Friday, October 11, 2019

What's on the 10/15/19 Council Agenda: Electing Pro Tem, Honoring Gay "coming out," raising parking fines, spending $11.2 million.

by Rod Williams - The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. Here is a link to the Council agenda and the staff analysis for those who want to watch the Council meeting and follow along. If you are going to watch it, it is more interesting if you have the agenda and agenda analysis.  It is still not very interesting but more interesting if you know what the heck is going on. You don't have to watch it and yet you can still be informed however, because  I will watch it for you and then a couple days later post a summary of the most important Council actions and I will post a video of the meeting and highlight the interesting parts. Below is a summary of the agenda, highlighting what I deem to be the most important items.

Nominations and Elections
The first order of business will be the filling of some vacancies. The most important of these, or most high profile, is President Pro Tempore. Nominations will be made from the floor and then voted on. This is for a one year term expiring August 31, 2020. The President Pro Tem's only duty is to conduct the council meetings in the absence of the vice mayor.  Should the vice mayor's office become vacant, the President Pro Temp would fill that roll. Sometimes members aggressively seek the post lining up their votes; other times it is less sought after and not contentious. The major desirable characteristics for someone holding this office is being fair and being knowledge or parliamentary procedures. Nevertheless sometimes who lines up behind which candidate indicates the division lines in the council.

Other positions to be filled by members of the Council is a seat on the Traffic and Parking Commission and a seat on the Planning Commission.  Other position filled not by council members but by members of the public who are nominated and elected by council members are two vacancies on the Audit Committee of the Metropolitan Government; three vacancies to the Community Education Commission, three positions on the Industrial Development Board, and appointment of the Finance Director.

Public Comment Period: Community activist have not in the past abused this opportunity to address the Council the way I feared they would when the Council instituted this practice. Since this is the first time for the public comment period since the new council took office, there may be some members of the public who take the opportunity to  plead their point of view to the new body.

There are 15 resolutions on the agenda. Most are routine non-controversial things like accepting grants and settling law suits or approving signs overhanging the sidewalks. One resolution approves the employment of Jon Cooper as Special Counsel and Director of the Council Office. Below are two resolutions of interest:

Resolution RS2019-39  appropriates $11.3 million out of the General Fund Reserve Fund for the purchase of equipment and building repairs for various Metro departments. That is a lot of money but this is normal. The administration should make sure the request are legitimate before the bill is presented and the Budget and Finance Committee of the Council should then examine the request to determine that the individual request are legitimate. My view is that if the Budget and Finance Committee recommends it and there is no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the request, the Council should approve the request.
Resolution RS2019-49  recognizes October 2019 as LGBT History Month in Nashville and October 11, 2019 as National Coming Out Day. I don't think "coming out" is anything to celebrate and would vote "no" or at least vote "abstain," if I were serving in the Council. Note that this resolution designates October 11th as National Coming Out Day and the Council does not meet until October 15th. The day will be over when this passes.  This spends no money and takes no action except expressing the opinion of the Metro Council, so it is really not that important.
Bills on First Reading: There are only twelve. I normally do not even look at them until after first reading but I read the caption of these since this is a new Council and I wanted to see if there was anything outrageous filed. There is not. Most are zoning bills. Bills on First Reading are lumped together and voted upon. They are not examined until they get to committee and then considered individually on Second Reading.

Bills on Second Reading: There are 16. These are the ones of interest.
Bill BL2019-1 raises the parking violation fee for most parking violations from $10 to $25. This seems reasonable to me.  With the scarcity of parking places and the increase in the value of parking space it seems reasonable to increase this fee.

Bill BL2019-4 prohibits aerial advertising. Why we are proposing doing this I do not
know. There is no "whereas" section of the bills that says why and the analysis does not say why. I always like seeing aerial advertising. Unless there is a real good reason to vote for this, if I served in the Council, I would vote against it.
Bills on Third Reading: There are none.

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. It is also available live on Roku. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel.   If can stand the suspense and just wait I will post the video here and provide commentary.

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Rep. Jim Cooper
From Congressman Jim Cooper: Days after President Trump’s abrupt announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing troops from northeastern Syria, Turkey launched an offensive into the area, targeting Syrian Kurdish fighters who have been U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS. Turkey has accused the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish militia in the area, of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group that is responsible for attacks within Turkey. The Turkish offensive puts the fight against ISIS and security of Kurdish prisons, which are currently holding thousands of ISIS fighters, in jeopardy as soldiers are diverted to the border to defend themselves against Turkish forces. With Turkish airstrikes continuing, Kurdish civilians have begun to flee the area.

