Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Tennessean editorial: Public should see hosptial books.

Editorial: The public deserves to know why the hospital needs another $10 million bailout in less than a year. 

by David Plazas, The Tennessean - Nashville General Hospital at Meharry is bleeding money, the Metro Hospital Authority might demand another bailout and taxpayers deserve to know why.

The authority, which is the hospital’s board of directors, will meet next month to consider asking Metro Nashville Government for a second $10 million “emergency” infusion in less than a year.

When the hospital received $10 million in emergency funds in February, CEO Dr. Joseph Webb called it a “one-time request.” These words have come to betray him.

 .... The Joint Commission report was never fully released to the Council or to the public because of a loophole in the public records law, so they had a limited scope of the problems. ....Emergency requests should not become the norm, but transparency should be. (read the full editorial)

My Comment: I am pleased to see this editorial and agree, however I think it should go one step further and conclude Metro government needs to get out of the hospital business.  If the citizens of Nashville feel a need to subsidize indigent care, could the money not be better spend by reimbursing local hospitals? In today's health care climate, I have never seen a compelling reason for Nashville being in the hospital business.

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Should Bob Corker be picked for Secretary of State?

While Rudy Giuliani  and Mitt Romney are the leading contenders for Secretary of State and each have their critics, another name that keeps popping up is that of Tennessee's own Senator Bob Corker.  Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  I have watched a lot of CPAN and seen Bob Corker in action and have always been impressed by his command of the facts, probing questions, logic and demeanor. I have a lot of respect for Senator Corker.

I have not studied Senator Corker's roll in the Iran deal to know if for a fact Senator Corker helped make the deal possible. I know enough about the Iran deal to know I think it is a disaster.  Below is an evaluation of Senator Corker from Conservative Review that says Corker would be a terrible pick for Secretary of State. I am withholding judgement and am trying to determine if in fact Bob Corker facilitated the Iran nuclear deal.

4 reasons Bob Corker would be the absolute WORST pick for Secretary of State
Conservative Review - Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (F, 45%) has been floated as a serious contender to become President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state and will meet with Trump this week. But his resume in Congress is spattered with red flag.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Bob Erhlich is guest of First Tuesday, December 6th.

 From Tim Skow :

1ST TUESDAY Members & friends… 

It’s ‘’TURKEY &TOYS SEASON‘’ at 1ST TUESDAY!

Thankfully, MUCH good news resulted from Election Night! The news was also good for TN State Republicans and 2 local incumbents. BUT sadly, we made no local strides. Clearly, we must figure out ’’WINNING in BLUE Territory’’

On Tuesday, DEC 6th we will hear from an EXPERT!! You may know Maryland is as BLUE as BOB ERHLICH from Baltimore County, was elected to Congress 4 times and then elected Gov. of Maryland! NOW…we need to know what that man knows!

Gov. Bob Erhlich
Nashville is BLUE. Yet, Republican

On December 6th…1ST TUESDAY welcomes a man Democrats fear…Maryland’s own, Gov. BOB ERHLICH! As usual, doors open at 11:00 at Waller Law [511 Union St] and is $20 for Members and $25 for Guests. Secure seating at www.1sttuesdaynashville.com and click on ‘’JOIN US’’.

I need to put the lunch order into Copper Kettle today. We have room... and we have time.. BUT... need to hear from you ASAP.  
Tim Skow
Host of 1ST TUESDAY  

Note from Rod Williams: This is being posted late, so if you are interested in attending and have not registered, please register on line ASAP. 

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Private sector can solve short-term rental issue


The recent ruling striking down the constitutionality of Metro Nashville's ordinance means a strategy shift is in order. 

The Tennessean, by Justin Owen and David Krauss - It was 12:39 on a Saturday morning. A bachelorette party was still going strong, just back from a fun night on Broadway.

Back at their short-term rental in East Nashville, the party didn’t seem to be winding down anytime soon. But then one of the partygoers’ cell phone rang. It was the rental host, telling her that he had received a text alert that the party had become too loud. The text didn’t come from a neighbor, or even worse the police, but from NoiseAware, a service that provides short-term rental hosts with a “smoke detector for excessive noise.”

 .... some on the Metro Council want to double down, imposing even more stringent regulations, such as limiting the number of unrelated persons who can stay in someone’s home. ...Rather than enact even more impossible to enforce regulations, the city should instead boost penalties for the violations that actually harm neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their property, and allow private sector solutions like NoiseAware to help short-term rental owners become more responsible hosts. (Read more)

My Comment: Justin Own is president and CEO the Beacon Center of Tennessee. The Beacon Center successfully got portions of Nashville's Short Term Rental Properties regulations overturned as unconstitutional. 

I agree with the view expressed in this article. Government can usually do more good by doing fewer things and doing them well and then getting out of the way.  A lot of issues resolve themselves if government does not try to micro manage.

I have a close relative who has a rental property and they converted it to a short-term rental. Given the cash flow, one would think they were making a killing.  However, the expense was high, paying all utilities and cable and taxes. Also it was like running a business. It was a lot of work. They had to get up in the night to let people in who had lost the code or could not work the entry lock. They had to rush over and clean the house and wash the linen as soon as someone moved out to prepare it for the next guest. After operating the house as a Short Term Rental for a few months they converted it back into a regular rental property.  Not everyone who got in the short term rental business will stay in it.

Another factor to consider is that there are thousands of hotel and motel units under construction or on the drawing board fot the Nashville area.  I could not find a specific count but have seen it reported in the past and it is an enormous number of units that are going to be coming on line.  As more units come on line, fewer units of housing will be converted to STRP and some that are now short term rental may convert back to long term rental properties. 

I live in the Woodland in Waverly neighborhood and one door down from me is a short term rental and diagonally across the street is one.  I have heard people laughing and having a good time.  I could hear them, but it was not offensive.  There are some people who are just not happy if other people are having fun.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

FIDEL CASTRO IS DEAD!!!

This is a great day! One of the last Communist dictators in the world has died. I wish I was somewhere celebrating!

A truly evil man has been removed from this earth! I'll celebrate and drink to that.

Fidel Castro’s greatest atrocities and crimes – Part 1






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Metro General Hospital is seeking an additional $10 million dollar subsidy from the city.

Metro General Hospital is seeking an additional $10 million dollar subsidy from the city.  This would be the second $10 million cash infusion this year on top of the regular $35 million annual subsidy. In 2015 the regular budgeted subsidy was $27.6, increasing to $35 million in 2016. Following the first $10 million additional subsidy this year, Mayor Barry announced a third-party assessment of the hospital's finances and leadership structure. The City has also been holding weekly meetings with the staff to address the financial and management issues.  From the response to the request by the city's finance director, the administration is displeased that this request is being made. To read about the request and the city's response as reported by The Tennessean, follow this link.

