Friday, March 20, 2015

Caffeinated Conservatives Saturday March 28 from 12 PM - 2 PM at Sip Cafe

From Steve Clements:
Hi everybody, Saturday March 28 from 12 PM - 2 PM at Sip Cafe (3939 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, 37206) bring your education grievances, because we got a School Board member! Love charter schools, or think they're the Devil? Worried about school funding or Common Core? We have returning speaker MNPS Board Member Jill Speering to talk about education, education, education! All opinions welcome, so bring your appetite for good coffee and great conversation.
See you there!
Stephen Clements and Terry Torre
Caffeinated Conservatives

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Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast, March 28th

From Robert Duvall:
Update: Bill Freeman, candidate for Mayor will visit us Saturday as well.
When: Saturday, March 28 Shoney's (Antioch) Cane Ridge Rd. @ Bell Road (I-24E, Bell Road Exit)
Dutch treat breakfast & social 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Program 9:00 - 10 a.m.
Guest Speakers: Council District 33 Candidates Sam Coleman and Jimmy Gafford & Vice Mayor Candidate* David Briley. *Vice Mayor Candidate Tim Garrett was invited but has not committed as yet.
All candidates welcome and will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves.
Hosted by Robert Duvall & Pat Carl

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Compromise Legislation Keeps Common Core Academic Standards for now.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state's current academic standards intact. .... included the controversial Common Core standards for English and math. (link)

My Comment:
I know some conservative political activist will be incensed that Common Core was not overturned immediately, but I am pleased to see common sense prevail. Many on the right, including organizations I normally ally with such as Americans for Prosperity, Eagle Forum, and Heritage Foundation, have been active in a campaign to repeal and abandon Common Core.  I have heard and know their arguments; I am just not convinced by the arguments.

In the last few years, since Haslam has been Governor, Tennessee has ranked as the state showing the greatest improvement in education. This year's edition of the Report Card on American Education ranks Tennessee as the 24th best state in educational performance. Education Week's Quality Counts gives Tennessee a grade that puts our state in 40th place. U.S. News and World Reports ranking of states with the best high schools, ranks Tennessee in 41st place.

I know being in 40th or 41st place is nothing to brag about, but for as long as anyone as been doing any ranking, about all we could say was "thank God of Mississippi."  Tennessee has for generations ranked second or third place from the bottom in ranking of the state's educational systems. While Tennessee has ranked very low, nationally America's education ranking in the world has been falling. For a long time America was at the top as having a good educational system. Now, America's ranks in the middle. China and India are producing better educated citizens than America. For more on how our educational ranking is slipping as a nation, follow this link.

There are many things contributing to America's falling position in the world including a $18 trillion national debt, cultural changes such as the demise of the family, a social safety net that has zapped initiative and motivation, a burdensome bureaucracy that stifles growth and innovation, and anemic and inept leadership in the White House.  One of those things contributing to our decline as a nation however is that while other nations have been improving their education system, ours has been falling. A failing education system that does not produce a capable workforce and scientist to compete on the world stage puts our future economic standing and our national security at risk.

Maybe Common Core is not the answer to adequately improving American education but it is the best thing to happen so far. It appears to be part of the answer. Maybe we can come up with "Tennessee standards" that are as good as common core, but in the mean time we should not abandon what is causing Tennessee to show rapid improvement. In my view, our educational standards as a nation are too low. Also, our nations citizens are so mobile that there needs to be a minimum common core of knowledge that students across the nation are mastering in the same grade. If a family leaves Tennessee with a fifth grader who is excelling here and moves to Massachusetts or New Hampshire that fifth grader should not be performing at a third grade level in their new home state. I do not accept that a Tennessee child is not as smart as a child in Massachusetts or new Hampshire. I am not content to be ranked second to only Mississippi as having the least educated kids in America.  I am pleased that for now we are sticking with Common Core.