+ Jim said, “This stunning and reckless change in policy has resulted in exactly what we feared. The Kurds are under attack.” Jim also joined more than 50 House Democrats in sending a letter to President Trump saying his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria puts U.S. allies in danger, jeopardizes U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and will cause current and future allies to question the reliability of the U.S. as a partner.

+ Jim also participated in a protest this afternoon in front of the US Federal Building on Broadway in Nashville, along with 1,000 members of the community protesting the decision by President Trump.

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Sen. Blackburn discusses troop withdrawal from Syria, impeachment

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The financial impact of police body cameras. Additional $ millions needed.

Purchasing the body cameras for the police may have been the lease expensive part of the program of equipping the police with body cameras. Police Chief Anderson, District Attorney Funk, and Public Defender Martesha Johnson all say they need a lot more money due to the program.  Funk says he needs more than $2.3 million for staff to review thousands of hours of footage and more than $5 million to house the data. Read this Tennessean article for more on the story.

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Dr. Manny Sethi posts over $800,000, has over $2,000,000 in the bank

Conservative Outsider Brings In Donations From Across the State

Manny Sethi
Press release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dr. Manny Sethi, conservative Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced today that his campaign brought in $839,000 this quarter, bringing his total to over $2,000,000 cash on hand.

This amount includes donations from nearly 3000 donors, with an average donation of $114. Dr. Sethi also loaned his campaign $500,000.

“Tennesseans want a Conservative Outside, and our strong fundraising numbers prove that,” said Dr. Manny Sethi. “Our grassroots campaign is resonating in every Grand Division of our state. We’re going to keep working hard.”

“Two million dollars in the bank, coupled with leadership in all of the state’s 95 counties, is fantastic for a first-time candidate. We have momentum and we will have the money needed to win,” said Sethi Campaign Chairman Chris Devaney. “It’s Manny vs. The Machine, and Tennesseans get that.

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Mayor John Cooper, Music City Center announce deal to boost budget by $12.6 million

The Tennessean - Mayor John Cooper announced a new deal with the Music City Center to transfer $12.6 million in payment in lieu of property taxes annually to the Metro Nashville general fund on Thursday morning.

The new tax donation will be used to close “holes in the budget,” he said. (read more)

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The Community Covenant. A progressive agenda for Nashville?

by Rod Williams - At the October 1 meeting of the Metro Council which was the first meeting of the new Council, the Council passed a memorializing resolution adopting a "Community Covenant."  This document could be interpreted as committing the council to a progressive agenda that includes adopting certain policies.  On the other hand it could be interpreted as adopting aspirational goals and does not suggest specific policies to achieve those goals. That is the way I am interpreting it.  As an example, I support "living wages and family-friendly benefits" but oppose a mandatory $15 an hour minimum wage or mandated maternity leave.  The best way to achieve a living wage is to create an environment where more people are worth $15 an hour but recognize that jobs paying $7.25 are entry level jobs that help people build the skills necessary to earn $15 an hour. I favor ending poverty but think that capitalism and a free-market economy do a better job than redistribution and making people dependent on welfare.

The document does contain some relatively specific policy proposals such as, "the Council should continue to dedicate robust funding for the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing." However, "robust" is not defined. 

This resolution was signed by the mayor.  Resolutions that do nothing and are simply expressing the will of the Council are often not signed by the mayor. When the Council shares an opinion with the U.S. Congress, for instance, those are not signed by the mayor.  I would have preferred the mayor had not signed this since it clearly is only, "expressing the support and commitment of the Metropolitan Council."  I do not know why this was signed by the mayor.

Typically, the Council attorney does not provide an analysis of memorializing resolutions and he did not provide analysis of this resolution. 

This resolutions puts the Council on record for something, but thankfully it is vague enough to make it mean whatever one wants it to mean.  Luckily for those who thing it means rent control or a $15 an hour minimum wage for Nashville or sanctuary city status for Nashville or a lot of other progressive values will find themselves frustrated by State law and a State legislature that will not allow Nashville to wonder to far off into progressive la-la land.  Below is the text of the resolution as amended.