Metro General is the city's charity hospital.  There is no charter requirement that the city fund such a hospital or no state requirement.  Metro General is a money pit and is no longer necessary.  I suspect the reason no one seriously considers getting out of the hospital business has more to do with the voting power of the Black community and pride of the Black community in having a Meharry Medical College in Nashville, than any real need. Funding Metro General is a way to subsidize Meharry Medical college. In my view, Metro Nashville needs to get out of the hospital business just as we got out of the nursing home business a couple years ago when we privatized Bordeaux Long-term Care and Knowles Home Assisted Living and Adult Day Services, saving the city $10.5 million a year.

Metro General has been struggling for years. Many years ago there was a need for local governments to provide charity hospitals and many cities did. As healthcare changed and low income people no longer had to go to the charity hospitals but could go to the hospital of their choice, the justification for such safety net hospitals became less persuasive, but with government slow to change, many cities continued their funding of charity hospitals as did Nashville.

Over time other changes occurred which made General even less viable, such as more people being treated as outpatients rather than being admitted into hospitals and length of stay in hospitals being shortened. A more recent change has been the impact of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The Obama administration cut subsidies to hospitals that treat the uninsured. The logic for this was that more people would have insurance and there would be less need for the subsidy.  This policy had lead to closing of hospitals, especially in rural areas, but has effected the income of all hospitals.

Metro General Hospital opened as the City Hospital on April 23, 1890 as Nashville’s first full-service hospital. In 1891 the hospital started a school of nursing and in 1913 it opened a pediatric ward. The hospital grew and flourished until after World War II when admissions began declining. As more hospitals opened in Nashville customers had more choice. St. Thomas opened in 1898 and then Baptist Hospital, first known as the Protestant Hospital, opened in 1917. Park View which was the first in what was to became a chain of hospitals known as HCA opened in the mid 1960’s. Vanderbilt Hospital opened in the 1970’s and there have been numerous expansion and additions of other hospitals since then.

Not only did more choice mean less demand for General, but when Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law in 1965 that meant that low income people could go to any hospital and not depend on city charity. By the 1990’s General was facing a crisis. Not only did low income people have choice, but General, dependent on Metro’s level of funding, did not have the resources to acquire the latest in technology and equipment. Also the building, by this time a hundred years old, was in need of rebuilding or major rehabilitation.

Maharry Medical College was also facing a financial crisis in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. In an effort to help both institutions, in October 1991 Nashville approved of a plan to merge the Meharry Hospital with Metro General. The merger phased out services at the Metro General Hospital site on the bluffs of the Cumberland, now known as “Rolling Mill Hill,” and relocated services to Meharry-Hubbard hospital. General Hospital became the teaching hospital for Meharry Medical School and metro heavily subsidized the 116-bed facility.

General has had a difficult time competing with the many other hospitals in the area despite Metro’s generous subsidy. Despite Metro’s continued subsidy of the hospital, the hospital struggles to attract patients. All Metro prisoners are treated at Mehary-General and Metro employees are given an advantageous deal if they will use Meharry, and yet still the hospital struggles.

In 2012 the city commissioned a study of Meharry-General conducted by the firm of Alvarez and Marsal. The study found that as currently operating Meharry General was not sustainable. One thing plaguing Meharry is that it cannot fill its beds. They only have an occupancy rate to about 42%, but even if they operated at full capacity they would have a per patient loss per day of $1,602. The per patient loss is higher with fewer patients, but the overall loss would be greater with more patients. This study is dated of course and I do not have current occupancy rates, but obviously things have not gotten better.

The consultants offered a range of options for addressing the situation, ranging  from “maintaining the status quo to re-purposing the hospital as an ambulatory care facility with reduced inpatient services to a full scale re-design of the business model focused entirely on outpatient and clinical service.”

A couple years ago, Metro spun off its nursing homes and saved the city $10.5 million a year. A city owned nursing home is as about as archaic as a city poor farm, yet ending metro’s ownership and operation of a nursing home was not without its opponents and yet the city did it. Even Megan Barry voted to privatize Boudreaux and Knowles.  It is time for Metro to get out of the hospital business.



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Betsy Devos is a great choice for Ed. Secretary, Praise from Heritage Foundation. Senate Ed. chair Sen. Lamar Alexander, others.


Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos
I am very pleased with President-elect Trump's choice of Betsy Devos for Education Secretary. It looks like Trump's promise to advance school choice may be one promise he is prepared to keep. I would prefer the Department of Education be abolished and the roll of the federal government in education be reduced and any federal roll be handled by a sub cabinet division within a reconstituted Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  If that is not going to happen, then it appears Trump made a wise choice in picking Devos.

I was not familiar with Devos prior to her selection but since the announcement I have read a lot about her and am very impressed with what I have learned. She is a Michigan billionaire and a conservative activist and philanthropist who has influenced education policy in several states. She is chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, a group that advocates the use of school vouchers and other school choice options.  In Michigan she was an influential champion for education reform and school choice. The Teachers unions despised her which is an indication she must be doing something right. She was an early supporter of common core but has since changed her mind when she saw it becoming a tool for federal government control.

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint released the following statement about the nomination:
 Betsy DeVos has been a staunch supporter of more education choices for students and parents, and the school choice movement will have a champion in the Education Department.

The next Secretary should re-evaluate existing federal education programs, work to downsize the agency, promote where appropriate efforts for more choice, and give states more flexibility with existing federal funds to better serve students.
Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee said of the nominations:
Betsy DeVos is an excellent choice. The Senate’s education committee will move swiftly in January to consider her nomination.
Betsy has worked for years to improve educational opportunities for all children. As secretary, she will be able to implement the new law fixing No Child Left Behind just as Congress wrote it, reversing the trend to a national school board and restoring to states, governors, school boards, teachers, and parents greater responsibility for improving education in their local communities.
I also look forward to working with her on the upcoming re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, giving us an opportunity to clear out the jungle of red tape that makes it more difficult for students to obtain financial aid and for administrators to manage America’s 6,000 colleges and universities.
Jacqueline Cooper, president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), said of the nomination: 
Betsy is a very gifted and well-respected education leader with a proven track record of advancing excellence and equity for students. She has been a strong champion for parental choice, ensuring that all children, regardless of race or economic status, have access to excellent schools. We have no doubt she will make a great education secretary.

BAEO congratulates Betsy on her nomination.
Watching the transition team come together and watching Trump moderate some of his positions,  I am more and more encouraged and hopeful that Trump will be a good president.  As one who was a critic of Trump, I am now hopeful. This nomination was particularly encouraging.


For the Wikipedia bio on Betsy DeVos follow this link. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gives away vast amounts of money to good causes. For a list of causes they support follow this link.  Here are links to various news sources and what they  had to say about the appointment: Fox, NPRWashington Post.
   

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Obama's overtime pay rule blocked by federal judge.

Another victory is overturning a President Obama action exceeding his authority.

Federal judge blocks Obama overtime pay rule

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas, whom President Obama appointed, imposed a nationwide injunction against the rule Tuesday at the request of 21 states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups. Business groups cheered the decision as another rebuke of the Obama administration’s penchant for regulation and for extending executive power.

