse Register is promoting a plan to the board that would add new 12 classrooms and boost capacity by 300 students. One of the problems facing the board is that with so many students in schools which feed into MLK, there is almost no capacity for students who are not in feeder school to get a shot at entering MLK. Register originally suggested doing away with 7th and 8th grades at the 7-12 school but this was met with resistance.  Register's expansion plan will cost $6.6million.

To read more:
MLK expansion would cost $6.6 million

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That Fracking Al Gore

Al Gore Invests in Fracking Company

Al Gore No Longer Investing in Green Tech

 

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Caffeinated Conservatives SATURDAY, October 26, 2013

SATURDAY, October 26, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Bagelface Bakery 
700 Main Street in East Nashville
Come meet good folks, drink great coffee, talk politics, and listen to:
Councilman Peter Westerholm and
Councilman Joshua Stites
For a preview of the delicious bagels and coffee at Bagelface Bakery:
http://www.bagelfacebakery.com/
Thanks for your support !
Terry Torree & Steven Clements

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Uncle Frank was a staunch Conservative.

My Uncle Frank was a staunch Conservative.
 
He voted straight Republican until the day he died in Chicago . 
 
Since then he has voted Democrat.

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Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices

Even the mainstream media cannot continue to hide the truth. NBC news reports that thousands get health insurance cancellation notices. Do you remember, "if you like your insurance, you can keep it?"

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MNPS blame budget woes on Charter Schools, Seeks More Funding. Workshop video of Special Meeting

Below is the video of the special joint MNPS and Metro Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting and the Metro Council Education Committee meeting that occurred last Thursday night.


When students leave a traditional school and enter a charter school the Metro and State per pupil funding of $9,100 follows the student to the charter school. MNPS officials argue that even though they no longer have to educate that child they still have "fixed" overhead cost and that causes the school system to be financially burdened.

Watching the workshop you will learn that the average annual school enrollment growth rate is 4% and only 5% of all Metro Public School student are in charter school. So, the number of students in traditional  public schools are continuing to increase. Charter schools are suppressing the rate of growth of new students in non-charter schools but still, more students are entering the non-charter schools system every year than are being siphoned off to charter schools.

I think the argument that charter schools are a drain on the school budget is bogus. MNPS should be able to absorb a student growth that is less than it would have been if not for charter schools without facing a severe financial hardship. An organization as large as the MNSP should be able to cut overhead. Overhead is not fixed. Watching this workshop you will learn that despite twelve school located in North and East Nashville being at below 70% capacity, the School Board is not considering closing or consolidating any school. 

I can't help but speculate what the argument of the MNPS would be if all of the students in charter schools were suddenly put in traditional schools. I would bet the argument would be that they need more money. They would argue that the additional students created a cost to the system greater than the $9100 per pupil increase in funding.

School Board member  Elissa Kim makes the point that of all Metro Schools, only eleven are classified as "excelling" and four of those are charter schools. Thirty-six percent of all "excelling" Metro Public schools are charter schools, she points out and yet charters make up only 11% of Nashville public schools. (For Elisha Kim's excellent comments see time stamp 1:11:18.)

Instead of scapegoating charter schools, the MNPS should be learning the lessons of charter schools, cutting the bloated bureaucracy, and embracing excellence in education. This is disappointing.

Below is The Tennessean's report on this meeting:
Metro school officials continued pointing to the rising cost of operating charter schools 

Thursday, but this time they had Metro Council members to their side as the two parties began a dialogue on a projected $23 million shortfall. The message from Metro Nashville Public Schools didn’t change: the expansion and increase of charter schools — 22 will be operating in Nashville next year — is expected to place a $62.2 million burden on the 2014-15 budget, up from $4.6 million just five years ago.(link)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

The National Center for Lesbian Rights files suit to force Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages

A lawsuit filed in federal court today by The National Center for Lesbian Rights and four same sex couples ask the court to force the state of Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee comments on the lawsuit.


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Despite scant evidence that there is any advantage to pre-K, MNPS proposes $6 million in new spending to fund it.

Despite scant evidence that there is any advantage to pre-K education and with an alleged budget shortfall of $23 million, blamed on the growth of charter school, Metro Nashville Public Schools  official are nevertheless proposing a “move toward universal pre-K,” bankrolled entirely with local funds.

To see and argument that pre-K is a waste of money, if not actually counterproductive, see this essay by Representative Bill Dunn. Below is the report from The Tennessean where local MNPS official advocate funding for 1300 new seats of pre-K funding for 4-year old at a cost of $6 million.