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Why Won't Obama Work with Bob Corker?

by John Allen Gay, The National Interest - The Obama administration appears to be on the brink of signing a nuclear deal with Iran. If it pulls it off, it’ll be its biggest diplomatic accomplishment in years, one likely to render America safer and tame a key source of instability in an increasingly consequential U.S.-Iran dyad.
If it doesn’t get blown up by Congress, that is. And if it does, the administration will, contrary to its endless protestations, be greatly to blame. How else are we to explain the administration’s impending confrontation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker? Corker’s proposal to give Congress a vote on the Iran deal—a far more palatable approach than what many of his colleagues have tried—is likely to advance out of his committee next week, and the administration is scrambling to keep Democrats from supporting it. (keep reading)

The National Interest (TNI) is a respected American bi-monthly international affairs magazine published by the Center for the National Interest. It is associated with the realist school of foreign policy thought. This is an excellent article examining the folly of the President in trying to reach a deal with Iran without engaging Congress.

I cannot fathom the arrogance of the Obama administration in thinking the President can make foreign policy without the participation of Congress. The constitution in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 says, "The President... shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...." 

The President cannot make a treaty with another country.  Any understanding between the President and another foreign leader is no more than that if not endorsed by Congress. For a greater understanding of the treaty clause of the Constitution follow this link. There is no scholarship that endorses the view that the President can make a treaty without the treaty being confirmed by Congress. There is no tradition that the President can make a treaty without the support of Congress. Bob Corker has been the voice of pragmatism and compromise but President Obama apparently thinks Congress is an impediment to his divine right to rule. Rod

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Alexander and Corker to vote against Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

Senator Alexander press release, WASHINGTON, March 17, 2015 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced his opposition to the nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general. He released the following statement:

"I will vote against President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general of the United States. This is an opportunity, within the Senate rules, to express my disapproval of the president’s abuse of executive authority, and it’s an opportunity I intend to take. "

Alexander said that Lynch's confirmation "should be decided by a majority vote of senators, as cabinet nominations have been decided throughout the history of the Senate.” On Feb 4 Alexander and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)  introduced legislation to establish by Senate rule the Senate tradition of approving presidential nominations by a simple majority vote, rather than the 60 votes it would take to end a filibuster. Alexander said that, according to information compiled by the Senate historian and the Congressional Research Service, in the entire history of the U.S. Senate since Thomas Jefferson wrote the rules in 1789, no cabinet nominee has ever been denied confirmation by requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster.

Senator Corker press release, WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced he will oppose the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general of the United States.

“The job of the U.S. attorney general is to enforce federal laws as written, not as the administration wishes they were written,” said Corker. “While I believe Ms. Lynch is an impressive attorney and a committed public servant, nothing revealed during our personal meeting or at her confirmation hearing has assured me that she will be an independent attorney general and refrain from selective enforcement of the law, and therefore I will not be supporting her confirmation.”

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Senate Health and Welfare Committee approves lifesaving “right to try” bill for terminally ill patients

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved major legislation this week that would allow a terminally ill patient that has an advanced illness to try an experimental drug that has completed Phase I of clinical trials but is still pending approval by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).   Senate Bill 811 would apply to terminally ill patients who have tried all other treatment options that are currently available as long as their physician has recommended it and the diagnosis and prognosis has been confirmed by a second physician.   

Drugs and medical devices undergo three phases of clinical trials before they go to the FDA for review. The process can take more than a decade.  Other than clinical trials, which are difficult to qualify for, the FDA has provisions for patients who want to access experimental drugs under its compassionate use program, but that process is also lengthy and time-consuming.

The bill also releases the physician and treatment facility from liability for using the drug.
The proposal now heads to the Senate floor for final approval.

The above is reposted from Senator Jack Johnson's newsletter. Rod

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Job creation in Tennessee set new records last year

Job creation in Tennessee set new records last year, according to Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd, who appeared before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee to present his department’s budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  The presentation was made just hours before Boyd, Governor Bill Haslam, legislators and county officials joined Nissan North America to make a major job announcement that the company will invest $160 million to build a new supplier park at their Smyrna vehicle assembly plant. The project will support more than 1,000 newly created supplier jobs.

