Sunday, May 30, 2021

Drama among Tennessee Democrats: Why the TN Democrat Party decertified the Madison County Democrat Party.

Accountability or hypocrisy: Why the TN Democratic Party decertified Madison County, what key members are saying 


by Lasherica Thornton, Jackson Sun, May 18, 2021 -A meeting meant to reorganize a local branch of a major political party ended with heated accusations of malfeasance; blatant disrespect during discussions; one woman trying to attack another, leading to police charges; and lingering questions about what led to the local party’s noncompliance – the reason the branch has been decertified

The Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP) decertified the Madison County Democratic Party on March 25 for not complying with party bylaws and a TNDP grievance resolution to seat a man duly elected – a man former officers say used funds without authorization. 

All of the officers – the chair, vice chairs, secretary and the treasurer – were put on a two-year moratorium, prohibiting them from participating in Democratic Party activities. (Read more of this lengthy interesting story that will make you proud you are not a Democrat.)

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Davidson County Republican Party 2021 Reorganization Convention Comments from the Chairman:

Good evening, 


I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who volunteered to help with the reorganization event. Draftees and volunteers alike all made this what has been described as a boring event. A boring event is good at times so thank you again to all. 

I also want to thank all those who have offered support and encouragement to me and to the party. We are living in a critical time in our country. Almost everything we believe in as conservatives and Republicans is being challenged by those wanting to destroy this country, to nullify our constitution, and to subvert the very foundation of our society. 

I firmly believe if we work together and use our combined strengths we can take the Republican Party to all new heights here in Davidson County. Our city is counting on us let's not let them down. 

Regards, 
Jim Garrett, Chairman

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Saturday, May 29, 2021

Drama-free, low-turnout, Davidson County GOP Convention elects new officers by acclamation.

By Rod Williams, May 29, 2021 - A handful of Davidson County Republicans, numbering no more than 65 in a room designed to accommodate hundreds, gathered at the Maxwell House Hotel this morning to elect officers for the coming year. The disappointing turn-out may partially be attributed to this being the Memorial Day weekend.  People travel and have Memorial Day weekend plans.  A time-crunch resulted in the inopportune date of the convention. Normally the convention takes place in March.  Planning for the convention was difficult and the date was delayed because of the uncertainty of when the lockdown would end in Davidson County. 

This year the convention was a "mass convention." It was a single-meeting event and everyone who showed up got to vote.  In previous years, the process was a two-step process.  First, there was a county-wide caucus at which delegates to the convention were elected.  Then, there was a second meeting at which the delegates elected officers. Usually, this occurred on two consecutive Saturdays but sometimes the caucus would be in the morning and the convention in the afternoon.  This sort of process proved unnecessary. 

Each of Nashville's 35 council districts was entitled to some delegates.  Those districts with few Republican voters may only have been awarded three or four delegates, while those such as Donelson or Bellevue or, in the past, Antioch, where there are more Republican voters, may have been awarded two or three times that many. The problem with this system was that most of the time, there were fewer people attending the caucus than there were allocated slots for delegates.  Almost every person who attended the caucus also became a delegate.  This new streamlined process makes more sense.

Today's convention was scheduled to begin at 9AM, but probably did not actually get underway until about 9:20 or so. It was over at 10:38. There were no challenges to anyone's status as a bonified Republican.  In the past, while I do not recall any challenge to those who participated in the caucus as to their bonafides, there were challenges to the eligibility of some to serve as delegates and to some running for office. Sometimes it got contentious and legalistic.  In previous years, there have been contested elections with several candidates seeking various offices, but not this year.  The most contentious caucus and convention were probably back about 2009 when Kathleen Starnes was elected chairman by only a one-vote margin, beating Matt Collins who became Vice-Chair.  There were multiple ballots and parliamentary maneuvering and floor challenges.  Other years, also had contested elections but not as contentious as 2009. 

While "unity," may be desirable, in my view, too much unity indicates a lack of interest and is boring.  While I prefer devoting only an hour and a half on one Saturday rather than half a day on two consecutive Saturdays, a little more drama and enthusiasm would have been desirable. Quite frankly, today's smoothly run convention was boring.

Scott Golden, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, addressed the convention. He said that across Tennesee, that in the next election there will be more Republicans on Tennessee ballots than any other time in Tennessee history.  He said Nashville represented an opportunity for growth for the Republican Party. He said that while Republican candidates such as Trump, Lee, and Blackburn garner about 35% of the vote in Nashville, that of Nashville's ten statehouse seats there is not a single seat held by a Republican, and of Nashville's three state Senate seats there is not a single one held by a Republican.  He said the Party can do better than that in Davidson County.

My hope is that Scott Golden remembers that speech when it comes time to redistrict and he encourages the drawing of districts that enhance the chance for Republican victories.  I hope today's lack of enthusiasm shown by a County Republicans does not cause the State Party to conclude Nashville is a lost cause and not worth the effort. 

Jim  Garrett, current Davidson County Republican Party chairman was reelected.  He addressed the convention and promised a greater effort to recruit qualified candidates and an aggressive program of candidate training.  He said the party is headed in the right direction and has a promising future.