Metro Schools willing to expand pre-K as state remains undecided

Frustrated by the state’s inaction on expanding preschool education, Metro Nashville school officials are proposing to bankroll it locally in hopes of covering most of the Davidson County 4-year-olds who qualify for it but lack seats today.

Calling it a “move toward universal pre-K,” Metro Director of Schools Jesse Register said he intends to finalize a proposal next month to expand prekindergarten slots in Nashville by 1,300. The plan, dependent on school board approval and landing a place in Metro’s 2014-15 operating budget, would require an additional $6 million in annual local funds. (link)

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Rep. Bill Dunn: Pre-K is one of the biggest educational disappointments ever to be experienced by the citizens of Tennessee

by Rep. Bill Dunn
Rep. Bill Dunn
Pre-K is one of the biggest educational disappointments ever to be experienced by the citizens of Tennessee.  The taxpayers were promised for every dollar spent on this program, we would save $16; that graduation rates would increase and educational attainment would soar. Advocates even predicted that there would be 80 less murders and 6,400 fewer assaults in Tennessee if taxpayers would only spend the close to a half billion dollars per year a universal Pre-K program would cost. The results are in and the promises have turned out to be just words.
Supporters of this expensive governmental program cite non-representative studies from other statesFor example, the advocates invariably cite the Perry Preschool Program as proof of the power of Pre-K. The Perry Preschool project existed between 1962 and 1965. It was a study of 58 seriously at risk inner city minority children who were bordering on mental impairment. The program was far more intensive and expensive than Tennessee’s Pre-K and it still resulted in many of the 58 children dropping out of school, being arrested and becoming pregnant at an early age. To use this study to predict a positive Tennessee Pre-k outcome would be scientific malpractice.
The best way to predict what the TN Pre-K program will do is to study the TN Pre-K program. In fact it has been studied by experts twice.
What are the results in Tennessee? The state comptroller commissioned a study of Tennessee’s Pre-K program using statistical analysis to compare children who attended the program and those who did not. The study showed that any early gains disappeared quickly and that Pre-K students did WORSE in every, not some, not most, but every category (reading, math, social studies, and science) in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade when compared to like students who did not attend Tennessee Pre-K. Vanderbilt University is doing an even more comprehensive study. The results through the first grade are in and they are just as dismal as the previous results.
The cognitive differences between participants in the Pre-K program and non participants were no longer statistically significant by the end of kindergarten except in one category in which the Pre-K students did WORSE. The result was the sameby the end of first grade, no statistical difference except in one category in which the Pre-K students did WORSE.
The non-cognitive outcomes were not much better. There was no statistically significant difference for social skills, for work-related skills, for preparation for grade, for peer relations, for behavior problems or for feelings about school.  No difference despite the millions spent.
The Pre-K students needed more special education services when they reached kindergarten and first grade.  This meant more tax payer dollars spent on top of what was already spent on the program. It may sound counter intuitive, but a case could be made from the Tennessee data that Pre-K actually has a long term negative effect when it comes to cognitive outcomes.
This makes sense if you consider that starting a child to early in school may lead to educational problems due to frustration.Also, there is only one teacher in the classroom teaching, but there are 15-20 four year olds “teaching” each other and it isn’t always good. Finland, which is at the top in educational achievement, does not have compulsory education until the child is 7 years old.
In fairness, there were two areas where Pre-K students did better, less chance of retention and slightly more days of attendance. Neither of these justify almost a half billion dollars in taxpayer dollars.
It is imperative that the legislature wisely use the tax dollars entrusted to it, especially in the case of education.  If Tennessee continues towards the path of fully funding a universal Pre-K program, there will not be enough money for teacher raises, new technology, new classrooms or programs proven to work.School Boards and politicians will be right back asking for more money, more taxes to pay for the things they should have prioritized in the first place.
Pre-K advocates may have good intentions, but it is important for the Governor and legislators to have good policy. It is time to start a bipartisan discussion on an alternative to the previous course of action. Pre-K was given a chance, but failed the test.
###
Rep. Bill Dunn(R-Knoxville) has a M.S. in Extension Education from UT, serves on the House Education Committee, is Chairman of the House Calendar and Rules Committee and is the father of five children. 

This article was first published in the Commercial Appeal  and unfortunately it is behind a paywall. I am reposting from the Camp4u website, assuming neither Rep. Bill Dunn nor Sen. Stacey Campfield object. If I am infringing on a copywrite by reposting, please notify me and I will remove immediately. Rod

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Marsha Blackburn: On Voting Against Ending the Government Shutdown and Avoiding Default on the Debt

From Marsha Blackburn:
  
Marsha Blackburn
Last night the House and Senate voted for a bill to avoid the immediate debt ceiling, but did not do anything to prevent the occurrence in the future. We have had hundreds of calls, emails, and letters. I know the vast majority of our district agrees with the vote I cast. I wanted to take a minute and let you know how I voted and why. I’ve said here many times, you might not agree with me, but you will always know where I stand. 