 “The Labor Department’s overtime changes are a reckless and aggressive overreach of executive power, and retailers are pleased with the judge’s decision,” said David French, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president for government relations. The judge said the Labor Department regulation exceeded the authority granted it by Congress, which he said gave Labor the right to define which workers are considered salaried but only based on the duties they performed, not by how much they made.

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Sen. Corker urges Trump to 'strongly enforce' Iran nuclear deal

by Dave Flessner, Times Free Press - President-elect Donald Trump, who vowed on the campaign trail to rip up the Iranian nuclear treaty, should do more to enforce the agreement rather than discard it right away, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Monday.

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a critic of the deal that outgoing President Barack Obama negotiated with Tehran leaders last year, said he expects the incoming Trump administration should and will do more to police what he said were ongoing violations of the pact by the Iranian government. But since the U.S. government and its allies have already returned billions of dollars of once-frozen assets to Iran, Corker cautioned against reneging on the agreement once Trump is sworn into office in January.

"I don't think that [throwing out the deal) is a very good place to start," Corker told reporters in his hometown of Chattanooga. "If you tear the agreement up on the front end, it's almost like cutting your nose off to spite your face because they already have assess to all of their dollars." (link)

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Nashville sticks with marijuana law despite AG's opinion

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean - Nashville will continue to allow police officers in Davidson County to give civil citations for the possession of small amounts of marijuana despite a new opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery that contends the local ordinance preempts state law.

 In a statement Monday, Metro Law Director Jon Cooper reaffirmed his position from last week when he told The Tennessean via email that the Metro Council acted within its authority. (link)

------

To read the Attorney General's opinion, follow this link.
------ 

Metro Legal Statement on Status of Marijuana Ordinance Following AG Opinion

Metro Press release, 11/21/2016 - Metro Nashville Director of Law Jon Cooper has issued the following statement in response to opinion number 16-40 by the Tennessee Attorney General on the ability of local governments to institute civil citations for marijuana possession:

“The Metro Council overwhelming passed the ordinance creating a civil penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana. We have reviewed the Attorney General’s opinion and understand his position. However, we believe we have a good faith legal argument that the ordinance is not preempted by state law. At this point, we do not believe a change in the police department’s enforcement practice is warranted.”

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Carol Swain debates the selection of Jeff Sessions for AG, with Areva Martin on CNN

To view the video click this link.

Sen. Jeff Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 due to allegedly having made racist remarks.  He's now Donald Trump's choice for Attorney General. Areva Martin and Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain debate his selection on CNN.

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Rep. Phil Roe wrote blueprint for Obamacare repeal

by Michael Collins , USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee - WASHINGTON — As President-elect Donald Trump looks for a way to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he should consider calling U.S. Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee. Roe, a Johnson City Republican and one of 17 physicians in Congress, wrote a blueprint more than three years ago for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a system that is more patient centered and market driven.

The bill, which Roe called the American Health Care Reform Act, ...(link)

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Brent Leatherwood running for chairman of the TN GOP.

Brent Leatherwood who is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Republican Party has announced he is running for the Party chairman position. The current chairman, Ryan Haynes, has announce he will not be seeking reelection. The new chairman will be elected by the State Executive Committee at the December SEC meeting. Leatherwood has served as Executive Director since December 2012, serving under both Ryan Hanyes and Ryan's predecessor Chris Devaney.

There is discontent within the TN GOP for several reasons.  In October, instead of the Party enthusiastically getting behind Donald Trump's candidacy, Bent Leatherwood issued a statement saying Republican should vote their conscience. While that statement pleased me and other who were disappointed that the party had nominated a person who unnecessarily used vitriolic rhetoric, who lacked the temperament to be president, and who was a Republican in name only, it did not sit well with supporters of Donald Trump. "We’re encouraging people to vote their conscience. We view our job as one to continue the advance of the conservative cause by defeating Democrats. So we encourage Tennesseans to vote consistent with their conservative convictions,” said Leatherwood. (link)

There was also resentment that among the 14 delegates appointed by the Party sent to the Republican National Convention were those who were not Trump loyalist.  Most delegates are elected but 14 are appointed by the executive committee. If we would have had a brokered convention, they would have not likely voted for Trump on the third ballot. This became very heated and generated national news coverage that establishment Republican were stealing Trump delegates.

Another recent conflict in the party as been that involving Walther Ferrell and Taylor Ferrell and an allegation that the Party was involving itself in primaries attempting to defeat some incumbent Republicans. Taylor Ferrell  was a paid contractor with the TRP who worked to coordinate travel and other logistics for those delegates attending the Republican National Convention. She is also married to Walker Ferrell who is the TRP Political Director. Taylor Ferrell is also sole proprietor of Southland Advantage and Southland Advantage had clients who were running in the primary against incumbent Republican office holders.

Twenty-seven Republican office holders signed a letter calling for Walter Ferrell's resignation due to this conflict. Those who defended Taylor Ferrell said she was not an employee of the Party but was a contractor doing work for the Party and was not violating Party bylaws by having clients seeking to defeat incumbent Republicans. That to me appeared to be a distinction without a difference. Among those leading the effort to get Taylor and Walker Ferrell fired, there were also  calls for the termination of Ryan Haynes as Chairman and Brent Leatherwood as Executive Director. For a lot more on this controversy, follow this link.

According to a recent story in the Tennessean, also seeking the position of Chair is Bill Giannini, a deputy commissioner with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.  Also, a potential candidate for the position is Scott Golden a member of the SEC.  Several people who ran in 2015 such as SEC member Rebecca Burke and Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain are not running and neither is former State Senator Jim Tracy who has been mentioned as a candidate.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander endorse Senator Sessions for AG

Senator Lamar Alexander  released the following statement on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions  by President-elect Trump to serve as U.S. attorney general.

Jeff Sessions has been a friend and respected colleague for many years. By his service as United States attorney and as United States senator, he has earned the opportunity to be attorney general of the United States.
Senator Bob Corker said:
Jeff Sessions is widely respected in the United States Senate and is a great choice for Attorney General of the United States. His years of expertise and respect for the rule of law will serve the country well as he assumes this important role in the Trump administration.

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Beth Harwell Remains Speaker Of The House

Beth Harwell Remains Speaker Of The House

In a 40-30 vote, Beth Harwell defeated Jimmy Matlock and will keep her position as Speaker of the House

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Lamar Alexander: ObamaCare Repeal Will Take Years

Reposted from The Moderate Voice - Lauren Fox reports on the comments of Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the logistics of accomplishing a long-standing GOP goal on Talking Points Memo.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) warned Thursday that it could take years to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. In an interview with reporters on Capitol Hill, Alexander said the goal of Republicans was to “be the rescue party instead of the party that pushes millions of Americans who are hanging by the edge of their fingernails over the cliff.”

Alexander, the chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that will play a central role in repealing and replacing Obamacare, signaled that the process will have to be incremental rather than rapid if Republicans want their plan to succeed. Since Donald Trump was elected last week, Republicans have been clear that getting rid of Obamacare is a high priority. But actually following through may take some more time.