Below is the slate of officers elected at today's convention:

  • Chairman: James B. Garrett
  • First Vice Chairman: Carol Wendt
  • Second Vice Chairman: Drew Loneran
  • Recording Secretary: Mark Woodward
  • Communications Secretary: Wendi Mahoneh
  • Treasurer: Viven Allen
  • Assit, Treasure: Shannon McGuffin
  • North Region Vice-Chairman: Annalisa Young
  • South Region Vice-Chairman: Eugenia Bush
  • East Region Vice-Chairman: David Hooven
  • West Region Vice-Chairman: Kathy Walker
  • Northern Central Region Vice-Chairman: John Wendt
  • South Central Region Vice-Chairman: Rae Keohane
  • Southeast Region Vice Chairman: Barbara Collins
In addition to these officers, there are 35 District Chairs, one for each council district.  They are not voting members of the executive committee but have responsibilities for organizing the Party in their council district. Many of these positions went unfilled today as some districts had no one who would take the job. I think some districts did not even have anyone show up. Ideally and on paper, each district is to have an election to elect a prescient chair for each voting prescient in that district.  That would total another 162 elected Republican Party officials. The Party has never achieved that level of organization. 

























 Chairman: James B. Garret


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Friday, May 28, 2021

LGBT Chamber of Commerce will go all out to defeat the Nashville Taxpayer protection act

Says passage of the tax roll-back referendum would disproportionately harm minority and
diverse communities. 

LGBT Chamber of Commerce press release, (Nashville) – Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce CEO Joe Woolley today made clear that Nashville’s LGBTQ and other diverse and minority-owned small business community would face significant setbacks in their efforts to expand economic opportunity and grow new businesses across the city if the reckless July referendum is successful. He also said the organization would employ its vast network to advocate against it. 

“Nashville’s businesses -- from large corporations to local neighborhood shops -- have faced enormous challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the extraordinary economic crisis it caused,” Woolley said. “As Nashville’s economic engines, we need our businesses to focus on rebuilding, creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities throughout our city.” “Yet, if this anti-business referendum succeeds in its mission, it will leave every current business -- and potential new business -- continually facing the real chance that the foundation they’re building upon will collapse,” he continued. 

“This referendum will create chaos across our government system, undermine our economic stability and put Nashville on a path towards destruction, with every decision made to plan for the future being questioned and potentially overruled. 

“What’s worse, our minority communities and businesses will disproportionately suffer the consequences,” Woolley added. “It will harm efforts to invest in minority and diverse-owned businesses and to ensure that all of Nashville can participate in our economic revitalization. 

Make no mistake, the LGBTQ Chamber will engage our strong network of members to advocate against it.” 

The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the premier advocate of the Greater Nashville Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and ally business community, representing over 550+ businesses, community groups, and individuals in Nashville and the surrounding area. We advocate, educate, and connect on behalf of our individual, small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of promoting inclusion, diversity and equity in business and society.
#

Disclaimer: As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items which I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian or the greater community. Posting of a press release or an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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Common Ground Nashville and the Nashville Alliance of Braver Angels picnic, June 27.

From Common Ground Nashville:


Mark your calendars: June 27 picnic. 

Common Ground Nashville has been discussing ways to collaborate with the Nashville Alliance of Braver Angels. In place of our June meeting, please join us for a picnic sponsored by the Alliance as a kick-off to a new year of programming! Families are invited! 

Edwin Warner Park Shelter 4,  Sunday, June 27 5pm.

Thank you, 
Beth and Catherine 

Thanks for sharing your emails, so we can keep you informed about Common Ground Nashville. Join us to share meaningful, authentic conversations with your neighbors. Our email addresses are: cathclark@bellsouth.net 

Rod's Comment: I have only attended one session of Common Ground Nashville and that was on the topic of immigration. It was a civil discussion with people sharing diverse views and respectfully listening.  I would have attended other sessions on other topics but then the Covid-19 lockdowns occurred and in-person meetings were halted.  I just never could get into Zoom meetings, so did not attend any of those.  I plan to resume attending the meetings now that the lockdowns are over. I will probably attend this picnic.  

Unfortunately, I think Americans have become unnecessarily polarized.  Part of this is due to social media, no doubt, and also media outlets that are an echo chamber for what people already believe.  Also, extreme and angry personalities are more interesting and make better TV than calm, reasoned people. Bombastic, sarcastic, and angry sells more products. When liberals and conservatives can actually sit down and talk to each other, they may discover they are not as far apart on issues as they initially think they are.  And, if they don't find common ground, they may at least decide the people holding contrary views are simply wrong, instead of evil. 

Also, one is better informed on a topic if one knows what the other side is saying and thinking.  By talking to people on the other side, it may cause one to think deeper about an issue than what can be expressed in memes and bumper stickers. Also, if one's assertions may be challenged, one is more likely to be sure assertions are backed by facts.  

As I resume attending CGN, I would be nice to have other conservatives who are interested in polite, but not superficial, conversations taking part in the meetings.  Please give it a try and see what you think.





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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Davidson County Republican Party 2021 Mass Convention

From Jim Garrett, Chairman DCRP:

 Saturday, May 29, 2021 starting at 9:00 a.m.

Millennium Maxwell House Hotel
2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37228

To secure your attendance at the DCRP Convention, please preregister here by noon Friday, May 28, 2021.
 
NOTE: The pre-registration link will close at 11:59 a.m. CDT on
Friday, May 28, 2021.
 