Resolution RS2019-31 (as amended) 

A resolution expressing the support and commitment of the Metropolitan Council toward principles constituting a Community Covenant with the aim of increasing prosperity and reducing poverty in Nashville and Davidson County.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council recognizes that all citizens and residents of Nashville and Davidson County should have the opportunity to participate in Nashville's burgeoning economic growth, and that ensuring a more equitable city for all Nashvillians requires adoption of public policies and business practices that will foster equal access to equitable opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council further recognizes that equitable growth gives all Nashvillians the opportunity to participate in and benefit from Nashville's growing economy, and that equity -- rather than simple equality -- should be considered when making public investments, allocating resources, choosing service vendors and contractors, and enacting budgets; and

WHEREAS, diversity and equity should be reflected in all departments and agencies of the Metropolitan Government, as well as in the non-profits and businesses throughout Nashville; and steps should be taken to identify, recruit, and hire candidates from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, living wages and family-friendly benefits support and advance upward economic mobility, financial independence, and family stability. Accordingly, the Council should endeavor to partner with those businesses that provide living wages, quality affordable healthcare, and other family-friendly benefits; and

WHEREAS, reasonable access to affordable housing promotes community stability and development while preventing displacement. Therefore, the Council should continue to dedicate robust funding for the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing and further establish a comprehensive plan, developed with community input, that addresses Nashville’s affordable housing crisis; and

WHEREAS, public transportation should connect residents to their homes, work, and surrounding neighborhoods. In light of Nashville’s growing transportation crisis, the Council should pursue a comprehensive development plan for public transportation that is conceived, developed, and implemented with a community-driven approach; and

WHEREAS, workforce development is vital to connect unemployed and under-employed residents to meaningful job opportunities. Consequently, the Metropolitan Government should seek partnerships with colleges, businesses, non-profits, and apprenticeship programs to connect job seekers with employers and opportunities in order to provide them with opportunities to develop essential workplace skills. The Metropolitan Government should also improve opportunity for minority and woman-owned businesses, and be more accountable publicly about the effectiveness of these efforts; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council believes the principles recited herein above are proper, necessary, and effective toward the reduction of poverty throughout Nashville and Davidson County.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as expressing its commitment to the principles recited herein above as a Community Covenant for the reduction of poverty in Nashville and encourages the Mayor to express a similar commitment.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council will adopt practices to implement the principles recited herein through its committee structure and upon a vote of the council, and encourages the Mayor to also adopt practices with the aim of implementing the principles recited herein.

Section 3. The Metropolitan Council encourages all Metropolitan Departments, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority to adopt practices to implement the principles recited herein to assist with increasing prosperity and reducing poverty throughout Nashville and Davidson County.

Section 4. This resolution shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Bob Mendes, Brett Withers, Colby Sledge, Bob Nash, Jeff Syracuse, Kathleen Murphy, Thomas Cash, Nancy VanReece, Sharon Hurt, Tanaka Vercher, Kyonzté Toombs, Ginny Welsch, Emily Benedict, Sean Parker, Delishia Porterfield, Joy Styles, Russ Bradford, Gloria Hausser, Jennifer Gamble, Freddie O'Connell, Zachary Young, Burkley Allen, Zulfat Suara

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Four nominated to fill school board seat vacated by Will Pinkston

The Tennessean - Already, there is considerable support for one of the nominations, with Freda Player-Peters, a former local Service Employees International Union leader and Briley staffer receiving a Tuesday nomination from nine council members. Three others issued support for Player-Peters on Wednesday, according to Council member Colby Sledge.
According to the Metro Clerk's office, the other three names are:
  • Elizabeth Hines - a parent who works as an adjunct professor at Nashville State Community College,
  • Allison Simpson - a parent who was head of the defunct Nashville Rise nonprofit parent group.
  • Kevin Stacy - a former Metro Nashville Public Schools administrator who led the system's department that supported students learning English. (Read more)
Rod's Comment: Freda Player-Peters has the support of the most progressive members of the Metro Council. 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

LGBTQ Caucus for Metro Councilmembers Formed, A Historic First. 12.5% of Council openly homosexual.

Metro Nashville Council LGBTQ Caucus From Left to Right: CM Zach Young, CM Nancy VanReece, CM Russ Bradford, CM Brett Withers, & CM Emily Benedict•Chair: Councilmember Nancy VanReece, District 8
•Vice-Chair: Councilmember Brett Withers, District 6

•Secretary:  Councilmember Russ Bradford, District 13
•Additional members: Councilmembers Zach Young, District 10, and Councilmember Emily Benedict, District 7
(Read all about it)

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Monday, October 7, 2019

North Nashville neighborhood (ZIP code 37208) has the highest incarceration rate in the entire country.

by Rod Williams - The highest incarceration rate is not a zip code in Chicago or New Orleans or Los

Angeles, but Nashville Tennessee. If one out of seven are incarcerated, think about the rate at which people in that age group are actually committing crime. Not everyone who is a criminal gets caught- probably only a minority of those committing crime are ever caught and not all of those who are caught are convicted.