Over the past several years, the General Assembly has made great strides in preparing students for the 21st century marketplace and in creating a business-friendly climate which draws new and better paying jobs to Tennessee.  Nissan’s Smyrna plant has been noted as being the most productive automotive manufacturing plant in North America, as it produces almost 650,000 vehicles each year, including the Maxima, Rogue and Altima.

Boyd said Tennessee finished first in the Southeast in new manufacturing jobs created since 2011.  The state was also second in the Southeast for manufacturing jobs growth, which is something he said Tennessee has been targeting.  Other job creation accolades cited by Boyd include being first in the nation for jobs created from foreign direct investment, first for certified sites, first for overall infrastructure, and first in the education “Race to the Top” leaders.  Tennessee was also named 2014 and 2013 “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine.

“We have got a great base to build on,” said Boyd.  He said the state has 31 “shovel ready” sites in their “Select Tennessee Certified Sites” program.  The program sets a consistent and rigorous standard upon which companies can rely in making critical location decisions.   

Expansion of Tennessee companies is another key reason for the state’s economic development success, with 75 percent of jobs created by existing businesses.  Boyd said the department will continue its emphasis in partnering with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth.

An area where the department plans to put more emphasis is rural economic development.  “We are developing a more robust strategy for our rural communities.  That is a key area of focus,” Boyd added.

Finally, Boyd said the department will continue its efforts to align higher education with economic development.  “Too long we have had kids graduating from college with degrees that they can’t get jobs in,” he said.  “At the same time, we are talking to our businesses, and they can’t find the skills they need to fill the jobs they have.  The way that happens is that people just aren’t talking.  One of the things we are going to put a real emphasis on is making sure that economic development is in line with higher education, and we are going to work very, very closely with them.”

In 2013, the General Assembly passed model legislation that laid the foundation for the cooperative effort of government, higher education and businesses looking for skilled workers by providing on-the-job training.  The Labor Education Alignment Program  (LEAP) works with the state’s Complete College Tennessee Act and the “Drive to 55” initiative to raise the percentage of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees from 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025.  The goal is to bring new industry to the state and give students the skills they need to compete for jobs in an increasingly global economy. 

The above is reposted from Senator Jack Johnson's newsletter. Rod

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Kane Campaign Announces “Just Jeremy” Town Hall series designed to engage voters across Nashville

Jeremy Kane
Press Release, Nashville, TN – Nashville Mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane today announced a series of eleven town hall meetings to be held across Davidson County. These events will give voters the opportunity to meet Jeremy and engage in meaningful conversations about the future direction of Nashville. Additional Town Halls will be added as dates and venues are confirmed.
Nashville Mayoral campaigns are traditionally dominated by a variety of multi-candidate forums – fourteen have been held thus far and thirty more are confirmed. Jeremy Kane has participated in every single one and plans to continue to participate in as many future multi-candidate forums as his schedule allows.
But with seven major candidates in the race, the multi-candidate format only affords each candidate limited time to convey their background, vision, and stance on important issues. Furthermore, campaign staff and supporters typically dominate those in attendance - often leaving few truly undecided voters in the audience.

“We’ve said from day one that our campaign will be a broad-based grassroots campaign focused on having a true dialogue about issues that matter to Nashville voters. I’m excited to have this opportunity to speak directly with voters across our county about what it will take to build a better Nashville for all,” said Jeremy Kane.

“In a race that seems aimed more toward showcasing gimmicks – from jingles, vans, and speed dating, to beer koozies and mascots - we feel the voters deserve a more serious conversation with their next mayor. ‘Just Jeremy’ is just that – a frank and open conversation with Jeremy. It puts the focus on topics that matter most to Nashville’s future in a format that encourages a true dialogue with voters where they live and work,” said campaign manager Darden Copeland.

“Some candidates will spend their millions on 19 weeks of television. We will spend the next 19 weeks hosting town hall meetings with voters across Davidson County. Instead of 60-second TV advertisements, Jeremy will have 60-minute conversations. Voters want the opportunity ask questions, offer their views, and meet their next mayor,” said Copeland.