Convention Attendance and Voting Criteria:
 Current Davidson County registered voter.
 Must be an active member of the Republican Party.
 Must be a Bona Fide Republican or have voted in three (3) of the last four (4) statewide Republican primary elections –
August 2020, March 2020, August 2018, August 2016.
 In order to avoid any undue delay the morning of the convention, each attendee is strongly encouraged to pre-register for attendance.
 
 
If you have not been a registered voter in Davidson County long enough to have voted in three of the last four statewide primary elections, email
Brian Canada, DCRP Contest and Credential Committee Chairman with
the following information prior to Thursday, May 27, 2021:
 
1) your name as it appears in voter registration records,
2) your current address associated with the current voter registration,
3) the address of your most recent residence prior to moving to Davidson County.
 
The following are requirements for candidates of the
County Executive Committee (CEC):
 Current Davidson County registered voter.
 Candidates for Chairman must have voted in all three (3 ) of the last three (3) statewide Republican primary elections.
 Candidates for all other positions must have voted in three (3) of the last four (4) statewide Republican primary elections.
– August 2020, March 2020, August 2018, August 2016
 For Regional Vice-Chairs, you must be a resident of the region in which you seek office.
 Review and agree to DCRP Bylaws and officer job descriptions,
 Review and agree to DCRP Rules,  Rules
  Review and sign DCRP Oath of Office, see Rule D in the DCRP Rules.
 
 
The term of service is two years. Elected officers must uphold the duties and standards as outlined in Article V of the DCRP bylaws. This is a working group of volunteers that involves monthly executive committee meetings and other appointed business. Please do not submit your candidacy for a position if you do not have the time or interest to serve our Party.
 
The following CEC positions will be on the convention ballot:
Chairman 
First Vice Chairman
Second Vice Chairman
Treasurer 
Assistant Treasurer
Communications Secretary
Recording Secretary
Seven Regional Vice-Chairmen
 
 To facilitate the vetting process, please submit your name, contact information, and candidacy for which position to the Contest and
Credentials Committee Chairman at Candidate
prior to Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
 
Unlike recent conventions, we will reorganize this year by following slightly modified procedures for a Mass Convention. There will be district meetings prior to the convention to select District Chairman, and, except for Chairman. there will be nominations from the floor during this Mass Convention. If you want to submit your name for nomination for the position of Chairman, you MUST submit your name and complete contact information to the Chairman of the Contest and Credentials Committee. This information MUST be received by the Chairman at least seven (7) days or more prior to the start of the convention or before 9:00a.m., Saturday, May 22, 2021. Names received after that time will not be considered for nomination to the position of Chairman.
 
The contact information for the Chairman of the
Contest and Credentials Committee is:
Brian Canada
P.O. Box 158419
Nashville, TN 37215-8419
615-307-1345
 
The contact information for the current Chairman of the
Davidson Co. Republican Party is:
James B. Garrett
c/o Davidson County Republican Party
P.O. Box 158419
Nashville, TN 37215-8419
615-933-1872
 
If you have questions related to election procedures and candidacy requirements, you can reference the links above or email the Chairman at DCRPReorganization@gmail.com .





Regards,


Jim Garrett
Chairman

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Survey: 85% of NFIB TN Members Trying to Fill Job Openings. Three out of five owners cite the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit as primary reason they can’t find applicants.

NFIB news release, NASHVILLE (May 20, 2021) — Eighty-five percent of NFIB members in Tennessee say they’re hiring, but 94% of those business owners say they’re having problems getting people to apply, a new survey shows. 


NFIB State Director Jim Brown said 63% of owners having trouble finding applicants cite the current $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit as a primary reason. The federal benefit is set to expire July 3 in Tennessee following Gov. Bill Lee’s recent executive action. 

“Small business owners from Memphis to Bristol are hanging ‘Help Wanted’ signs and asking customers for patience because of the staffing shortage,” Brown said. 

“This survey and feedback from individual members show Tennessee is experiencing a crisis where available workers are remaining on the sidelines primarily because of the current federal unemployment benefit,” Brown said. 

“We expect better days are ahead since Tennessee will be ending the benefit before the Sept. 6 federal expiration date, joining at least 19 other states, but the near term for many small businesses will remain exceedingly challenging,” he said. 

The online survey asked NFIB Tennessee members why they couldn’t find job applicants: 
  • 63% said lack of applicants willing to work for pay that’s comparable to their unemployment benefits.
  • 45% said lack of qualified applicants with the required skills and experience. 
  • 25% said lack of applicants who can pass a drug screen. 
  • 22% said lack of applicants willing to return to the workforce due to the pandemic. 
  • 12% said “other” reasons. 
The latest NFIB Small Business Economic Trends survey shows a record 44% of small business owners nationwide have positions they can’t fill – an all-time high reading that’s 22 points above the 48-year national historical average. 

Brown said the Tennessee survey shows nearly 80% of NFIB Tennessee members have increased wages in the past year and that 18% from that group expect to increase wages again within three months. 

“Our survey data shows many NFIB members have responded to the tight labor market by boosting pay and offering incentive bonuses to show for interviews and at hirings,” Brown said. 

“Our members recognized the importance of last year’s federal weekly benefit when many businesses were shut down during the pandemic, but they’re frustrated now that this year’s benefit is sidelining many workers with so many unfilled positions.” 