“Eventually, we’ll need 60 votes to complete the process of replacing Obamacare and repealing it because Obamacare was not passed by reconciliation it was passed by 60 votes. And it was cleaned up by reconciliation because Scott Brown won his election,” Alexander said.

“Before the process is over, we’ll need a consensus to complete it, and I imagine this will take several years to completely make that sort of transition to make sure we do no harm, create a good health care system that everyone has access to and that we repeal the parts of Obamacare that need to be repealed.”

Alexander’s comments offer insight into what is sure to be a complicated and politically fraught process, but he remained vague on details. Alexander said he sees major problems with the Obamacare exchanges, but assured reporters that he agreed with President-elect Trump’s position that people with pre-existing conditions should still be protected under the law.

“The exchanges are the first problem, they need to be repealed, the individual mandate needs to be repealed. There are a number of things that need to be repealed, but I think what we need to focus on first is what would we replace it with and what are the steps that it would take to do that?” he said.

“Preexisting conditions will stay. There is no way the Congress is going to repeal preexisting conditions. it might take a different form, but people with preexisting conditions are going to be able to buy insurance in any replacement plan Republicans put forward.”

Alexander’s outlook is that senators should take time to move forward. Alexander has experience taking things slow. He led the overhaul of No Child Left Behind Act with bipartisan support. It took six years.(link to original)

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

39/40 Council members sign mild meaningless anti-Trump resolution

In wake of Trump's election, Nashville resolution aims to calm fears

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean - It doesn’t mention President-elect Donald Trump by name, but a resolution signed by all but one Metro Council member is a direct response to the fears some have following his election.

Councilman Dave Rosenberg has sponsored a resolution proclaiming that the citizens of Nashville “will continue to welcome and to afford equal justice to all residents and visitors regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, or protected status.” (link)

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Mayor Barry reassures those feeling threatened by Trump election

The following is a recent Facebook post from Mayor Barry.


Mayor Barry assures minorities, women, LGBT Nashvillians after Trump election
by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean - Mayor Megan Barry says she’s committed to keeping Nashville “a warming and welcoming place” to immigrants and others amid what she called fear and a feeling of uncertainty for many Nashvillians following the election of Republican Donald Trump.(link)

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Mayor Barry: Nashville cops aren’t ‘immigration police’

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean - As President-elect Donald Trump vows to deport between two and three million undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says she believes that local police forces shouldn’t be used to carry out federal immigration policy.

“I do not believe local resources should be used to enforce federal immigration administrative polices,” Barry said in a statement that her office tweeted Wednesday. “Our police officers are not immigration police, they do not ask about immigration status during stops or conversations with the public, nor do they intend to start now. “I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure that Nashville remains a warm and welcoming city that treats everyone with respect.”(link)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What happened at the Council meeting of 11-15-16: Annexation approved, Museum of African American Music is hot topic, new Short Term rental regs, Warner Music Group bribed.




Council meeting are more meaningful if you know what they are voting on.  For a copy of the agenda, the council staff analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link.

At the start of the meeting, following the prayer and the pledge,  there is a presentation honoring the Black newspaper Tennessee Tribune. The editor of the Tennessee Tribune takes the opportunity to criticize the location of the Museum of African American Music, saying it should be on Jefferson St or if not on Jefferson St.then next to the new Tennessee State Museum on Rosa Parks  and saying if it is going to be where it slated to be built, the entrance should not be on a side street and if they can't get something that shows proper respect then they shouldn't build it at all and let it go to some other city.

Following that presentation is another presentation honoring the Americana Music Association. A couple of the people on hand to receive the resolution was artist Jim Lauderdale and Rodney Crowell. Following that presentation is the approval of appointments to boards and Commissions and as always, they are all approved however, there were two abstentions in the approval of one of the nominees.  I don't know why they abstained but Councilman Sledge and Councilman Sheri Weiner abstained on the appointment of Cullen Earnest to the Sexually Oriented Business Licensing Board.

There are 30 resolutions on agenda. The consideration of resolutions does not get underway until time stamp 29:11 in the video. Most are lumped together and pass by a single vote on the Consent Agenda. Here are the ones of interest.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-406  expands from one year old to three years old, the vehicles that are exempt from being required to be tested for auto emissions. This was deferred the last two meeting and is again deferred one meeting.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-434  is another one of those bills that pay companies for coming to or expanding in Nashville. This one is for Warner Music Group. It will provide $500 per year for seven year for new employees hired by WMG. The total cost to the city could be $2 million. This passed on the consent agenda. To learn more about this issue, follow this link and also see the staff analysis.
 RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-435  is a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) deal for an affordable housing project on Old Hickory Boulevard. In the past PILOT was used by the Industrial Development Board to lure companies to Nashville in order to create jobs. Now MDHA is authorized to use this tool also. So, if I understand it correctly, the land would be owned by MDHA and since MDHA does not pay taxes, the developer of the property would pay this payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT however would be only about 1/10th of what the developed property would otherwise pay in property taxes. This is for an affordable housing project for those earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income. To make this deal work the developer will also be using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. This is deferred one meeting.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-459  ask the Police Department to inform the Metropolitan Council whether they agree or disagree with research findings in a recent report from Gideon’s Army regarding MNPD traffic stop statistics in Nashville and ask them to provide any data to refute the finding of the Gideon's Army report. The Civil rights group Gideon's Army released a report in February called "Driving while Black," that alleged racial profiling by Metro Police. The group clams that from 2011 to 2015, metro officers conducted more than 7 times the amount of traffic stops than the national average, and black drivers were up to 5 times more likely to be stopped. The police say that the reason police stop more Blacks that Whites is that they patrol more heavily in high crime areas, which are Black neighborhoods. For news reports on this topic see this link, and this link. This is deferred one meeting. The reason for the deferral is so a representative of Gideon's Army can meet with the police to review the report together prior to consideration of this resolution.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-460  request the Mayor to get an independent assessment of the location of the National Museum of African American Music at the former Nashville Convention Center. The city gave a multi-million inducement to the developer of the property to build this museum. Early plans showed it with a frontage on Broadway.  The proposed development is multi-use with a much needed downtown retail component. The developer has said that the corner of Fifth and Broad needs to be something that will draw traffic to the retail. He has moved the museum entrance to 5th avenue. Blacks are upset. To read more about this see, Mayor Barry warns against breaking agreement over museum dispute and The deal's done, but critics of $430M downtown project aren't silenced. This bill is deferred one meeting. The sponsor speaks on the bill and compares putting the entrance on Fifth Ave to Blacks sitting in the back of the bus. Councilman Cooper questions the whole deal, asking why we sold the property so cheaply and why there is so little over site. Good questions. The resolution is deferred on meeting.To see the discussion see time stamp 51:40 - 1:09:44.
Bills on first reading are passed by a single vote without discussion as is customary. Below are the bills of interest on Second Reading.
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2016-381 is a bill that addresses Short Term Rental Property. It makes it more cumbersome to get a STRP permit and further restrict the number of permits allowed in any census track. It passes with no dissenting votes. To see the discussion see time stamp 1:12:15-1:17:08.
Bills on Third Reading:
BILL NO. BL2016-415   creates a mechanism for the zoning and permitting of small cell telecommunications uses and to update existing zoning provisions for other kinds of telecommunications uses. It appears a lot of work went into this bill and is important to facilitate the growth of telecommunications. It passes on a voice vote with no dissenting votes.