The first in the series of town hall meetings is scheduled for Monday, March 23 and will take place at Fantasy Hall in Antioch from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Scheduled “Just Jeremy” Town Halls
  • Fantasy Hall, 2332 Antioch Pike, Antioch, TN 37013 - Mon., March 23rd, 6pm - 8pm
  • Historic RCA Studio A (special focus: Music Industry), 30 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203 - Mon., April 6th, 6pm - 8pm
  • Tennessee State Fairgrounds (special focus: Historic Tennessee State Fairgrounds), 500 Wedgewood Ave, Nashville, TN 37203 - Sun., April 12th, 1pm - 3pm
  • Green Door Gourmet, 7011 River Road Pike, Nashville, TN 37209 - Thurs. April 23rd, 6pm - 8pm
  • Nashville Entrepreneur Center (special focus: Entrepreneurs and Technology), 41 Peabody Street, Nashville, TN 37210 - Thurs., May 7th, 6pm - 8pm
  • House of God, 2714 Scovel Street, Nashville, TN 37208 – Tues., May 12th, 6pm - 8pm
  • Chef's Market, 900 Conference Dr, Goodlettsville, TN 37072 - Sun., May 17th, 1pm - 3pm
  • Ruby, 2411 Blakemore Ave, Nashville, TN 37212 - Mon., June 8th, 6pm - 8pm
  •  Arts at Center Street, 401 Center St, Old Hickory, TN 37138 - Sat., June 20th, 10am - Noon
  • Cane Ridge Event Center, 12633 Old Hickory Blvd, Antioch, TN 37013 - Tues., July 14th, 6pm - 8pm
  • Cathedral of Praise, 4300 Clarksville Pike, Nashville, TN 37218 – Thurs., July 23rd, 6pm - 8pm 
Additional “Just Jeremy” events will be announced as locations and venues are confirmed.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Parent Trigger" Bill passed through the Tennessee Senate Education Committee yesterday.

Press Release, NASHVILLE, TN- Parent Revolution applauds the passage of The Parent Empowerment Bill through the Tennessee Senate Education Committee yesterday.  The bipartisan legislation, filed by Representative John DeBerry (D- Memphis) in the House and Senator Brian Kelsey (R- Germantown) in the Senate will give parents a stronger voice in determining the direction of their local schools.

The Parent Empowerment Bill also known as the "Parent Trigger" bill, HB 651/SB 600, will equip parents with the tools to take immediate and dramatic corrective action at their child’s school should they feel it necessary. Under the proposed law, at the request of a majority of parents, a struggling school would be subject to one of three options: a public charter conversion, turnaround strategies, or a transformation intervention. 

Parent leader Andrea Evans testified at the Committee hearing noting:
Inline image 4
  Parent leader Andrea Evans testifies at the Senate Education Committee
Mis-education needs to stop. I had to pull my children out of their school, because it was underperforming so badly. I had to put them in charter schools – but what about the rest of the children? What about everybody else? I’m here for everyone in my neighborhood. There has to be accountability and with this bill being passed it will allow parents to be involved. We have 333 signatures of parents ready to say we want to raise test scores and help with academics. With the bill being passed not only will my children have a better education, but all children will have a better education.
 Senator Kelsey introduced the bill urging his colleagues to support and empower parents to turn around schools that are persistently failing their children. Senator Kelsey reflected:
What we’re talking about now – these are schools that are failing these children. They are in the bottom 10% of schools in the state. There has been no action. That’s an extreme incidence in which we need to take action in favor of these children and their parents.
Inline image 2
Senator Kelsey speaks in
 support of the bill he introduced

The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee on 5 yes votes with no objections. Parent Revolution Regional Advocacy Director April Popescu had this to say: 
If local systems fail to deliver effective solutions for students, this bill will empower parents with the ability to make a transformation at the most essential level. Parents, sitting around the kitchen table should have the power to demand a high quality education for their kids. Accordingly, this bill not only provides parents with an accountability mechanism, but also with a real voice in determining the best way forward for their local school.
 Read the full text of the bill here

Parent Revolution transforms underperforming public schools by empowering parents to advocate for what is good for children, not adults, through grassroots community organizing.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Great opportunity for a young conservative

This is a great opportunity for a young conservative to launch a career advancing the cause of conservatism.  I wish as a young person I would have had such an opportunity. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please pass this along. Rod


Do you know someone who is interested in saving America's universities? You or someone you know can become one of the nation’s best-trained, most effective, conservative leaders through the Leadership Institute’s 2015 Fall Field Representative Program.

