Saturday, October 10, 2015

Scott DesJarlais chose not to ask a single question of Planned Parenthood

Press Release, MURFREESBORO, Tenn. –  After Scott DesJarlais chose to pass the microphone during the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Planned Parenthood last week, the Grant Starrett for Congress campaign released the following lines of questioning that Grant would have asked Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards.

Grant Starrett, Republican candidate for Congress in Tennessee's 4th District:

"On September 29th, the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, came before Congress to testify at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Scott DesJarlais had the opportunity to question Richards at one of the most important hearings in Congress this year.

Watch what happened when he was given the opportunity:

Unbelievable. Scott DesJarlais chose not to ask a single question of Planned Parenthood, even in the wake of recent undercover videos that unmasked the horrifying practices of Richards’ organization.

Here are the questions that Scott DesJarlais chose not to ask, and that I would have asked, the head of Planned Parenthood:

​1. Would Planned Parenthood ever discourage a woman from seeking an abortion? What if a woman was explicitly interested in only male children? What if a woman was explicitly interested in only children of a particular race? What if a woman was being paid by a tissue harvesting company? ​

2. Before performing an abortion, what steps does a Planned Parenthood clinic take to ensure the child’s father hasn’t coerced the ​mother into an abortion?

​3. Recent undercover videos unmasked that Planned Parenthood will alter abortion procedures so that the baby’s body parts can be sold for cash. Planned Parenthood officials are shown haggling over price, including a notorious reference to a Lamborghini. Federal law says “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” How do the activities on these videos not violate this law?

4. Regardless of the law, do you hold yourself responsible for these actions? Does the buck stop with you?

​5.  A grand jury report said that inspectors found “blood-splattered floors, and blood-stained chairs” in an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. You opposed the application of typical, widespread regulatory standards for outpatient surgical centers and hospitals. What regulations, if any, are reasonable for abortion providers? Does an abortion qualify as an outpatient procedure? What about an abortion makes it undeserving of routine safety and cleanliness standards?

6. Should abortion be available until the moment of birth? What is the difference between an hour old child and a child an hour from birth?

​7. Since 2006, the number of customers that go to Planned Parenthood each year for cancer screenings declined year after year. At the same time, some 13,500 community health centers don't receive the half billion dollars that go to Planned Parenthood. Why shouldn't organizations that provide cancer screenings but manage to avoid killing unborn children be the beneficiaries of your taxpayer dollars?

​Are you seriously suggesting that caring for women's health is impossible without providing abortions? You suggested in your testimony that you do not use Planned Parenthood for your own medical needs. Why not? Are you satisfied with your primary healthcare provider? Does it provide abortions?

8. You believe that abortion is a right. Does a right have to be financed by taxpayer dollars? If so, do you support the federal government subsidizing American citizens' purchase of firearms? In other words, should the federal government pay for my Glock?

9. You say that taxpayer dollars don't fund abortions, but your organization performs almost one out of every four abortions in America. But money is fungible, and you receive half a billion dollars from the federal government. How many private donations are then allowed to subsidize abortion as a result of your massive taxpayer subsidy?

​10. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, observed, “The most obvious practitioner of racism in the United States today is Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger and recently documented as ready to accept money to eliminate black babies.” According to the CDC, African American babies accounted for 37.3% of all abortions in the United States in 2011, yet African Americans make up only some ten percent of the population.
​ ​
Do black lives matter in the womb?​"

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The Scene's Best of poll ranks A Disgruntled Republican second best political blog.

A big "thank you" to those who voted in The Nashville Scene's Best of poll who voting for A Disgruntled Republican in Nashville as the best political blog.  I picked up a copy of The Scene today, not even knowing there was a category for best political blog and found that this blog came in, in second place as the best political blog in Nashville. First place went to The Scene's own Pith in the Wind, and third place went to Post Politics. Post Politics is the blog of The Nashville Post.  Both Pith and Post Politics are written by paid bloggers and are associated with other publication. I am honored to have won second place in this category, especially since my politics is most likely considerably to the right of the average reader of  The Scene.

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Rep. Butt endorses Ted Cruz

State Representative Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) announced Thursday she is endorsing U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for president in 2016.