Vice Mayor Jim Shulman is appointing a special committee of the Metro Council to investigate and explore why the incarceration rate is so high for this zip code. I know this area well. As an employee of Metro Development and Housing Agency in the late 70's and early 80's I worked in this area and then later as a housing counselor with the Woodbine Community Organization, I worked in this area for a long time. A couple of correlating factors I would predict will be discovered if anyone looks, is the rate of out of wedlock births and the low rate of high school graduation.

It's a startling statistic: a North Nashville neighborhood (ZIP code 37208) is said to have the highest incarceration rate in the entire country, according to the Brookings Institution.

Tennessee Bar Association: At 14 percent, the North Nashville zip code ranked three points higher than the next neighborhood on the list, in Portsmith, Virginia. The study’s authors did not examine causation for each geographic area, but cited factors such as family environment, biological stressors associated with poverty and the school-to-prison pipeline as potential connections. 

The Nashville Scene: This is 37208, the heart of historically black North Nashville and a community in which Nashville’s proud progress has often had a poisonous side. The local and federal government’s treatment of North Nashville for at least a century has ranged from neglect to outright racist hostility. Around 50 years ago, the construction of Interstate 40 displaced more than a thousand black residents, destroyed a business and cultural district on Jefferson Street that was thriving against all odds, and slashed across the neighborhood of the 37208 ZIP code, cutting it in half. ......A Brookings Institution study released in March looking at people born between 1980 and 1986 found that in the 37208 ZIP code, 1 out of every 7 people of that generation found themselves imprisoned in their 30s. That’s the highest rate in the country. 

Best Places: Crime in Zip 37208 (Nashville, TN)
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)
Nashville (zip 37208) violent crime is 76.0. (The US average is 22.7)
Nashville (zip 37208) property crime is 75.3. (The US average is 35.4)

Neighborhoodlink.com37208 is a urban zip code in Nashville, Tennessee. Median household income here ($19,534) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($106,900) is lower than in the Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.

The Brookings Institute: Economic studies. Work and opportunity before and after incarceration.
...youths from single-parent households are about twice as likely to be incarcerated in their early 30s than youths from married households.....

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94 Tennessee schools found high lead levels in their water. See the list.

None were in Davidson County, Shelby County or Williamson County. Fourteen were in Knox County. See the list.

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Nashville Court Dismisses Home-Based Business Lawsuit

Nashville’s Chancery Court of Davidson County this week dismissed a lawsuit that a Grammy-winning producer and a hairstylist filed against the city’s regulations restricting home-based businesses.

“We will definitely appeal it,” said Braden Boucek Vice President of legal affairs of the Nashville-based free market think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee. “We are excited about the possibility and remain enthusiastic that they will ultimately prevail because the courts are going to conduct a meaningful analysis and see there is no legitimate or rational reason to keep these people from conducting quiet and low-impact businesses out of their home.” (link)

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Council passes progressive "Community Covenant" at the first council meeting of the new council (10/1/2019).

The program begins with an introduction by long time newscaster and pundit Pat Nolan. This is new. In the past there was no commentator. Pat opens the meeting by giving stats on the makeup of the Council and the new diversity. The Council has its first member of the Muslim faith, its first Hispanic women, 20% of the body is openly LBGT and half the members are female. Nolan gives historical data from a time when the Council was all male to the present. Nolan summarizes what is on the agenda and what future controversies are brewing.

At timestamp 6:11 the vice mayor gavels the meeting to order. The meeting opens with an invocation and the pledge of allegiance. I don't know that anyone is advocating to discontinue this practice but in some progressive communities they have done so. Charlotte, N.C, Cleveland, OH, Phoenix, AZ. and a lot of smaller communities have discontinued the prayer to open city council meetings and the ACLU and atheist groups have been pushing to ban prayer at the opening of town council meetings. A few cities have discontinued opening meetings with a Pledge of Allegiance. It there was a move to ban opening prayer or a pledge in Nashville, it would be accomplished by removing that requirement from the rules of the Council. This meeting operates under the old rules.  The Council will adopt new rules on Dec. 3rd.

At timestamp 11:25, Mayor Cooper addresses the Council. The speech is congratulatory and an expression of a desire to work together to solve problems.

There is some housekeeping measures. Vacancies on various boards that are to be filled by the Council are announced. There are then the presentation of some memorable recognitions. Consideration of legislative agenda begins at timestamp 59:45.  None of the legislation was very significant and nothing of much interest happened in this the first meeting of the new Council.