NFIB has posted a Return-to-Work Guide for its members in Tennessee, which is available to the public. The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation's leading small business advocacy organization. To learn more about NFIB in Tennessee, visit www.NFIB.com/Tennessee and follow @NFIB_TN on Twitter.

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How Income Growth in Tennessee Compares to Other States

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square - The consumer price index jumped by 0.8% in April -- a far larger increase than many had anticipated. The recent spike in the cost of goods and services has led to widespread concerns over inflation. If the cost of living continues to climb at such a rapid pace, it could outpace wage growth, weakening the buying power of the American consumer. Such an outcome would be a reversal of a long-term trend in much of the United States.


Over the last 10 years, real personal income per capita, a measure of annual earnings that is adjusted for inflation, climbed in the United States from $42,287 in 2010 to $53,071 in 2020. There are many potential factors that drove up real personal income, not the least of which is wage growth outpacing inflation. 

While every state reported an increase in real personal income per capita, incomes in some states climbed far faster than others. In Tennessee, personal income per capita climbed from $40,827 in 2010 to $49,539 in 2020. The 21.3% 10-year growth rate is lower than the 25.5% national growth rate over the same time. Of all states, Tennessee had the 22nd lowest real income per capita growth. In addition to wage growth outpacing inflation, another factor that can affect change in real personal income include changes in the length of the average work week-- which can impact the income of workers. As of 2020, workers in Tennessee put in an average of 35.1 hours per week, down from 35.3 hours in 2010. Nationwide, the length of the average work week increased from 34.1 hours to 34.5 hours over the same period. 

Yet another factor that can affect wage growth is the workforce participation rate. The share of a state's population that are employed and earning incomes can have a considerable impact on per capita income. The share of the Tennessee population in the workforce climbed by 2.3 percentage points between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, workforce participation nationwide climbed by 0.9 percentage points over the same period. Percent growth in real personal income per capita from 2010 to 2020 was calculated using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income figures were adjusted from current dollars to constant 2012 dollars using the U.S. personal consumption expenditure price index and were also adjusted for regional price differences using regional price parity in accordance with the methodology provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 







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Trumpinistas to show the flag at Mule Day


Disclaimer

As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items which I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian or the greater community. Posting of a press release or an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

How Tennessee’s Economy Compares to Other States

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, May 20, 2021 - The COVID-19 pandemic sent economic shockwaves through the U.S. economy, tripling the monthly unemployment to nearly 15% and leading to a more than 30% quarterly decline in GDP -- by far the largest economic contraction in U.S. history. 


No corner of the country was untouched by the pandemic's economic consequences -- but some states have emerged better off than others. A range of factors, including industrial diversity, labor force education levels, household income, and long-term GDP growth, have an effect on a state's overall economic strength -- and its ability to withstand the impact of the pandemic. 

To determine the states with the best and worst economies, both in the years leading up to the pandemic and during it, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of five measures: 
  • five-year economic growth, 
  • five-year employment growth, 
  • the poverty rate, 
  • unemployment rate, and 
  • share of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. 
Tennessee reported some of the strongest job growth of any state in recent years. Overall employment in the state climbed at an average annual rate of 1.2% over the last half decade, while nationwide, employment grew at just a 0.1% pace, due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 5.0% of the state's labor force are out of work, below the 6.0% national unemployment rate. 

Economic growth in Tennessee over the last five years falls in the middle of all states and is not especially strong or weak. A more rapid economic growth that all state residents benefit from would likely help reduce the share of residents living below the poverty line, which, at 13.9%, is among the 10 highest state poverty rates. 

All index components used to create this ranking were included at equal weight. All data used to create the index came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. Additional state level data on economic output by industry from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

This is how all 50 state economies rank:


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Latinos for Tennessee: Join us Next Thursday, June 3 in Nashville to Support School Choice!

From Latinos for Tennessee:

As you know, every child is unique and special. Unfortunately, our educational system operates under a one-size-fits-all model. This helps explain why so many of our children – especially our Latino students – are falling further and further behind. But on Thursday, June 3 at 8AM at Legislative Plaza & the Nashville City Club 301 6th Avenue North; Nashville, TN 37243 – you have a chance to join dozens of parents, advocates and community leaders to speak up in support of school choice! 

School choice is the idea that parents should be able to choose a school of their choice regardless of their zip code or their income. The rally will take place outside the steps of the Tennessee Supreme Court as justices consider a case involving school choice. It is imperative that we have a strong showing of support at this rally to show opponents and the mainstream media that Tennessee families want school choice! Can we count on you to join us? Will you please take a look at this link when you have a chance and register immediately? 


Our friends from American Federation for Children have generously agreed to provide meals and even accommodations for all those interested in attending the rally. Thank you for fighting for freedom and supporting school choice – the civil rights issue of our time! 

In Gratitude, 
 Raul Lopez

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Bellevue Breakfast Club meets Saturday, June 5th

From Lonnie Spivak:

Greetings Breakfast Club Members, 

We are about to enter another campaign season with a local referendum on property taxes and congressional races. This year we have a qualified republican taking aiming to take on Representative Jim Cooper, who will have his own primary challenger in 2022. Our speaker this month is local businessman Quincy McKnight, who announced his campaign for congress earlier this month (see the announcement below). 

We will also be joined by Councilman-At-Large Steve Glover and hopefully Attorney Jim Roberts, with updates on the referendum and various other issues in Metro Nashville. 