BILL NO. BL2016-454   amends  the Metropolitan Code to remove the stipulation that only restaurants that possess a license liquor license can obtain an exemption to the minimum distance requirements for beer sales. Currently if an establishment wants a beer license, they have to be a certain distance from away from a home, or a school, or church or park. Liquor license are issued by the State and beer license by Metro, so some establishments have liquor license but not beer license. For those establishments, the city can now make an exception to the distance requirement.  The city can not, however, grant an exception for any other establishments. This bill allows the city to grant an exemptions to other establishments seeking a beer license. This bill would require a pubic hearing on the proposed exemption. It passes on a voice vote without discussion.
BILL NO. BL2016-455 annexes into the urban serviced district various properties located in Council Districts 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, and 31. While Nashville has a single government instead of a city and a county as do most places, we still have two tax districts.  The more suburban and rural parts of the county are in the General Services District and the more developed parts of the county are in the Urban Services District. The only thing the people in the USD get that those in the GSD do not, is garbage collection and street lights. They have the same street cleaning, fire, police, schools, libraries, parks, etc. The 2016 tax rate for Urban Services District is $4.516, and the rate for General Services District is $3.924 per hundred dollars of assessment. With these areas being annexed, the city becomes responsible for garbage collection and providing street lights. Sidewalks is not factor in annexation, contrary to what some people thought when this bill was on public hearing.

One impact of increasing these taxes is that this will likely increase rents in multifamily apartments in these areas annexed. While renters do not directly pay property taxes, they pay indirectly in the rent they are charged. Residential property is assessed at 25% of appraised value, yet commercial and multi-family property is assessed at 40% of value. At a time when there is much concern about affordable housing, affordable housing advocates should advocate against this tax which will hit renters harder than property owners but they do  not.

Currently, for most people in the annexed areas the increase in taxes will not be much more than they currently pay for private trash collection. However, if taxes are increased next year, which I anticipate to occur, then the new tax payment would most likely be considerably more than what residents in the GSD pay currently for private trash collection. This passes on a voice vote. To see the discussion see time stamp 1:43:44 - 1:51:53.

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Council members again request change to African-American museum

Council members again request change to African-American museum 

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean - A proposal pushed by some Metro Council members to try to ensure that a planned National Museum of African-American Music gets its “fair value” in terms of construction has been put on hold until next month.

At-large Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, lead sponsor of the resolution, told The Tennessean that she wants to give the lead developer of a private $430 million mixed-use project called Fifth + Broadway a final opportunity to change design plans in order to relocate the museum to the spot she and others prefer.(link)

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Metro Council approves incentives for Warner Music's Nashville expansion

Metro Council approves incentives for Warner Music's Nashville expansion

Entertainment giant could get up to $2 million 
by Joey Garrison , The Tennessean -  Warner Music Group has landed cash incentives from Metro government that will pay the company for each new job it adds as part of an upcoming company expansion in Nashville after action by the Metro Council on Tuesday night. (link)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nashville is 6th most popular destination for millennials

Millennials form the largest generation in the US, numbering more than 75 million nationwide. As this young, mobile group enters the workforce and forms new households, their decisions have a significant impact on the cities they choose to live in. Today, we look at Census data from 2005-2015, to understand where young Americans are moving to and choosing to settle down. (link)

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Freeman wants Mancini out

 
Nashville Post -Failed Nashville mayoral candidate Bill Freeman is calling for Mary Mancini to step aside as the head of the Tennessee Democratic Party. According ...

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Monday, November 14, 2016

What's on the Council Agenda of 11-15-16: Museum of African American Music controversy, "Driving while Black," annexation, and Short Term Rental Property.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, November 15,  at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If you will wait, I will watch it for you and post the video and point out the good parts so you can go to that point in the video and watch just those segments. Also, I will  tell you what I think about what happened.  Council meetings are really boring and I watch them so you don't have to.

If you are going to watch a council meeting, you really need the agenda and  the Council staff analysis. You will have a better understanding of what is going on. Follow the highlighted link to view the agenda and staff analysis.  Here is my commentary and analysis.

There are four people up for confirmation to Boards and Commissions. These are people appointed by the mayor subject to approval by the Council. They will be approved as always. There are two insignificant resolution on Public Hearing. Both are for exemptions from the minimum distance requirements for obtaining a beer permit for establishment that already have an on-site liquor permit.
 
There are 30 resolutions on the consent agenda. Resolutions on "consent" are passed by a single vote of the council instead of being voted on individually. If a resolution has any negative votes in committee it is taken off of consent.  Also any council member may ask to have an item taken off of consent or to have his abstention or dissenting vote recorded.  None of  the resolutions appear controversial but below are ones of interest. 

RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-406  would expand from one year old to three years old, the vehicles that are exempt from being required to be tested for auto emissions. This makes sense. Vehicles not over three years old almost never fail the emissions test. This was deferred the last two meeting.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-434  is another one of those bills that pay companies for coming to or expanding in Nashville. This one is for Warner Music Group. It will provide $500 per year for seven year for new employees hired by WMG.
 RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-435  is a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) deal for an affordable housing project on Old Hickory Boulevard. In the past PILOT was used by the Industrial Development Board to lure companies to Nashville in order to create jobs. Now MDHA is authorized to use this tool also. So, if I understand it correctly, the land would be owned by MDHA and since MDHA does not pay taxes, the developer of the property would pay this payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT however would be only about 1/10 of what the developed property would otherwise pay in property taxes. This is for an affordable housing project for those earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income. To make this deal work the developer will also be using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. 
RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-459  ask the Police Department to inform the Metropolitan Council whether they agree or disagree with research findings in a recent report from Gideon’s Army regarding MNPD traffic stop statistics in Nashville and ask them to provide any data to refute the finding of the Gideon's Army report. The Civil rights group Gideon's Army released a report in February called "Driving while Black," that alleged racial profiling by Metro Police. The group clams that from 2011 to 2015, metro officers conducted more than 7 times the amount of traffic stops than the national average, and black drivers were up to 5 times more likely to be stopped. The police say that the reason police stop more Blacks that Whites is that they patrol more heavily in high crime areas, which are Black neighborhoods. For news reports on this topic see this link, and this link. While I suspect this to pass, I expect some grandstanding. 

RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-460  request the Mayor to get an independent assessment of the location of the National Museum of African American Music at the former Nashville Convention Center. The city gave an inducement to the developer of the property to provide free space for this museum. Early plans showed it with a frontage on Broadway.  The proposed development is multi-use with a much needed downtown retail component. The developer has said that the corner of Fifth and Broad needs to be something that will draw traffic to the retail. He has moved the museum entrance to 5th avenue. Blacks are upset. To read more about this see, Mayor Barry warns against breaking agreement over museum dispute and The deal's done, but critics of $430M downtown project aren't silenced.
BILL NO. BL2016-463  defines what is "mulch." This is a good example of over regulation. An existing regulation says not over 5% of a lot area may be mulch. Now we need to define mulch.

Bills on First Reading. There are 11 bills on First Reading but I usually don't review bills on First Reading. First reading is a formality that gets bills on the agenda. They are not evaluated by committee until they are on Second Reading. All bills on First Reading are lumped together and usually pass by a single vote. Only rarely is a bill on First Reading considered separately.

Bills on Second Reading.
These are 11 bills on Second reading and these are the one's of interest. 
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2016-381 is another anti Short Term Rental Property bill. It would make it more cumbersome to get a STRP permit and further restrict the number of permits allowed in any census track. I oppose this bill.  The mayor has hired a consultant to study Metro's Short Term Rental Property issues. Also, in a decision in a law suit brought by the Beacon Center contesting the constitutionality of Metro's STRP ordinance, on October 21, 2016 the Eighth Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial District declared the STRP regulations to be unconstitutional. This was on Second reading last time and deferred and I expect it to be deferred again. I would expect the Council to delay this bill and come back with a comprehensive bill that addresses STRP.
Bills on Third Reading.  There are 13  bills on Third Reading.  These are the bills of interest.
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2016-409  request to rezone from R80 to SP zoning for property located at 7897 Old Charlotte Pike, to permit all uses permitted by R80 and a kennel. I don't know anything about the merits of this rezoning and am only pointing it out because it is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission 7 to 0. A disapproved bill requires 2/3rds approval by the Council members. It is sometimes hard to override a PC negative recommendation.   
BILL NO. BL2016-454   amends  the Metropolitan Code to remove the stipulation that only restaurants that possess a license liquor license can obtain an exemption to the minimum distance requirements for beer sales. Currently if an establishment wants a beer license, they have to be a certain distance from away from a home, or a school, or church or park. Liquor license are issued by the State and beer license by Metro, so some establishments have liquor license but not beer license. For those establishments, the city can now make an exception to the distance requirement.  The city can not, however, grant an exception for any other establishments. This would allow the city to grant an exemptions to other establishments seeking a beer license. This bill would require a pubic hearing on the proposed exemption. This proposed change makes sense. I support it.
BILL NO. BL2016-455  would annex into the urban serviced district various properties located in Council Districts 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, and 31. This was on public hearing last meeting where quite a few people spoke in favor and in opposition. While Nashville has a single government instead of a city and a county as do most places, we still have two tax districts.  The rural parts of the county are in the General Services District and the more developed parts of the county are in the Urban Services District. The only thing the people in the USD get that those in the GSD do not, is garbage collection and street lights. They have the same street cleaning, fire, police, schools, libraries, parks, etc. The 2016 tax rate for Urban Services District is $4.516, and the rate for General Services District is $3.924 per hundred dollars of assessment. If these areas are annexed then the city would be responsible for garbage collection and would provide street lights. Sidewalks is not factor in this annexation proposal. Several people who spoke at the public hearing in favor of the annexation seemed to think they would  get sidewalks if annexed.

One impact of increasing these taxes is that this will likely increase rents in multifamily apartments in these areas to be annexed. While renters do not directly pay property taxes, they pay indirectly it in the rent they are charged. Residential property is assessed at 25% of appraised value, yet commercial and multi-family property is assessed at 40% of value. At a time when there is much concern about affordable housing, affordable housing advocates should advocate against this tax which will hit renters harder than property owners but they do  not.

Currently, for most people the increase in taxes, if annexed, would not be much more than they currently pay for private trash collection. However, if taxes are increased next year, which I anticipate to occur, then the new tax payment would most likely be considerably more than what residents in the GSD pay currently for private trash collection.

To see The Tennessean report on this see, Madison residents debate joining Nashville's higher property tax district.   For a background report see The Tennessean's, Nashville neighborhoods pass on offer for more services, higher taxes.    To see if you live in an area proposed to be annexed into the Urban Services District see this link.

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'Special post-election' counseling available to Nashville students

'Special post-election' counseling available to Nashville students
The Tennessean - Metro Nashville Public Schools announced Friday that their school counselors have been provided with "special post-election protocols" to help students in need of counseling after the presidential election.

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Mayor Barry assures minorities, women, LGBT Nashvillians after Trump election

Mayor Barry assures minorities, women, LGBT Nashvillians after Trump election

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Liberal child abuse because the child voted for Trump in a mock election.

I am sure this no more representative of how most anti-Trump parents would treat their children than is the anecdotal rumors of hate crimes committed by Trump supporters, nevertheless it happens. The organization Justice for Children without Voices has intervened in the case and police are investigating. For more on this story follow this link. Be aware that this is heartbreaking and contains some bad words.

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Flood of Trump-fearing American liberals overwhelms Canada.

The flood of Trump-fearing American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week. The Republican presidential campaign is prompting an exodus among left-leaning Americans who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, pay taxes, and live according to the Constitution.
 
Canadian border residents say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, liberal arts majors, global-warming activists, and "green" energy proponents crossing their fields at night.
 
"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said southern Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota.   "He was cold, exhausted and hungry, and begged me for a latte and some free-range chicken.  When I said I didn't have any, he left before I even got a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"
 
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields, but they just stuck their fingers in their ears and kept coming. Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals just south of the border, pack them into electric cars, and drive them across the border, where they are simply left to fend for themselves after the battery dies.
 
"A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions," an Alberta border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a single bottle of Perrier water, or any gemelli with shrimp and arugula. All they had was a nice little Napa Valley cabernet and some kale chips.  When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing that they fear persecution from Trump high-hairers.
 
Rumors are circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer, study the Constitution, and find jobs that actually contribute to the economy.
 
In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans in blue-hair wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior citizens about Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the '50s.
 
"If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very suspicious about their age," an official said.
 
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage, are buying up all the Barbara Streisand CD's, and are overloading the internet while downloading jazzercise apps to their cell phones.
 
"I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said.  " We've already done our share taking in Babs, Sharpton, Whoopee, and a slew of other Hollywood types at their new commune up here. Besides all that, how many art-history majors does one country need?
 
Author unknown

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The Case for Optimism about Trump's Presidency

This is a podcast from Reason magazine which is a sensible respected libertarian publication. They are cautiously optimistic about a Trump presidency especially as it related to foreign policy. They think a Trump presidency will be much less interventionist than would have a Hillary Clinton presidency and much less likely to provoke a war with Russia. This panel discussion includes Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute, Lisa Graham Keegan, former head of education in Arizona, historian Thaddeus Russell, legal scholar Randy Barnett, and defense attorney and legal blogger Ken White of Popehat.  Be aware the speakers use a few bad words.