RS2019-31 adopts a "community covenant" which is described as goals by which the Council can measure itself.  It is, "A resolution expressing the support and commitment of the Metropolitan Council toward principles constituting a Community Covenant with the aim of increasing prosperity and reducing poverty in Nashville and Davidson County." It calls for "equitable growth," and "diversity." It commends "living wages and family-friendly benefit."  While this bills lays out a plan that progressives will look upon as a pledge for a progressive agenda, it really is not.  If lays out goals and commends good things. It does not say how these things would be achieved.  I also favor affordable housing and prosperity and ending poverty and think a living wage is a good thing. I think progressive efforts to make these things happen and mandate them is most often counter productive.

Several of the new progressive Council members speak on the bill. Councilman Glover speaks on the bill and moves to amends it. Since the minutes of the meeting are not posted I do not know the exact wording of Glover's amendment but I understand that it clarified that the implementation of these goals would have to follow normal procedures and come back before the Council. It is discussed. There are points of order and some confusion. There are suspension of rules and an amendment to the amendment. I commend Vice Mayor Jim Shulman for patiently explaining the process and indulging procedural errors on the part of new council members and providing gentle guidance.

Council member Ginny Welsch, probably the most radical of the new progressives, speaks against Glover's proposal. Glover's amendment passes. The resolution is adopted by a voice vote.  This discussion is worth watching and the resolution worth reading to understand the tenor of the new Council. To see the discussion see timestamp 1:19:26 - 1:51:25.

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How the hell can we be congratulating these Commies for seven decades of massacre and depravities?

While Trump Congratulates Communist China on Its 70th Anniversary, Senate Republicans Condemn It

President Donald Trump marked the 70th anniversary of the “People’s Republic” with the following congratulatory tweet: “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!”
But Senate Republicans have marked the anniversary with condemnation of the regime.
Missouri senator Josh Hawley: “Seventy years ago, the Chinese Community Party seized power from the Chinese people. Since then, its ruthless rule has resulted in the deaths of millions of its own citizens.”
Arkansas senator Tom Cotton: “To see the price of the PRC’s anniversary celebration, look no further than what’s happening in Hong Kong: a ceaseless war against those who wish to live in freedom. From the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution to the camps in Xinjiang today, it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.”
Nebraska senator Ben Sasse: “Today Chinese tyrants celebrated 70 years of communist oppression with their typically brutal symbolism: by sending a police officer to shoot a pro-democracy protester at point-blank range. The freedom-seekers in Hong Kong mourn this anniversary, and the American people stand with them against those who deny their God-given dignity.”
Rod's Comment: I understand that the government of China is not as bad as they were during the Great Leap Forward when they caused massive starvation that killed millions as they implemented a fantasy of entering the modern industrial age by requiring farmers to smelt their farm implements.

They are not as bad as they were during the Cultural Revolution in which thousands were murdered and many more were abused and sent to reeducation camps for wearing reading glasses or owning Classical records or books.

I understand that they are not now following an orthodox Communist economic model  but have adopted elements of a market economy. I understand that the Chinese people have more freedom of expression than they did when everyone wore drab Mao suits. I understand we have to work with them. I understand Trump wants a better trade policy.

While they may not be as bad as in the past, they are still evil. They are a one-party authoritarian regime, trampling liberty in Hong Kong and expanding their boundaries and turning much of Africa into client states.

It is unfortunate that Trump has a soft spot for tyrants.  I long for the age of Ronald Reagan when we had a president with the courage and convictions to call a despotic regime, "the evil empire."

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Whistleblower Party Republican Mix and Mingle, Oct. 24

From the Davidson County Republican Party:

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Lesbian Nashville police officer attacks her girlfriend, breaks her nose, knocks her out.

She is Black and age 27. Read all about it: Nashville police officer charged with assaulting girlfriend downtown.

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Friday, October 4, 2019

'I believe climate change is real,' Sen. Lamar Alexander writes in op-ed

Sen. Lamar Alexander
I believe climate change is real.

I believe that human emissions of greenhouse gases are a major cause of climate change.

So, as one Republican, I propose this response: The United States should launch a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy, a five-year project with Ten Grand Challenges that will use American research and technology to put our country and the world firmly on a path toward cleaner, cheaper energy.

Meeting these Grand Challenges would create breakthroughs in advanced nuclear reactors, natural gas, carbon capture, better batteries, greener buildings, electric vehicles, cheaper solar, fusion and advanced computing. To help achieve these Ten Grand Challenges, the federal government should double its funding for energy research and keep the United States number one in the world in advanced computing. (Read the rest of Lamar's essay)

Rod's Comment: I agree with Senator Alexander that climate change is real.  I know, I know; some of you think I am nuts. Anytime I say this, it is met with derision by fellow conservatives. I am told I have drank the Kool Aid.  Unfortunately, many Republicans have bought the argument that is all a hoax. I find the science and observations compelling. Not that I do not respect the doubters. The "hide the decline" expos√© of a few years ago was enough to spread doubt. The repeatedly missed deadline for the end of the earth made one think the climate change warriors were just Chicken Littles. Still, on balance I think the evidence supports the theory. 