Our meeting this month will be 8:30am, Saturday, June 5th, at: Plantation Pub - 8321 Sawyer Brown Rd, Nashville, TN 37221 

Breakfast is $5 for sausage biscuits and a beverage, with the proceeds going to the server so please bring cash if you can. 

Hope you can attend. 
Lonnie (Nashville, TN) 

Nashville businessman, Quincy McKnight announces his bid for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District this Thursday, May 13 at 3pm. 

The announcement event will be held at his campaign headquarters at 2707 Poston Ave., Nashville TN 37203.

“We live in a unique time and I believe I am a unique candidate. I’m not stereotypical and believe my life experience, education, training, and outlook on life is exactly what the 5th District needs,” stated Quincy McKnight, candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. 

Media and those interested in hearing Quincy’s clear and positive vision for the 5th District—which includes Davidson, Dickson and Cheatham counties—are invited to attend this free event. 

Quincy McKnight was born and raised in Middle Tennessee. As a foster child growing up, then being adopted into a wonderful Christian family, he learned the values of hard work and self-reliance. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University and had a career in financial services before starting his own successful payment processing company. As a father, business leader and entrepreneur, he wants to make sure his fellow citizens can enjoy the same opportunities he has experienced. 

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Nashville DA Glenn Funk won't enforce bill requiring businesses to post signs for transgender bathroom access. He says he refuse to enforce "hate."

 The Tennessean: Nashville DA won't enforce 'hate' bill requiring businesses to post signs for transgender bathroom access.

Rod's Comment: 

The bill passed into law and signed by the governor requires that if a business allows trans people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify that they must post a sign outside the public bathroom that says, "THIS FACILITY MAINTAINS A POLICY OF ALLOWING THE USE OF RESTROOMS BY EITHER BIOLOGICAL SEX, REGARDLESS OF THE DESIGNATION ON THE RESTROOM."

My view is that this bill was probably unnecessary. I assume that if some woman who identifies as a man goes into the men's bathroom, "he' will go into a stall to do his business. After all, he can't whip it out in public because it is not there.  And women, do their business sitting down anyway, so one would never know if a biological male who looks female uses the women's bathroom.  I doubt the "woman" is going to blow her cover by exposing herself. If you have used a public restroom with a person who is biological of the other sex, but who identifies as of the opposite sex, you probably are not aware of it. I don't see this as a major problem needing to be resolved. Also, I suspect most businesses have never bothered to establish a policy on this topic. This looks like a solution in search of a problem. This was unnecessary grandstanding and virtue signaling.

Likewise, I doubt the DA's office spends any resources now ensuring men do not use the women's bathroom or checking the signage on bathroom doors. DA Glenn Funk is himself engaging in a little grandstanding and virtue signaling.

When I first read this story, I was going to write that the State should withhold funding to the DA's office. Upon reflection, however, I conclude that it is better to just ignore Funk and let this controversy die. This is much to do about nothing on the part of both Funk and the State legislature.  

Also, if my favorite big box store or bar or restaurant does post such a sign, I am not joining in any boycott of that establishment.  This is just not that important to me.  Will good liberals boycott establishments that do not post such signs?  Probably not. I actually think few people really care about this issue.  I know the cultural wars are raging but I cannot generate much passion around this topic. Some issues are just better ignored. 


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The Issue of teaching Critical Race Theory. A response to David Plazas' Tennessean editorial.

Richard Upchurch
by Richard Upchurch - The question of what should be taught in our schools is a perennial one, and at some junctures, such as now, because of our state legislature adopting the ban on Critical Race Theory, becomes the focus of controversy.  

I agree with your editorial statement that, "Tennessee public school social studies standards are full of lessons students may not fully learn or appreciate at their young age. Complicated topics including slavery, Jim Crow and the Holocaust are given short shrift because of other competing academic demands." (Tennessean, May 16).

Aside from the issue of whether more time ought to be given to teaching public school students about these complicated topics, you formulate the issue very well, and to elaborate a bit: The issue is particularly difficult because any subject, including social studies, requires not only the selection of facts to be presented, but also deciding which facts, ideas or judgements to emphasize, and crucially what to include and what not to include as context. One might say that the entire idea of education is about not only presenting factual information, but perhaps more importantly is about enabling the enquirer, or student, to see that information in context. You might say that"Social Studies" is not only about what happened and how we know what happened but it is just as much or more about understanding what happened and forming judgements or assessments based on what facts we accept as true.

In History, one might say, judgement always depends on assessing the event or institution in its relation to a larger context. And doing that is indeed a tall order, even for adults who have had the advantage of a purported higher education. In my view that is also why Critical Race Theory, or any other ideology, needs always to be looked at very carefully before we adopt it as a lens for looking at history and at the world around us. Any new way of seeing and presenting history to students may bring out or emphasize what was not brought out before, but always the question must be, does this lens, or this ideology, give us, and students, a fuller and more comprehensive view of the topic than was accessible to us, or to them, before? 

Such as, that in neither the Bible nor in major writers throughout history had the institution of slavery been very strongly condemned----or very nearly even condemned at all-----or that the supply of African slaves to the New World (as well as the even larger numbers of them taken to Muslim areas east of Africa) was furnished by Africans themselves. (see The African Americans, by Henry Louis Gates, and The Real History of Slavery, by Thomas Sowell.) 