“It’s time to stand for our country and foundational principles, including the rule of law,” Butt stated in a press release. “ (link)

State Representative Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) announced Thursday she is endorsing U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for president in 2016.
“It’s time to stand for our country and foundational principles, including the rule of law,” Butt stated in a press release. “
- See more at:
Rep. Butt endorses Ted Cruz

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Liberty on the Rocks, Tursday, October 15, 2015 5:30 PM,

Liberty on the Rocks, Tursday, October 15, 2015 5:30 PM,  Mafiaoza's 2400 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204. Liberty on the Rocks is a great place to meet other people, have a beer and some great food. We promote thoughtful and rational discussion on a wide range of topics.

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Help this student get an "A" by clicking this link: HockeyHaps.

This is unorthodox for this blog but a friend of mine's daughter is doing a school project that requires her to create a blog and get a lot of "hits." Help this student get an "A" by clicking this link: HockeyHaps.

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Camp Constitution, A One Day Refresher Course for Adults, Sat., Oct 10th

You are invited to the following event: 
Camp Constitution, A One Day Refresher Course for Adults 
Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT), The Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027 (map)

The Constitution has unified our nation for over 200 years. It has been our roadmap for governance and a tool to hold elected representatives accountable. As citizens it is our responsibility to understand the overall structure, content and meaning of the constitution and the implications for elections and current events.

Do you need a "Refresher Course"? 
  • Do you remember how and why the Constitution was written? 
  • Why not a new king? 
  • What did the British do that started the Revolution? 
  • What is the Electoral College and why do we have it? 
  • What provisions do the Constitution provide when government takes powers they don't have and what can or should we do about it? 
  • What does the Constitution say about international treaties? 
  • What does the Constitution say about topics such as religious liberty, education, taxes, immigration and welfare? 
Guest Speaker:  Hal Rounds, Esquire, Constitutional scholar, attorney and member of the United States Supreme Court bar. Mr. Rounds took an oath to preserve and defend the Constitution as an Air Force Officer and again when admitted to the Bar. This course is his way to honor his oath to defend and preserve. Mr. Rounds feels, “The Constitution is the "business license" of our nation, and you, the citizens are the "stockholders."

This is your opportunity to get a better understanding of how the business of our Nation works and what your responsibilities as a citizen are.

Your Host Committee: Conservative Women Today, Republican Women of Williamson County, & Williamson County Republican Party.

Join us for a fast paced and exciting day as Mr. Rounds brings the history and meaning of our Constitution alive. Morning coffee, snacks and box lunch provided. Cost is $20.00 per person. To register follow this link

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Mike Jameson named new Metro Council attorney

Former Metro Councilman Mike Jameson has been named the new  Metro Council attorney by Vice Mayor David Briley, subject to Council approval. Read all about it in this Tennessean article.

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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast Oct. 17th

What: Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast
When: Saturday, October 17, Dutch Treat Breakfast/Social 8:30 - 9:00 am Program: 9:00 - 10:00 am.
Where: Shoney's (Antioch) Bell Rd @ Cane Ridge Road (I-24E, Bell Road Exit)
Who: Guest Speaker Sharon Smith, Director Metro Beautification and Environment Commission.

This Commission coordinates the efforts of volunteers, city departments, business and community groups and government agencies to provide environmental programs and beautification projects, as well as training and educational opportunities for the residents and visitors to our city. What can we do to help??????? 

Breakfast hosted by Robert Duvall &Pat Carl.

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Caffeinated Conservatives explore sanctuary cities, Oct. 17th.

From Steve Clements:

Hey everybody,
Join us Saturday October 17th from 12 pm - 2 pm at Uncommon Grounds (1053 Donelson Ave, Old Hickory Village) to discuss IMMIGRATION! Donald Trump began his rise in the polls by making this a top issue, Western Europe is being inundated with refugees, and Nashville is one of the main stopping points for immigrants from war-torn countries in the US. This is a big issue, and gets at the foundation of our sovereignty as a country.
Our speaker stirring the pot will be Jonna Bianco, an expert on sanctuary cities. Bring your appetite for great coffee and great conversation! All opinions welcome!

Stephen Clements and Terry Torre
Caffeinated Conservatives

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What happened at the 10-6-15 Council Meeting? No opening prayer. Mayor Barry addresses the Council.

To get a link to your own copy of the agenda and agenda analysis and my commentary follow this  link.

This is the first meeting of the new Council and is a very short meeting. Not much of significance happens except that Mayor Barry addresses the Council.  Being the first meeting of the new Council, there are no bills on Second or Third reading and none of the resolutions are of much consequence and bills on First Reading are routinely passed without discussion. This meeting is only 39 minutes long.