I am not so sure the climate change warriors really believe climate change is real.  If they did, I think they would embrace nuclear energy, natural gas, technology and a growing economy and capitalism. Unfortunately, most climate change warriors seem more motivated by hatred of modernity, science and capitalism than motivated by a desire to curtail climate change. Maybe it is unfair to say they don't believe that climate change is real; one can agree on the problem and disagree on the means to solve it. 

We are not going to end climate change by turning the clock back to the middle ages.  We are not going to solve climate change by embracing renewable energy. That may be a minor part of the solution but not a very significant part. Like Senator Lamar says, we need to embrace the future and create large amounts of clean, inexpensive energy. We need to encourage economic development because most of the increase in greenhouse gases is in developing countries.

Lamar says the “Green New Deal,” is basically an assault on cars, cows and combustion. It is a plan that could never work. Capitalism and American innovation are the answer; not deprivation and socialism.

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Learn all about the Electoral College

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Leadership Institute Campaign Academy begins Oct. 18th

I have attended some of their workshops. This is nuts and bolts stuff training. Don't tell a liberal this is happening, because their training would benefit any activist regardless of ideology.

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Music City Republican women meet Tuesday Oct. 8th

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Bellevue Breakfast Club guest speaker is Robert Swope, Oct. 5th at 8:15 Am.

Dear BRBC Friends,

Our breakfast club will October 5 at 8:15 AM at the Corner Pub in the Woods on Hwy 100.  Our guest speaker will be  Robert Swope, the newly re-elected Councilman.  Come and hear what he thinks about the Council's future agenda.

Hope to see you there.


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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Mary Pierce and David Hanson appointed to the Public Charter School Commission

Mary Pierce
David Hanson
Republican Gov. Bill Lee has appointed the members of the Public Charter School Commission. The Public Charter School Commission hears appeals from charter schools when their application is rejected by local school boards. The appointees to the board representing the Davidson County, middle Tennessee region are David Hanson and Mary Pierce.  These are both good choices.

Mary Pierce is a former member of the Metro School Board who was the member most friendly to charter schools among a board that was very hostile. David Hanson is a board member of the Beacon Center, Teach For America Nashville, and Valor charter schools.

This commission was created in April of this year. Prior to the creation of this agency, appeals from local school board were heard by the State Board of Education which very rarely overturned a decision of a local school board rejecting a charter application. Below is the complete list of appointees. 
Tom Griscom of Hamilton County, East Tennessee Representative
David Hanson of Davidson County, Middle Tennessee Representative
Alan Levine of Washington County, East Tennessee Representative
Terence Patterson of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
Mary Pierce of Davidson County, Middle Tennessee Representative
Christine Richards of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
Derwin Sisnett of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
Eddie Smith of Knox County, East Tennessee Representative
Wendy Tucker of Williamson County, Middle Tennessee Representative

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Past advice on Nashville General Hospital earns new Nashville finance director a wary reception

by Rod Williams - I was pleased to see Mayor Cooper had hired Kevin Crumbo as the new finance director.  One thing that makes me especially pleased is the same thing that is resulting in criticism from from some city leaders, especially Black council members.

In 2017 Kevein Crumbo provided his services for free in analyzing the status of General Hospital and developing a new model for the hospital. Essentially, his proposal  called for turning Metro General Hospital into a ambulatory surgery center and outpatient clinic.  Mayor Megan Barry announced the plan in November 2017 referencing the work of Crumbo.  The plan ran into immediate opposition. While I admire Barry for proposing this plan, I criticize her for the way she executed the politics of the proposal.  She just sprung it on people without selling it and building support. When she ran into opposition she backed down.

Maintaining a charity safety-net hospital is not required by state law or the metro charter.  At one time such a hospital may have made sense, but ever since the advent of medicare poor people have had choices. As time has gone on, people have had even more choice.  If metro wants to subsidize charity care, there are much less expensive ways to do it. General is subsidized to the tune of $50M a year and cannot fill its beds.  It is the hospital that uninsured Metro jail inmates are sent to and Metro employees get an incentive for choosing General, yet few people chose it.