Would such facts be presented to students if standards of Critical Race Theory were adopted by our schools? It seems unlikely to me that they would be taught. It is possible that some changes are needed in standards governing how much information, and what information, is presented to students, but the question should be whether we are able to perceive, and convey to the young, a comprehensive and realistic way of seeing these and other difficult topics of history---not whether information and judgements are in accord with a popular current ideology.

Richard Upchurch is a scholar and a philosopher who lives in Nashville.


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The Heritage Foundation: Critical Race Theory, the New Intolerance, and Its Grip on America

Summary: Critical Race Theory (CRT) makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life—and do so with a degree of persistence that has helped CRT impact all of American life. CRT underpins identity politics, an ongoing effort to reimagine the United States as a nation riven by groups, each with specific claims on victimization. In entertainment, as well as the education and workforce sectors of society, CRT is well-established, driving decision-making according to skin color—not individual value and talent. As Critical Theory ideas become more familiar to the viewing public in everyday life, CRT’s intolerance becomes “normalized,” along with the idea of systemic racism for Americans, weakening public and private bonds that create trust and allow for civic engagement.


Authors: Jonathan Butcher and Mike Gonzalez - As its name should make abundantly clear, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the child of Critical Theory (CT), or, to be more precise, its grandchild. Critical Theory is the immediate forebearer of Critical Legal Theory (CLT), and CLT begat CRT. As we discuss in this Backgrounder, however, there are strong thematic components linking CT, CLT, and CRT. Among these are: 
  • The Marxist analysis of society made up of categories of oppressors and oppressed; 
  • An unhealthy dollop of Nietzschean relativism, which means that language does not accord to an objective reality, but is the mere instrument of power dynamics; 
  • The idea that the oppressed impede revolution when they adhere to the cultural beliefs of their oppressors—and must be put through re-education sessions; 
  • The concomitant need to dismantle all societal norms through relentless criticism; and 
  • The replacement of all systems of power and even the descriptions of those systems with a worldview that describes only oppressors and the oppressed. 
Far from being merely esoteric academic exercises, these philosophies have real-life consequences.

CRT scholars likely cite CLT, not CT, as their genesis: “Critical race theory builds on the insights of two previous movements, critical legal studies and radical feminism,” wrote one of the architects of CRT, Richard Delgado, with his wife, Jean Stefancic, in perhaps the most widely read primer on CRT, Critical Race Theory, An Introduction. 

Angela P. Harris—also a major early figure of CRT—agrees, though she attributes co-parentage to a different source. She said: (continue reading)

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

"Let's have a conversation."

From Tony Roberts - Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee plans to sponsor an event on "Let's have a conversation." The meeting is being held on May 27, 2021 at Pies by Gigi, 330 Franklin Ste. 906D Brentwood, TN. 37027 from 5:30-7:30pm. 


The conversation will include our strong points in the last elections and how we can unite and be a force to be dealt with. Our subject will concentrate on Prison Reform and our speakers for the evening will include Judge Deanna Johnson, Connie Reguli, and Michelle Forman of the Tennessee Republican Assembly, hosted by Sandy Wells, Dan Davis, and myself. 

The action of Conservatism showed promise of what can be accomplished in the unity of strength. In the field of local politics, the people achieve new goals in defining the conservative structure. This year new goals must be faced in overcoming some of the worst times in American history generated by the freedom of the press. One must however remember why the United States was born as a nation. We must not accept politics as usual and move into an era where rights guaranteed by the constitution will be enforced. We must join forces and elect responsible candidates. By banning together with the 80-20 rule a pace must set a precedent to generate over Tennessee and over the United States to help safeguard the new future. The college republicans are growing and the time is to give them support and join forces in preparation for the hard journey faced this year. 

Please RSVP to Tony Roberts ( Chylon549@gmail.com), Dan Davis ( DDD18247@gmail.com). or Sandy Wells ( wells46@lecorp.com)

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A stifling worker shortage threatens Nashville's recovery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In downtown Nashville, honky-tonks rattle back to life, peddle taverns crowd the streets and bartenders can’t pour fast enough. 


The post-pandemic business boom arrived as expected. But one big, unexpected challenge stands in the way of a full recovery: There aren’t enough workers to keep up with a national surge in demand. 

“I’m working in the kitchen today,” said restaurant and bar owner Barrett Hobbs, who ordinarily spends his days filing paperwork. “We don’t have enough cooks to pull off a normal lunch, My family has owned businesses here since the ’50s and none of us have ever seen anything like this.” 

Hobbs raised wages and offers incentives like sign-on bonuses and raffles for paid vacations, but still spends his days recruiting and troubleshooting problems around being understaffed. He has lots of company. There were 166,704 unemployed Tennesseans and more than 250,000 advertised jobs in April, state labor officials reported. (read  more)

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Rand Paul Warns America: Time to ‘Wake Up’ to ‘Profound Repercussions’ of Biden’s Spending Binge

Senator Rand Paul
“There is [going to be] a time in which people wake up and say ‘the emperor has no clothes." 

by Brad Polumbo. Foundation for Economic Education, Thursday, May 20, 2021 - The federal government has broken the bank with an astounding $6+ trillion in (ostensibly) pandemic-related spending to date, and President Biden wants to spend trillions more. 

Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress have been too inconsistent on this issue to protest this spending binge in any meaningful way. But one of the few principled fiscal conservatives left in Washington, Senator Rand Paul, is warning Americans to “wake up” to the “profound repercussions” this big government blowout will have. 

In a Wednesday interview with Fox Business, Paul argued that mounting inflation levels are a serious cause for concern—not temporary, as proponents of big government insist.  His warning comes after new data show inflation is at a 12-year high, with price levels increasing, at minimum, 4.2% over the last year. 

 “When the [Federal Reserve] says this [inflation] is transitory, I think that's an excuse for government spending and borrowing,” the senator said. “It's sort of from the same kind of lexicon of ‘deficits don't matter.’” But our spending levels aren’t sustainable. “We added four or five trillion dollars’ worth of debt last year,” Paul added. “We're probably going to do the same again this year.” It’s more than just bad budgeting, the senator warned. 

“What you've caused is a massive misallocation of resources, a massive infusion of cash into the stock market.” “There is [going to be] a time in which people wake up and say ‘the emperor has no clothes,’” Paul said. “And at that moment in time, you will discover that there's a lot of capital that's gone in the wrong direction, that demand is exceeding supply... because we've disrupted the normal marketplace.”

Rand’s point about misdirected capital is a reference to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which explains how the creation of new money (generally by central banks like the Fed) causes distortions in the economy that must eventually be ironed out by a corrective “crash.” (For more on this, check out this FEE article by economist Jonathan Newman.) “I don't think it's as benign as people say it's going to be,” Senator Paul said. “I think [the spending blowout] is going to have profound repercussions—and that we're just getting started.”

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Does debt no longer matter? Why collect taxes at all? Remember when Jim Cooper was a budget hawk?

by Rod Williams - Many Republicans forgot all about the concern with cutting spending when it was not a priority with Donald Trump.  They did not say, "Hold on, what about the deficit," when Trump proposed new spending or a major tax cut that would not pay for itself. Republicans lost the moral authority to be outraged at Biden's reckless spending because they supported reckless spending under Trump.  Not that Trump's ballooning of the deficit was anywhere near as great as Biden's, but Republican outrage now seems selective. I guess that is why we are not hearing a lot of outgaged Republicans.

Remember that Donald Trump wanted the Federal Government to send every American $2000, in pandemic stimulus money, no questions asked?  This makes it more difficult for Republicans now to argue for austerity and balanced budgets.

And Democrats?  They have been big spenders forever.  However, there were, at one time a few Dems who cared about the deficit.  It is hard to believe it now, but at one time our own congressman, Jim Cooper, was a budget hawk.  He even kept a national debt clock in his office.  In 2009 he opposed the Obama stimulus package.  

As recent as 2009 Cooper wanted us to know that the President’s budget, and the subsequent Congressional budget, is based on "cash accounting" which ignores future commitments to retirees, the sick and the disabled. The path we’re on, said Cooper is “unsustainable,” and could even threaten our national security. He warned that the large federal debt forces our government to borrow large amounts of money from other nations to continue functioning. “We are the richest nation on earth, yet we have to borrow $1 billion every day from foreigners just to get by,” he said.

Well, what happened to that Jim Cooper?  Cooper now has endorsed Medicare for all and the Green New Deal.  This amounts to trillions in new spending with no means to pay for it.  Cooper no longer talks about the danger of deficit spending and the need for balanced budgets.  The National Debt Clock is no longer in his office.  Maybe Cooper has become a convert to Modern Monetarty Theory.  Or, maybe his desire to withstand a challenge from his left flank causes him to abandon his values. 

Democrats now have an intellectual fig leaf to cover their desire to spend whatever it takes to achieve their goals and the deficit be damned. That is Modern Monetary Theory.

MMT argues that government can spend all it wants because it can always create more money to pay off the debts. The theory suggests government spending can grow the economy to its full capacity, enrich the private sector, eliminate unemployment, and finance major programs such as universal healthcare, free college tuition, and green energy. If the spending generates a government deficit, this isn't a problem. The government's deficit is by definition the private sector's surplus. Increased government spending will not generate inflation as long as there is unused economic capacity or unemployed labor. 

This magic thinking with a sprinkle of fairy dust can justify unlimited government growth and spending.  I am not sure why we need to collect taxes at all if there is no downside to just creating all the money the government needs.  I can only assume the reason for taxes is redistribution to equalize wealth. 

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

SAVE NASHVILLE NOW LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT “DANGEROUS” REFERENDUM

"Secretly-Funded Radical Extremists Aim to Disrupt Nashville," says supergroup composed of business interest, public sector unionist, and assorted liberal and woke progressive organizations. 

Save Nashville Now press release Nashville) - A broad coalition of community organizations, neighborhood leaders, small business-owners, taxpayers, homeowners, renters, faith leaders, educators and parents from across Nashville joined together today to announce the launch of Save Nashville Now.

This campaign will defeat a July 27th referendum that would result in drastic cuts to critical services, threaten the safety and security of residents, and hamper the city’s efforts to fully recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

“This is a very dangerous referendum,” Amanda Kail, president of the Metro Nashville Education Association, said in describing the referendum’s impact on education. “If this passes, our students will see drastic cuts to their schools, including fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, and major cuts to social and emotional supports, educational materials, athletics, school libraries, art and music programs, and career and technical education courses. We must vote no on July 27th.”