Each year LI’s National Field Program sends out across the country a team of motivated, highly trained field representatives. LI field reps help students promote and defend their conservative principles on campus. Currently, LI’s Campus Leadership Program includes 1,590 active campus groups. Now, you or some other dedicated conservative you know can join LI as a full-time fall field representative.

The pay is generous. The experience is priceless. Opportunities for full-time, paid jobs fighting for your beliefs do not come along very often. Your employment with LI as a field rep is résumé gold. Field reps use the experience and connections gained from LI’s National Field Representative Program to launch rewarding careers in:

  • Grassroots activism
  • Political campaigns
  • Public policy
  • Congressional offices
  • Lobbying
  • Conservative non-profit organizations
To take advantage of this unique opportunity, apply online at As a field rep, you will travel to the campuses in your assigned region to identify, recruit, organize, and train conservative students to win battles against the radical left on their campuses.

LI will fly you to the Institute’s Arlington, VA, headquarters for a week of intensive training in August and provide you with the tools and techniques necessary for success. If you know of others who might like to join LI as a field rep, please pass this email along.

Be aware that these positions fill up fast, so time is of the essence.

Morton Blackwell President

P.S. Become one of the best-trained young conservative leaders in the nation through LI’s field representative program. As an LI field rep, you can start your political career in the conservative movement. Apply online at!

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Former Metro Councilman Eric Crafton named to Tennessee Human Rights Commission

Eric Crafton
Former Metro Councilman Eric Crafton has been appointed to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency responsible for enforcing the state's anti-discrimination laws which prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, disability, familial status and age. The Commission also ensures the State of Tennessee's compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin by State agencies receiving federal financial assistance.

Eric Crafton served on the Metro Council from 1995-1999, and again from 2003-2011. Crafton unsuccessfully sought the position of Davidson County Juvenile Court clerk in 2010 running as a Republican.  That was the first time in 38 years a Republican had ran for one of the court house offices. He did not win but made a respectable showing.  In 2011 he also sought a Council-at-large seat, but that year no one except incumbents won an at-large seat all of whom were reelected without a runoff.

While serving in the Council, I thought Crafton was one of the better Council members. I was never disappointed when Eric took to the floor. He asked the questions that I wanted asked. He would ask, "why are we doing this?" He would ask, "How much will it cost us." And, he offered insight into the issue at hand and clearly explained why he was taking the position he was taking when a controversial issue was being discussed. He was thoughtful and communicated clearly.

Eric was one of the smartest people serving in the Council and one of the better educated. He is a 1989 graduate of Vanderbilt University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in math and Economics. While serving in the Navy stationed in Japan, in 1994 he attended Keio University and earned a degree in Japanese and Political Economy. He is fluent in Japanese.
Crafton led the unsuccessful effort to make English the official language of Nashville in 2009.  The proposed English First charter amendments would have restricted the city from publishing most communications in languages other than English and would have prohibited the city from paying for most interpretative services. While I did not support this effort I do not think the intend was mean spirited. There were pros and cons to the proposed charter amendment and people of good will could disagree. The effort was to create an environment that encouraged people to assimilate and learn English rather than being able to continue to function in their native language and to save the city money.

Because of Crafton's effort to pass the English First amendment he has been vilified by the more "progressive" element in our city as some sort of bigot. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Crafton whose wife was born in Japan and whose brother-in-law is a naturalized citizen from Mexico, is not a bigot.  He pursued a policy that he thought would address a problem. We were not on the same side on that issue but I never thought his intent was evil. While I did not support the English First campaign I enthusiastically supported Eric's campaign for Juvenile Court Clerk and his campaign for Councilman-at-large.