Metro General is on the campus of Meharry Medical School and has long been as source of pride in the Black community. Nashville General is the teaching hospital of Meharry Medical College. Meharry is the second largest educator of African-American medical doctors and dentists in the United States and has the highest percentage of African Americans graduating with Ph.Ds in the biomedical sciences in the country. Should General close, the mission of Meharry Medical College would not be jeopardized, however. General Hospital is now less important to Meharry than in the past. A couple years ago Meharry partnered with HCA to train doctors  at TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, a hospital in HCA's TriStar Health subsidiary.

That General Hospital gives Black members of the community something to look upon with pride seems to me to be the real reason General is kept open.  It is an expensive ego boost. It is my hope that Mayor Cooper will finally close General Hospital; it should have been closed fifty years ago.

For more on General Hospital see link, link, link, link, link.

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The Tennessee Republican Party Chairman's Cup golf game

Rod --
We are only a few days from the 3rd Annual Chairman'sCup Golf Tournament and tomorrow is the last day to register to play!
It’s a best ball scramble, so you don’t have to be a good golfer to have some fun. And if you're not a golfer, this is a great opportunity to sponsor a hole for $100.

Sign up by tomorrow as a single player for $150, part of a foursome for $600, or a hole sponsor for $100. Reserve your spot now! All players will receive a TNGOP golf polo.

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Cooper picks high-profile accounting pro to tackle Metro's finances

Kevin Crumbo
By Meg Garner, Nashville Business Journal -  Mayor John Cooper has recruited a well-known accounting pro to help him tackle Metro's budget troubles.

On Monday, Cooper announced Kevin Crumbo, formerly of KraftCPAs, will take over as Metro's finance director. He replaces Talia Lomax-O'dneal, who will take on another role in the department. Crumbo is best known for guiding the Nashville Symphony through its 2013 financial crisis, as well as advising Mayor Megan Barry's administration on how to address financial issues at Nashville General Hospital. (link)

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Nashville Mayor Cooper to review Briley's executive orders on ICE, affordable housing

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

On my mind: Impeachment.

Bill Bernstein
by Bill Bernstein - First, it shouldn't need to be said but does: As my 7th grade history teacher Harry Allison jammed into us, to impeach means "to bring charges against." Nothing more. Removing a federal official requires a trial in the Senate and a 2/3rds vote to convict. As I read it, nothing requires the Senate to hold a trial if the House has voted to impeach someone. And I predict in this case if the House votes to impeach Trump the Senate will not even hold a trial.

Democrats have been vowing to impeach Trump from the moment he was sworn in (possibly earlier). They have a ready-made narrative that Trump is corrupt, Trump is a criminal. They have spent 3 years trying to find a fact pattern that fits that narrative. This is why you see the same words and phrases used by them, whether talking about Russian collusion, German banks, his tax returns or the Ukrainian telephone call. All of them are supposedly examples of "Trump is corrupt, Trump is criminal."

He is many things but corrupt or criminal is not one of them. That is why these narratives fall apart when the facts finally come out. It won't be any different here.

Back to impeachment. Many Democrats ran on the promise they would impeach him. That barking idiot Rashida Talib at her swearing in said "We're gonna impeach the motherfucker." She got applause. It is the applause line for the Democratic Party. It is a fund raiser for them and a motivator for them. It gets their blood going.

But back in America no one really wants to see this. Nancy Pelosi and the senior Democrats know this, and they have fought impeachment every time it has come up (articles of impeachment have been introduced by Democrats every session). Now the groundswell from the young Progressives has become too much to bear and they will go ahead with this.


Because once they impeach Trump, what else do they have? As I say, the Senate probably won't consider it, and if they do they aren't removing him.

So what will the Democrats run on next time? Impeaching him again? That won't work Passing motions of no confidence like Britain? Who knows.

Again, back in America people understand the Democrats have nothing to offer working people. They will have spent time and energy on a symbol. Not on fixing problems. Trump will likely be reelected and every Democrat not in a safe district will be tarred with this impeachment business. This will likely make the Democrats merely a regional party without national standing. They have already lost over 900 seats in elected positions in the country, being mainly an urban party.

Bill Bernstein, formerly of Nashville where he was owner of Eastside Gun Shop, now lives in Brunswick, Georgia. He is an expert on the Second Amendment.  He is a scholar with a BA degree from Vanderbilt University and  degrees in Classics from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UNC-Chapel Hill, and University of Pennsylvania.

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Cooper hits the ground running, Makes several important appointments.

Press release, 9/30/19  - This morning Mayor John Cooper begins his first day of work as Nashville Davidson County’s ninth Mayor.