“This group funded by dark money threatens the quality of life in Nashville,” said Central Labor Council President Vonda McDaniel. “Rather than making needed investments in our city and neighborhoods, this referendum would make deep cuts to public safety and local government. It will be devastating to our quality of life if it passes.”

“Our city employees have been doing more with less every year as Nashville has grown. We are just now starting to be in a position to make the investments the city needs. This referendum will result in libraries, parks, and community centers closing,” said SEIU Local 205 President Brad Rayson. “We have to vote no on July 27th.”

The coalition also announced that the following local leaders, organizations and community groups will serve on the Save Nashville Now campaign committee:

Labor, safety, education and public employees 
  • The Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee 
  • International Firefighters International Association IFFA local 140 
  • Service Employees International Union Local 205 
  • Laborers International Union of North America Local 386 
  • Metro Nashville Education Association, NEA affiliate 
Faith groups 
  • IMF — International Ministerial Fellowship AMAC — American Muslim Advisory Council NOAH — Nashville Organizing for Action and Hope is a multi-faith organization with over 60 congregations and faith groups represented. Full list is here. 
  • Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable 
Community groups 
  • The Equity Alliance Fund 
  • TIRRC Votes! 
  • A VOICE for the Reduction of Poverty 
  • Nashville for All of Us 
  • Stand Up 
Nashville Business groups 
  • Nashville Chamber of Commerce — President/CEO Ralph Shulz 
  • LGBT Chamber of Commerce — President/CEO Joe Wooley 
  • Nashville Business Coalition — President Joseph Woodson 
  • Nashville Visitor Convention Bureau — President Butch Spyridon 
  • Greater Nashville Realtors Association — President Jarron Springer 
  • Nashville Business Alliance – President Michael Carter 
“We care about the future of our city,” members of the committee said. “And we understand what’s at stake. That’s why we are coming together on behalf of our families, neighborhoods, and our most vulnerable residents to fight against this dangerous referendum. Nashville cannot afford to let these radical extremists win.”

As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items that I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian or the greater community. Posting of a press release or an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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Nashville tax referendum tied up in court, again.

By Vivian Jones, The Center Square, May 17, 2021 – A referendum election on reforms to limit Nashville’s property tax rates, end lifetime benefits for public employees and make it easier for officials to be recalled is again held up in court. 

Davidson County election commissioners voted last week to send the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act to voters in a special election July 27. In response, the Metropolitan Government and a Nashville business PAC filed a lawsuit.  Election commissioners voted, 3-2, on Thursday to ask a judge to decide whether an alternative proposal from the Metro Council to maintain the Metro Charter should go to voters. 

The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, written by attorney Jim Roberts, is a slate of six reforms to the Metro Charter, on which 12,398 Davidson County voters have petitioned to hold a referendum election. 

Sparked by Nashville’s 34% property tax increase last year, voters petitioned for a referendum on a similar set reforms in 2020, and election commissioners, represented by Nashville School of Law Dean Bill Koch, asked a judge to decide whether an election should be held. Mayor John Cooper called the effort a “poison pill,” and threatened to cut city services such as trash pickup, school budgets and first responder staffing.  After a trial last fall, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled the proposal was unconstitutional and prohibited an election. 

The 4 Good Government group, led by Roberts, decided to try again. Roberts again collected more than 14,000 signed voter petitions and delivered them to the Metro Clerk in March. After comparing them with voter signatures on file, Election Commission staff verified 12,398 signatures. 

Before the Davidson County Election Commission’s first organizational meeting with two new members, Metro’s Department of Law retained Koch to represent the Election Commission.

Commissioners found Metro’s retainer created a conflict of interest for Koch and voted to hire new, independent attorneys to advise the commission on the 4 Good Government matter. Commissioners then had to determine how many signatures are sufficient to trigger a referendum election and whether enough signatures were filed. According to the Metro Charter, signatures equal to 10% participation in the last general election are required to trigger an election. Based on the November election during which a special election was held for a school board vacancy, 31,212 signatures are needed. Based on the August general municipal election, 12,142 signatures are needed. 

Metro Legal Director Bob Cooper advised commissioners the November election should be the basis for determining the number of signatures needed. The commission’s new attorney, Vanderbilt Professor of Law Jim Blumstein, advised commissioners the August 2020 election should be the basis.

Commissioners voted unanimously to base signatures needed on the August election and found that sufficient signatures were filed. 

After hearing testimony opposing the petition from a member of the Metro Council, commissioners voted May 10 to send the issue to the public in a special election, to be held July 27. 

Mayor John Cooper called the effort an “unconstitutional attempt to sabotage our city using a California-style referendum.” “Nashville is solving big problems and making big investments in our future,” Cooper said. “The proposed amendment jeopardizes that important work. It threatens our ability to invest in teacher pay, to hire more first responders and to build more affordable housing.”

Less than 24 hours later, the Metro Government filed a lawsuit, claiming the petitioned reforms are unconstitutional, in bad form and insufficient signatures were filed. Separately, the Nashville Business Coalition, a pro-business PAC, also filed a lawsuit, asking for a judge to prohibit an election from taking place. 

The Metro Council unanimously voted last month to offer its own proposal for a public referendum that would maintain the parts of the Metro Charter affected by the 4 Good Government petition.

Commissioners voted Thursday evening to ask a judge whether the Council’s proposed amendment should go to voters.

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