I am pleased to see Eric Crafton appointed to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. I welcome Eric Crafton back to public service.  He has a lot to offer.  In a prepared statement Lt. Gov. Ramsey said: "A devoted public servant and veteran, Eric Crafton is exactly the kind of individual our state needs on the Human Rights Commission. I am confident that Eric's unique qualifications and viewpoint will be of great assistance as the Human Rights Commission carries out its important mission to safeguard all of our citizens from discrimination."  I agree.

Congratulation to Eric on his appointment and congratulations to Lt. Ron Ramsey for recognizing a talented public servant and not being afraid to poke progressives in the eye.

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Meeting of the Metro Nashville Council on March 17, 2015

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Briley courts the Gay vote with LGBT Reception

(Name removed),

I am proud to support the LGBT community in Nashville and across the state. Please join me on Monday, March 23rd for our LGBT & Allies Reception. Whether you host for $100 or attend for $50, you don't want to miss this opportunity to join Nashville's LGBT community in supporting Team Briley. Located at Marche Artisan Foods: 1000 Main Street Nashville, TN 37206

Suggested Donation: $50 to Attend || $100 to Host There's still time to RSVP here!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rand Paul is going to announce his bid for President on April 7th

Various news sources report that Rand Paul's campaign team is on the phone telling supporters that on April 7th Rand Paul will announce his bid for President on April 7th in Louisville Kentucky at the Galt House. (Is this significant that "Rand" will make an announcement from the "Galt" house? Is this just coincidence? Now, play the Twilight Zone music.)

Supporters from Kentucky and surrounding states are being encouraged to attend the announcement. Louisville is about 3 hours from Nashville and a group will be going from Nashville, probably carpooling or renting a van or a bus. For more information, go to this Facebook page.

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Homeless? Call Bill Freeman

Homeless Forum Leads to New Beginning for One Nashville Family 

PRESS RELEASE, NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When one Nashville woman attended last week’s Mayoral Forum on Homelessness at the Downtown Library, she had no idea it would lead to her finding a home by the end of the day.

“Our company, Freeman Webb, participates in the 100,000 Homes Program where we provide apartments to homeless families that are among the most challenging to help, long-term homeless people and women with children,” said Bill Freeman.

“I talked about the program during the forum and about how we have also convinced our competitors to participate. After the forum, a woman approached me at the library to see if we could help her. I was deeply moved by her story and we decided to see if we could help her.”

Freeman called his company president, Kirby Davis, who administers the program and who was interviewed in a recent 60 Minutes piece about the program. After a few phone calls an apartment was secured for the woman and her five children.

“I am happy to see the issue of homelessness being addressed early in this mayoral race,” said Freeman. “Homelessness and affordable housing are issues near to my heart, and part of why I got into this race. As mayor, I will work hard every day to make a difference for individual families and for all of our neighborhoods.”

“As a city we have begun making a dent in the homelessness problem, but still have a ways to go before we can eliminate it altogether. Program’s like How’s Nashville and non-profit groups like Open Table Nashville can’t do it alone, as a city we have to make this a priority. ”

“If elected mayor, helping to end homelessness in Nashville will remain one of my priorities, just like it has been for years in the private sector,” Freeman added. “Homelessness is not a crime. We must stop treating it as if it is and continue helping one person, and one family at a time until everyone in Nashville has a place to sleep at night.”

Freeman Webb has been a partner in the How’s Nashville program, which has helped over 900 chronically homeless people since July of 2013. Freeman Webb made 16 of its properties, each with a market value over $100,000, available to How’s Nashville program participants, and looks forward to further participation in the Zero 2016 campaign to end veteran and other homelessness by 2016.

Freeman added, “I have personally witnessed the impact the 100,000 Homes Program can have on individuals and families who would otherwise be without a place to call home. As mayor, I would seek other innovative public/private partnerships to help people. We can make a difference … one family at a time.”

 Link to 60 Minutes Piece on 100,000 Homes Program:

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Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Tonight is the night of the year when more inexperienced drunk drivers will be on the road than any other night of the year except for New Year's eve.  Today is St. Patrick's day in which we celebrate Ireland, its people, and its culture. It does seem kind of insulting to the Irish that the way to celebrate Irishness is to get drunk on green beer, but a lot of people will be drinking green beer tonight.