The first portion is on foreign policy At time stamp 28:00 they discuss what Trump could do about health care. Some things he could do immediately without Congressional action.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Reflection on Trump's victory

I did not vote for Donald Trump and I did not expect him to win.  I fully expected Hillary Clinton to win last night. My greatest hope for the evening was that Republicans could hold the Senate. That is what had me anxiously watching the election returns   I thought a weakened Clinton as president with a Republican Congress was the best possible outcome. Four years of obstruction and gridlock with a weakened Hillary Clinton on the ropes was, I thought, the best possible outcome.

I had and still have reservations about Trump, especially on trade policy and government spending and Trump's temperament. However, I am pleased that Obamacare will be repealed and replaced and that a Conservative Justice will fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. 

Despite not voting for Trump, I could not help myself but get excited as I saw the vote tallies come in. It may just be tribal identity and team loyalty, but I was cheering for a Trump win. My head still thinks he may be a danger and is a big-spending liberal, but my gut was cheering for a Trump win. 

Now that he has won, I hope Republicans will regain their values and stop Trump's  proposed massive new spending programs and new entitlements and a trade war. I hope Trump surrounds himself with good advisers and is really more open to listening to expert advice than he appears and I hope his ego is not as big as it appears. 

Despite not voting for Trump, I am relieved that Clinton did not win. Someone with her recklessness and ethics should not be in the White House. Although I did not vote for Trump, I am pleased with the outcome. May God give him wisdom and give Republicans in Congress some backbone to stand up to him when he is wrong. 

Below are comments gleaned from Facebook from people whose opinions I respect.

From Gene Wisdom:
I was clearly wrong in my judgment that someone of Trump's lack of judgment, temperament, character, and integrity could not win the election (assuming it goes the way it is currently headed). I'll leave aside what that speaks of the American electorate. But I may have been wrong on another consideration: I have long worried, since Trump won the nomination, that his nomination would mean the dissolution of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

What if I read that wrong (and, of course, here is a huge dash of hope)? Perhaps the anger exemplified in this election is an OPPORTUNITY that the Republican Party should not piss away as they have so often in the past. Now that the GOP may now gain all three political branches (President, House, and Senate), will they now:
--scrap Obamacare and strengthen free-market principles in healthcare?
--seize the opportunity to unshackle the economy from burdensome regulations?
--strengthen the American energy market and finally give some "ooomph" to domestic fossil fuel production and reverse the Obama attempt to destroy the coal industry?
--restore America's military and scrap the social laboratory Obama was turning it into? Will they rebuild American military presence around the world as a deterrent to those eager to displace American leadership in the world?
--continue to chip away at the baby-killing industry of America's abortion "clinics"?
--capitalize on the opportunities to restore common sense and a faithful adherence to the Constitution by the selection and Senate consent to originalist jurists on the High Court, in the mold of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito?
--turn back the educariat's domination of our schools and get back to local control? --cut back on our punitive tax code, especially capital gains that chase American industry overseas? Is America no longer naturally an industrial giant? Was it inevitable that we evolve away from that industrial backbone? Perhaps. But let's let a dose of freedom and incentive have a shot at it. --turn loose the economy, as Reagan did, and bring back actual strong economic growth, not the 1-2% malaise we've been stumbling along with?
--work to preserve and restore religious liberty even while the assault on the family continues apace.
There is anger in this election tonight, for sure. Congress may have to work to channel that anger away from Trump's protectionist predilections, an impulse that could very easily lead us, as my friend Rod Williams has reminded us, into trade wars and even worse economic malaise. We would be foolish to ignore the role of high tariffs in bringing about the Great Depression.

There is a reason that Republicans control the majority of state legislatures, of governorships, and of both houses of Congress: Republican principles of economic growth and a firm grasp of traditional values work. Strong and stable intact traditional families provide a foundation which means boys aren't as likely to wind up in prison and girls aren't as likely to become single mothers.

Is Trump's election a cure-all for all our ills? Gosh no. If it was I would have supported his candidacy. Given his appalling personal qualities, he is not the ideal person to guide us in the direction of the policies above. His election now simply increases the CHANCE that the Congress will steer HIM in these directions.

God be with us.

From Daniel Turklay:
Elections have consequences.

I am not a Trump supporter, but America dodged a giant bullet tonight in avoiding Hillary. Everybody knows it.

I have not had Trump's back in this election and I will be watching him like a hawk along with every other bonafide Constitutional Conservative in this country waiting for him to expose his New York liberal roots, But, what I can say for Trump that I never could say for Hillary is that at least I can root for the man to succeed. The man DOES love this country and he will not be giving any speeches about fundamentally transforming her. I'm rooting for him, but I'm not going to be shocked at all if he's a giant letdown. Trump is fully primed to be the first sitting President to face a serious primary challenge, and I know exactly who will be waiting to do it.

Elections have consequences.

To all of the absolutist political pundits who claim over and over that X can't happen and Y has no chance....your analysis means nothing.

To Obama, your legacy is nothing but a severely crippled national health care system. Your executive orders are about to meet a shredder. Your fundamental transformation of America is a colossal failure. You outkicked your coverage for 8 years and this is what happens. I'm sure you'll spend the next 2.5 months trying to stuff the White House toilets with paper towels and issuing pardons to all of your friends and arming America's enemies.....but I suppose all of that is your parting gift for 8 years that add up to nothing. Good for you. Take your pen and phone with you.

Elections. Have. Consequences. And they start now.

God Bless the United States of America: a Republic, if we can keep it.
Richard Upchurch
Many good people I know are expressing their pain, shock and perplexity. I share some of this with them. Why was the electorate so angry this time? Why have they chosen such an unlikely, inept and unready champion? Perhaps radical and extremist policy has indeed provoked a commensurate reaction. Perhaps the present administration's policies of effective disdain for what is most fundamental in human society has stirred up not reactionary revolution but a dull, inarticulate gesture of uncertain and reluctant insurrection. The voters cast ballots as though believing that in our public life something is deeply amiss but as though they recognize not yet, at this juncture, what they want or need or where they want to go.

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Haynes won't seek another term as Tennessee GOP chairman

Haynes won't seek another term as Tennessee GOP chairman

Haynes won't seek another term as Tennessee GOP chairmanwww.knoxnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/11/11/..
Haynes won't seek another term as Tennessee GOP ... Ryan Haynes will not seek re-election as chairman of the Tennessee ... State Forestry team leader

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Voters in the Shadows

By Erick Erickson | Friday, November 11, 2016

The polling and exits were wrong because so many people refused to talk to pollsters. We live in a day when the President of the United States hired a propaganda officer who encouraged people to report their neighbors for lying about Obamacare. They encouraged people to forward emails to the White House from friends and family that had "misinformation". The left took to systematically shaming people and hounding people from jobs if those people dared to disagree on cultural issues. Give money to support traditional marriage and expect protestors to show up at the restaurant where you wait tables and demand you be fired.
Read More...