I voted against the deal struck last night. While I believe it is important to make sure our nation does not default on our debt, I could not support the Senate proposal. Last night’s proposal does not keep to one of the Republican goals- a minimum of one dollar in cuts for every dollar of lift in the debt ceiling. This proposal had no spending restraint, no reductions, and no commission to find additional reductions. 

Last night’s bill did not include the required Balanced Budget Amendment that would force government to live within its means. As well, it allowed extraordinary measures that would give more authority to the Treasury and the Obama Administration to spend without Congressional approval. We need to be strengthening, not weakening, the people’s house. 

The Continuing Resolution did not provide us with any of the restraints that were needed to address the exorbitant cost of Obamacare or the growth of the program to a minimum of $2.6 trillion. I went to the House Floor to address this need earlier this week. Watch here. The program has simply become too expensive to afford.

I was against a government shutdown and against a national default.  Now that the government is open and the threat of default pushed to the new year, I am turning my attention to the role of Congress to conduct oversight and investigation. My colleagues and I will hold hearings on all things related to the Obamacare rollout, the glitch-filled website, and the privacy concerns raised. We will use our authority as much as we can to hold this Administration accountable.

We’ve hit $17 trillion in debts and Obamacare is set to add another $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years. We’ve got a lot of fighting left to do. I’m honored to be on the same team with you as we lead the charge.

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Bob Corker: On Voting to End the Government Shutdown and Avoid Default

From Bob Corker:

Bob Corker
 On Wednesday, Senator Corker voted for H.R. 2775, a bill to prevent default, temporarily fund the government and maintain the spending reductions in the Budget Control Act. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 81 to 18. “It is beyond belief that Congress chose to pursue an effort that had no chance of success and wasted time that could have been spent putting in place spending reforms that will make our country stronger. But I do consider it a victory that we forced adherence to the Budget Control Act spending restraints, which for the first time since the 1950s, have caused us to reduce total government spending for two consecutive years,” said Corker.

“There’s much more work to do to get on a path to fiscal solvency, and I look forward to continuing that important work.” The Budget Control Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 2011, helped reduce total government spending for two consecutive years. It will cause non-emergency discretionary spending to be decreased from $1.090 trillion in 2011 to $967 billion this year.

In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday, Senator Corker discussed the path forward to getting our nation’s fiscal house in order.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rachel made the News and what I did on my summer vacation



This is not a political post, I just wanted to show off my lovely daughter, Rachel, and share "what I did on my summer vacation." In this news story about the reopening after the government shutdown of Jean Lafitte National Park in New Orleans, she is the slender pretty girl with long hair shown several times in the video.

Last month, Louella and Louella's caregiver Sue, and I spend three weeks in New Orleans. We house sit and dog sit in a lovely home on the same street where my daughter and her husband Joshua live,  just a block down the street. We could walk to each others house and walk the dogs together. It was nice to have the comforts of home rather than staying in a hotel. The dogs were no trouble and in fact I enjoyed them.

Louella has Alzheimer's and has reached a point to where her behavior can be unpredictable and she can have periods of discontent. Some times she can be very difficult. I was concerned about trying to take a trip with her, but she did great. She was happy and sweet and pleasant almost the whole time and she enjoyed the sights and did not complain and want to leave. Little dogs and children are things that always make her happy. The dogs were therapeutic for her. She just loved them, especially a little Terrier named Tia.  She fell in love with her.

The neighborhood my daughter lives in is called, The Irish Channel.  It borders the Garden District. It is a charming area of homes built in the early 19th Century. Almost all of the homes are shotgun duplexes build either right up to the sidewalk or with a front yard no deeper than ten feet and the homes have front porces. All parking is on the street and the houses are only about six feet apart. Lots of people in the community have dogs. With people competing for parking spaces, living in such close proximity, and walking dogs, people are bound to know each other. There is a definite sense of community. Everybody on the street knows everyone else it seems. In the neighborhood there was a neighborhood bar called Parasols, which had the most fantastic Po Boys. I loved the neighborhood.

I took my bicycle and bicycled almost every day, usually about an hours but some days for several hours.  Bicycling is a great way to explore a city and the great thing about bicycling in New Orleans is that there are no hills. Also, adults to not have to wear helmets. I know one should, but they are a hassle to deal with and casual biking is more fun without the bike helmet.