A lot of people will have their judgment impaired and think they are perfectly capable of driving  but they will be drunk. Some of them will get arrested. Getting arrested can be costly and humiliating. It can ruin your life. You can go to jail and loose your license.

Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else. Don't drive drunk. Don’t do it.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. The Davidson County Sheriff's Office is offering free, Sober Rides to help prevent drunken driving and help people get home.  This program is available from 9 p.m tonight to 1 a.m. Wednesday. There are two locations for getting a ride. One is in the Gulch at 11th Avenue and Pine Street and the other is in Midtown at Division Street and Lyle Avenue. This is the 12th year the sheriff's office has offered free rides on St. Patrick's day. Last year, 85 volunteers took nearly 300 people home on St. Patrick's Day.

Also, since this time last year, in addition to the sober ride program,  the opportunities for alternative transportation has greatly increased in the Nashville area.  Lyft and Uber are great services. You page a ride using your phone. Do to that you must first download an app. Don't wait until your drunk to try to download the app.

I would suggest leaving the car at home and take Uber both ways. I am sure they will be busy tonight. I don't know if there will be enough Uber and Lyft vehicles on the road to meet demand tonight, but a great thing about Uber and Lyft is that the supply expands with demand on a moments notice. When a lot of people want the service, the price goes up and people who may not have wanted to work to earn $20 an hour might want to work if they can earn $50 in an hour so more drivers will get on the road as demand and price increases. When peak demand periods pass, prices drop. So, if you are using Uber and want to leave the party immediately after the bars close and the price is outrageous, wait an hour and the price will drop. If it cost you $6 to get to the party and $25 to get home, that may seem like a lot of money, but compared to the cost of getting arrested for drunk driving it is minimal.

If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, then have a designated driver. Pick the designated driver before you start drinking. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver. If at a friends house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night.

Having said all of this however, I know that there are going to be a lot of people who will be driving tonight that will not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk.

I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are driving impaired I am providing these tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

This  guide from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving is provided  to help you improve your drunk driving skills.

(1) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(2) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” Some people will go out tonight with the intention of getting drunk; others will accidentally get drunk.  If  tonight you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after dinner drink, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.
On occasion I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight beers in a four hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115 pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of 100 proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(3) Plan your trip. Point your car in the direction of home.  A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. When I go to the honkytonk strip on lower Broadway to party, I never park on Broadway. I live on the south side of town, so I park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. This means I do not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(4) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are may have had enough to register drunk and use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Be aware of this.

(5) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate
to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(6) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not tuned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(7) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(8) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passengers seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(9) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

This is an additional tip suggested by a reader of this blog:

(10) It you are seeing double, close one eye.

I have never been arrested for drunk driving but I admit I have been guilty of it. I guess I have been lucky. As a young adult I was more often guilty of it than I have been as an older adult. Nevertheless, from time to time, I still have probably technically met the blood alcohol level for being drunk.

Stay safe. Drive careful. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee Meeting Thursday March 26

From Tony Roberts:

Our meeting has moved back to Logan's Steak House on Elliston Place. The meeting will be held Thursday March 26, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:15. We will concentrate on the council and mayoral races. Some of the candidates will be on hand to state their cases and answer questions.

Dr. Manish Sethi
Our guest speaker is Dr. Manish Sethi. Manish K. Sethi (born January 3, 1978) is an American physician. Dr. Sethi is an Assistant Professor and Orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University. He is currently Director of the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Institute Center for Health Policy and is the lead author of the book Orthopaedic Traumatology: An Evidence Based Approach and other peer reviewed publications. Dr. Sethi also takes an active role in teaching health policy at the undergraduate level at Vanderbilt University, serving as course director for MHS 0199, The Evolution of American Healthcare, an introductory course for college freshmen. He will speak on the probing problems of healthcare in the United States and in Tennessee.