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Honoring our Veterans

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-November 11, 2016—The Tennessee Republican Party released the following statement from Chairman Ryan Haynes in recognition of Veteran's Day:
"With the excitement of the election concluding this week, it is appropriate we come together as a nation to commemorate those who have ensured we always have peaceful elections--the proud individuals who have served in our Armed Forces. America's ability to become a more perfect union is a direct result of those willing to fight for and protect the freedoms we hold dear. Throughout America's history, our veterans have exemplified some of the best of what this nation has to offer: service, sacrifice, and love of country. Today is a day for our nation to honor the men and women who have put country before themselves and for that I say thank you."

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Veterans Day: Honoring all who served,


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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump's victory speech, Hillary Clinton's concession speech.

In his victory speech last night Trump was humble, conciliatory and modest. He set the tone for bringing the country together.  Below is the video of the full speech.


Hillary Clinton's speech. I did not think she was appropriately conciliatory.  It was not bad but she could have done more to set a tone for unity and healing. She still sounds like she is in campaign mode.


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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I am not disappointed that Hillary is going to be elected

The election will be tomorrow and I fully expect Hillary Clinton to be elected. Polling is pretty accurate these days, and I have no reason to believe the polls are wrong. I am not terribly unset that she will be elected, given the choice.  I think we had a choice between two evils and one of them was going to be elected. We had a choice between really, really, really bad and really, really, really, really bad. Someone on a Facebook meme said a vote for Trump was the equivalent of passing a bill to find out what was in it and someone responded and said a vote for Hillary was the equivalent of passing the worst bill ever introduced but at least you had read it and knew what you were getting. I think that about sums it up. The way I feel about a Hillary election is that, the devil you know may be better than the devil you don't know. 

While I wish we had a Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz being elected tomorrow, since the choice is between Clinton and Trump, I am not disappointing it is Hillary.  One thing that makes me optimistic about Hillary being elected is that there will be no honeymoon period.  She will not be able to immediately push through her agenda. She gets elected severely weakened. She takes office with most people thinking she is untrustworthy.

The FBI Director has said he stands by his July decision that her level of recklessness did not rise to the level of indictment. That does not negate the fact that she was terribly irresponsible with classified information, that she committed perjury by lying to Congress numerous times, and that she destroyed 32,000 emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress.  Those issue do not go away by virtue of her election. This is not over.

Also, the investigation of the Clinton Foundation continues.  Wikileaks further confirmed what we already knew about the pay-to-play scandal and the interaction of the State Department, Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton's personal enrichment. That scandal is not going away.

I would not be at all surprised if Congress appoints a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's alleged misdeeds. It is not likely but possible that President Obama will pardon Clinton before he leaves office. If Obama does not pardon her, it is possible that Clinton will pardon herself. If she is pardoned that would keep her from going to jail, but would further diminish her stature and reputation.  All but the most zealous of liberal partisans would conclude she is a crook. An aggressive investigation of  Clinton would most likely result in some of her closest confidants flipping to save their own skin. I expect more and more wrong doings to come to light.  I fully expect that she will be impeached.  So, the good news is that Hillary will be on the ropes for a long time and severely weakened. She won't be able to push forward an agenda.

Another reasons that I am not terribly disappointed with Clinton getting elected is that it appears Republicans will hold the House.  The Senate is too close to call, but if the Republicans can hold the Senate then her agenda can be totally frustrated. If we lose the Senate, of course, Hillary will be able to appoint a Supreme Court judge.  The most persuasive argument that made me almost persuaded to vote for Donald Trump a time or two, is that I did not want Hillary appointing Supreme Court justices. If we hold the Senate, the Senate can just refuse to confirm her appointees.  There is no requirement that the Supreme Court have nine justices and I think there is a compelling argument that we would be better served by an even number of justices than an odd number of justices on the Supreme Court. If Republicans fail to hold the Senate then I expect Republicans will regain it in two years.  While one liberal justice can do a great deal of damage to our country, I do not see her getting the opportunity to appoint more than one.

Another reason that I am not terribly upset with Hillary's election is that I am really glad Trump is not being elected. A person who makes wild inflammatory Twitter tweets at 3AM may have too little self control to be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. I am also concerned by Trump's comments about NATO and his seeming unconcern about nuclear proliferation. When it comes to foreign policy I expect Hillary to continue the timid policy of Obama, but I do not expect her to weaken NATO or let a hot temper and big ego lead us into wars.

I also trust Hillary more than Trump when it comes to trade policy.  Tump's position on trade scares me.  I know that Hillary jumped on the anti-trade bandwagon herself during the campaign, but I believe she lies and panders and does not really believe her own rhetoric; Trump does. Trump has pledged to impose a 35% tariff on vehicles and Carrier air conditioners imported from Mexico, he has promised to build a wall the length of the southern border and make Mexico pay for it, he has promised to defeat the Transatlantic Trade Partnership, and to renegotiate or terminate NAFTA.  These actions will surely be met with retaliatory actions.  One of the top two or three causes of the great depression was high American tariffs imposed on imports and retaliation from our trading partners.  I fear Trump would start a trade war that would lead to the Second Great Depression. I trust Hillary with trade policy more than Trump.

If Hillary was beating a conservative Republican, I would be depressed about the outcome.  Hillary, however. is beating the ultimate RINO.  She is beating someone who may be more liberal than is she.  Until a few years ago, Trump was a registered Democrat. Throughout his career he has contributed more money to Demarcates than Republicans. Until fairly recently he was pro-abortion and pro-gun control. Trump has been more specific than Hillary about how he wold expand and grow government. Trump has advocated so-called equal-pay-for-equal-work, a new child care entitlement, a new parental leave entitlement and bailing out students burdened by student debt. While Hillary promised a $250 billion massive public works project, Trump has proposed  $1 Trillion in public works spending.  Hillary may be the conservative in this race. If Trump is elected it is doubtful Republicans would oppose his agenda; Republican will oppose Hillary's agenda.


The final reason I am not disappointed that Hillary is going to be elected is that I think, even if he won, Trump would be bad for the future of the Republican Party.  I do not want a  Republican Party that can spend more on pubic works than the Democrat Party.  The Republican Party has traditionally been the party of free trade and lower tariffs. I have not change my view. I can not feel at home in a protectionist Republican Party. I do not feel at home in a Republican party that advances new entitlements. I am surprised at how many Republicans jettisoned every thing they ever once professed to believe in, to support Trump. If the Republican Party is to be a mirrored reflection of the Democrat Party, then I will just retire from civic engagement. I want the Republican Party to be the party of small government and fiscal responsibility.  That is not what Donald Trump offered.

Also, Donald Trump set a tone that belittled and offended women, Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics and the disabled. That is not the way you grow the Party. I do not want the Republican Party to change its core believes in order to compete. I do not want us to try to be as politically correct as the Democrats. I do not want us to pander and buy votes.  However, we must win converts to our political views. If we alienate people, then they are not even going to care what we have to say.  By 2043, America will be a majority minority country.  There is not enough angry white men to win future elections. By losing this election, Republicans can regroup and reflect and decide who we want to be.  I think Donald Trumps defeat was a blessing in disguise for the Republican Party.

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