With three weeks to do tourist, we did not have to be rushed. We did everything we wanted to do. We went out of town one day and visited a sugar cane plantation and learned about that aspect of history. We went to the fine art museum, which has a great and varied permanent collection. We saw the sculpture garden, the botanical garden, toured beautiful old churches with frescoed ceiling and stained glass windows and statuary. In addition to St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson square we visited two other churches that look like the cathedrals of Europe.  We rode the street cars, partied on Bourbon street and we ate.

Other than getting to spend time with my daughter, the highlight of the trip was eating.  We did not have a bad meal. We had gumbo, jambalaya, Po Boys, Vietnamese food, Italian food, French pastries, gelato, fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House which the Food Channel says is the best fried chicken in America, pork barbecue and lots of other great foods. We had a couple of very expensive meals in very nice restaurants but some of the best food was in out of the way places tucked in neighborhoods but that  had been recognized by the locals as the best place for that food item for maybe the last ten years.

My daughter in her capacity as a park ranger gives a two-hour walking tour and lecture, which she developed. She talks about the rich history of New Orleans cuisine and the various influences that created it. I got to go on her tour and was very impressed and found it very interesting. New Orleans has a rich tradition of blending and incorporating cuisines and they take their food very seriously. If you visit New Orleans eat a roast beef  Po Boy at Parasols, and if you can go twice have the firecracker shrimp Po Boy. Go to New Orleans just for the food.

I had a great time in New Orleans. In many ways, for good and ill, New Orleans is like a foreign country. If you are looking for a different experience go to New Orleans. Get off Bourbon Street and experience the city. I love Nashville and don't want to live anywhere else, but if I did live somewhere else, I think I could enjoy living in New Orleans.  



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Tommorrow, a critical meeting related to textbooks for Tennessee's public schools.

From Tennessee Freedom Coalition 
Rod -
We need your help. Please help us make an impact! Please share this email with like-minded people willing to take a stand for our children.
Join ACT for America's Rutherford County chapter tomorrow for a critical meeting related to textbooks for Tennessee's public schools.

Tennessee textbook commission meeting
Wednesday, October 23, at 10:00 A.M.
Davy Crockett Tower
500 James Robertson Pkwy.
Nashville, TN
Conference Room 1-A

On 10/8/13 the State Textbook Commission declined to accept any of the proposed Social Studies books. That decision was huge, and it was unprecedented and we are so pleased with that outcome… However, the Commission is holding an emergency meeting on 10/23/13 and we need to be prepared for a possible reversal or compromise that will not be satisfactory to us. They are also not allowing any public comments at this meeting, so we MUST show our strength in numbers!

Help support this group by attending this meeting and holding our leadership accountable to the people of Tennessee.
 
*****
The Board of Directors
Tennessee Freedom Coalition

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Mitch McConnell's $3 billion Kentucky Kickback

If not for the Louisianan Purchase, the Nebraska Cornhusker Kickback, and Gatorade, Obmacare would have never gotten the 60 votes necessary to cut off debate. We have Obamacare because some Senators were willing to exchange their vote for a sweetheart deal for their state.

In the bill to end the government shutdown and avoid default, Mitch McConnell got a nearly $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky project to increase funding for the Olmsted Dam Lock in Paducah, Kentucky. I don't criticize McConnell for supporting the deal that ended the shutdown and extended for three months the debt limit. We went to the brink of a economic disaster and while Republicans didn't get much, what they got was the best deal they were going to get. It was time to vote to end the crisis. So while I do not criticize Republicans who voted to end the crisis and avoid a disaster, McConnell accepting a $3 billion earmark for Kentucky sure look like a deal. It smells. It is things like this that breed cynicism and contempt for government and make people wonder if everyone is not for sale.

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GREEN HILLS GOP SUMMIT, SATURDAY, October 26, 2013



8:30 am – Coffee & Pastries, 9:00 am – Program

 NASHVILLE AND MASS TRANSIT: PAST—PRESENT---FUTURE

FEATURING A CRITICAL LOOK AT ‘AMP’

WITH TWO ACTIVIST SPEAKERS:
MALCOLM GETZ
ASSOC. PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS—VANDERBILT
STOP AMP.ORG, INC. BOARD MEMBER

RICK WILLIAMS
 OWNER, NASHVILLE LIMOUSINE SERVICE
STOP AMP.ORG, INC. BOARD MEMBER


THE ST. PAUL SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY MEETING ROOM
5031 HILLSBORO PIKE
 (GREEN HILLS, ACROSS FROM BURTON HILLS)

PETER & GAIL VOYSEY, CHAIRMEN, greenhillsgop@gmail.com

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