We will follow with a candidate forum. Some leaders of groups who will be supporting council races will be in attendance. The City Council helps to set the pace of monetary expenditures for Davidson County. We are in a spending path similar to Washington, D.C. and if we do not pay attention to our council, we like many city in California will go down the path of bankruptcy. Come and listen to our council candidates and help to vet the future of Davidson County.

Networking will start at 5:30 and the program starts at 6:00. RSVP to Tony Roberts or Dan Davis

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Liberty on the Rocks, Thursday, March 19 at 5:30pm

WHOA, it's that time already! Come on out for springtime cheer and beer.

What: Liberty on the Rocks. This is a gathering of right-of-center people with a preponderance of those attending being of the libertarian persuasion. There is no program, just a chance to dialogue and discuss ideas or just socialize with people who share a love of liberty.
When: Thursday, March 19 at 5:30pm - 9:30 or sometimes later, as long as people want to stay. Also, if you can't get there until later, that is OK too.
Where: MAFIAoZA'S 12South in Nashville, Tennessee

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What's on the Council agenda for March 17

Here is the link to the Metro Council Agenda for March 17, and here is the link to the Council staff analysis for that meeting. I will not be providing my own analysis and commentary for this meeting.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

For now blogging is taking a back seat as I focus on my lovely Louella.

Dear Readers of A Disgruntled Republican,

If you are one who checks this blog on a regular basis you may have noticed that I have not posted in a little over a week. Those who follow me on Facebook know my circumstances but for other readers of this blog, I want to explain my circumstances.

My lovely wife Louella has Alzheimer's with which she was diagnosed in November of 2004, but which she probably had since about 2001.  Recently she developed chest congestion and after a sleepless night last Sunday, she was taken to the hospital on Monday when she would hardly respond when her caregiver tried to wake her.  She was taken to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with pneumonia.  We were informed that she aspirates, that is, she inhale food or liquid rather than swallowing it- it goes down the wrong way.  She has reached the point to where her mind can not tell her body weather to swallow or breath.

On Tuesday of last week, we met with the palliative counselor of the hospital and the options were explained.  Knowing Louella, I know she would not want to be put on a feeding tube or have other extraordinary efforts made to prolong her life when there is no hope of recovery.  She left the hospital on Friday and Friday evening we met with a representative from Alive Hospice.  They will be providing her care from here on out.

After an almost sleepless night Sunday I was at the hospital until late each night, meeting with doctors and counselors and just staying with her and comforting her.  Also, all week, in the day, I was in a class that is only offered once a year and which I needed in order to maintain my professional certification.  My last week has been exhausting both physically and emotionally.  I have had no time to blog, but no inclination to do so even if I had had the time. One of the last things I want to do right now is read and comment on the Metro Council agenda.

This week and still as of today, I do not even want to watch the news.  I certainly don't feel like being argumentative. I don't even want to listen to country music about lost love or watch violent stressful movies.  So, I am going to be good to myself and do what ever helps me deal with this ordeal and focus on what is most important.  I will only blog as much as I like and I will resume my full blogging when I am ready, which could be soon or could be longer depending on circumstances and my state of mind. I will post some links of interest and announcements and such from time to time, but for now blogging is taking a back seat.

At work this past week while in training, I was blessed to be surround by very loving supportive people. Some of them I have know for over 20 years and some I just met. The distraction of the class was really probably good for me and being with such good supportive people was a blessing. 

I am fortunate to have Sue Deuss as Louella's caregiver.  She has been with us for four years now. She is more than a trained paid caregiver; she is our dear friend and she has grown to love Louella. I could not ask for a better person to help me care for Louella than Sue. I also have another trained professional if I need additional help. I also will have the services of Alive Hospice. 

I also have the support and love of my family. My sisters have been here to help me deal with facing reality and to ask questions and think clearly when I could not think clearly. My daughter is flying in from New Orleans today to give me a big hug.  I appreciate my family, my co-workers, my friends and Facebook friends who are praying for me and Louella and who are showing me such kindness.

I know there is only one outcome to this situation. I have know this day was coming since she was first diagnosed; still it hurts.  Please pray that Louella will leave this world at peace knowing she is loved and pray that I will have strength to deal with saying good bye.

Thank you,

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