In keeping with his focus on Nashville’s teachers and schools, Mayor Cooper’s first meeting is with Nashville Public Schools interim Director, Dr. Adrienne Battle. Later in the day, Mayor Cooper will be meeting with Finance Director Talia Lomax-O’dneal and other members of the Metro Finance Department.

Mayor Cooper announced several important appointments to his team as well as other changes in the administration.

Brenda Haywood has joined the Cooper administration as Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement. Brenda Haywood, who represented District 3 on Metro Council, serves as Associate Minister at St. John Missionary Baptist Church and is the founder of Royal Heirs Youth Academy, a youth and family empowerment nonprofit. A Nashville native, Haywood was the first African American student to walk through the doors of Stratford High School in 1963, followed by three others, integrating the school. Haywood later earned her Bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and Master's degree from Vanderbilt University. A retired Metro Nashville Public School teacher and administrator, now a volunteer chaplain for incarcerated youth, Haywood serves on the Board of Nashville Prevention Partnership and the Homeless Veterans Foundation.

Kevin Crumbo, a noted finance expert and philanthropic leader, is joining the Cooper administration as Metro Finance Director. Ms. Lomax-O’dneal has decided to step down as Finance Director but will be staying in Metro and assist with the transition.
Kevin brings a deep expertise in finances, accounting, financial forensics, and restructuring to Metro Government, as well as a history of deep involvement and commitment to Nashville’s nonprofit sector.
Mr. Crumbo currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Pine Haven Family Office, which manages a portfolio of public and private investments. Previously, he served as the member-in-charge of KraftCPA’s Turnaround & Restructuring Group, where he advised public and private operating companies, commercial and investment banks, law firms, trusts, and nonprofit organizations. In 2017, Mr. Crumbo was awarded the Outstanding Professional Award by the Tennessee Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Crumbo has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and serves as an adjunct law professor at the Vanderbilt Law School. His certifications include Certified Public Accountant (CPA inactive), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA), Certified Distressed Business Valuation Analyst (CDBV).
In addition to his work in finance, Mr. Crumbo has long of involvement in Nashville’s nonprofit sector. He is current Board Chair and past Treasurer of the Nashville Symphony. He also serves on the board of the Nashville Habitat for Humanity. Past board memberships include the Adventure Science Center, the Crisis Intervention Center, Historic Nashville, the Nashville area American Red Cross, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce International Business Council, the Nashville Zoo, and the Tennessee Justice Center.

Kristin Wilson, former Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, is joining Metro as Nashville’s new Chief of Operations and Performance. Kristin Canavan Wilson has 20+years experience in strategy, operations and analytics/performance management in both public and private organizations. She comes to Metro as most recently the Head of Business Analytics for Nashville's property insurance company Velocity Risk Underwriters. Prior to this role, she was the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta under Mayor Kasim Reed, where she played a key role in managing Atlanta's operating departments, establishing a performance management approach to operations and finance and successfully driving high-impact programs such as fiscal strengthening and improving customer service. Prior to this, she held leadership roles at information services firm LexisNexis and consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Dr. Paulette Coleman who earned her Ph.D. in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is being appointed to the Board of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. She replaces Ralph Moseley, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Southwestern/Great American. Mr. Moseley was appointed to the MDHA Board in November 2007 and served as Board Chair from December 2011 to September 2018. In addition to being appointed by mayors and governors to posts on numerous boards and commissions, Ms. Coleman has had a distinguished career as a university professor, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, and interim administrator of the NAACP Nashville branch. Currently, she serves as Chair of the NOAH (Nashville Organized for Action and Hope) Affordable Housing and Gentrification Task Force. Ms. Coleman also earned a bachelor’s degrees from Fordham University in African and African-American Studies, and completed a certificate program in Museum Studies from Harvard University.

In the days and weeks to come, the Cooper administration will be filling other positions and making additional announcements. One third of the positions in the Mayor’s office will continue to be filled by current staff. Mayor Cooper is excited by the opportunity to recruit new talent to Nashville while retaining staff with broad knowledge of current Metro operations and initiatives.

On Wednesday, October 2, Mayor Cooper will also visit the Dupont Tyler School at 9:15 a.m. He will then continue to meet with department heads.

On Tuesday, October 1, Mayor Cooper will begin meeting with meeting with Metro department heads. Tomorrow evening, before the Metro Council meeting, he will host a reception for members of the Metro Council, department heads, and their families in the Mayor’s Office. Mayor Cooper will then address the Metro Council. In his remarks, Mayor Cooper will invite the Council to work with him and his administration to address Nashville’s needs and meet our priorities. This meeting will be open to the media.

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