The first four minutes of the video is without sound, so you can join the video at time stamp 4:09 and join the mayor who has already started her speech. Mayor Barry addresses our sidewalk program and says the sidewalk plan has not been updated in some time and that one of the things she will address right away is updating the sidewalk plan. I commend her for addressing this.  I hope that this means we stop building sidewalks that go nowhere and we stop tearing up perfectly serviceable sidewalks and replacing them with brand new sidewalks and instead build sidewalk where there are now not sidewalks. Nashville has spend a lot of money on sidewalks and got few new sidewalks to show for it.

She addresses her decision to delay the implementation of the "local hire" charter amendment without addressing the opinion from the State Attorney General that said the amendment conflicted with State law.

The meeting usually begins with a prayer from a guest Christian minister, although there has been a Jewish Rabbi deliver the prayer and a Muslim Iman in the past.  Vice Mayor Briley started the meeting with a quote from Thomas Jefferson on the separation of church and State and a moment of silence.   He also said recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions "placed limits on prayer before legislative meetings."  It is unclear if the practice of started the meeting with a prayer is ended.

Don Jones who was previously the Council's legal advisory  prior to Jon Coopers, serves in that capacity for this meeting. I am not sure if he is just filling in or if he will be the Council staff attorney.

The Council adopts the 2011-2015 Council rules as temporary rules. The Council has 60 days to adopt 2015-2020 rules.

There is some discussion of  RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-13 which settles a law suit against the city due to a wrongful death of someone in the custody of the sheriff's department. From serving in the Council and years of observing the Council, I am confident the city never settles a suit against the city, if the city could win in the suit in court. Still, I think it is proper for the Council to get a good explanation of what happened and get assurances that corrective action has been taken so the incident that caused the suit does not happen again. 

Below is The Tennessean's report on the Council meeting:
Barry pledges new sidewalks plan in address to council

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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

ACU Foundation to present Award for Conservative Achievement to Rep. Diane Black at Nashville Republican Women’s Luncheon

Press Release, Washington, D.C.– American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) Chairman
Diane Black
Matt Schlapp will present the Honorable Diane Black (R-TN-6) with the 2014 ACU Conservative Achievement Award at the Nashville Republican Women’s luncheon. The luncheon will be held in Nashville, TN on Wednesday, October 14th.

The ACU Conservative Achievement Award is given to Members of Congress who receive at least an 80% ACU rating during the last year. The average ACU rating for all U.S. Representatives in the 113th Congress was 44.6%.

“As a former nurse, Diane Black is dedicated to improving the health care of all Americans through the application of conservative principles,” Schlapp said. “She is leading the fight in the House of Representatives to defund Planned Parenthood and replace Obamacare with market –based health care.  As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Diane Black is committed to pro-growth tax reform. On a variety of issues, conservatives can count on Diane Black to be a strong voice in Congress.”

Join ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp at the luncheon:

Wednesday, October 14th Nashville, TNTime:   Registration & Coffee: 10:30 AM
            Meeting, followed by lunch: 11:00 AM
Location:  Richland Country Club, 1 Club Drive, Nashville, TN

For more information contact Amanda Bunning, or 202-347-9388

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"Hoot n Shoot" Saturday, October 24, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The Robertson County Republican Party is hosting a "Hoot n Shoot" Saturday, October 24, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This is for all firearms enthusiasts, pistol shooting, trap and skeet, with a catered barbecue lunch, and good company too! Bring only your favorite shoot’n iron, ammo, and a comfortable yard chair. Targets and skeet will be provided. Tickets are: $25 singles, $40 couples, $10 for 10-13 year olds, 9 and under free. This will be a great time for all! You can pick up tickets at the Flooring Center, 507 Memorial Blvd, Springfield or online at

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

First meeting of the new council, Oct.6th. What is on the agenda?

Tuesday October 6th will be the first meeting of the new Council. Since a new council starts fresh, no bills are carried forward from the last council, so there will be no bills on second or third reading. To get your own copy of the agenda, follow this link. To get your copy of the staff analysis, follow this link.

One thing the council will do at this first meeting, I assume, is adopt council rules.  In addition to Roberts Rules of Order, the council adopts its own rules.  Such things as how long a council member may speak and how long the public may speak at a public hearing will be established. While I don't want council meetings to run for hours on end, I think the previous Council did not permit enough discussion from the floor. That is one reason meeting were so boring. I understand the logic that most discussion should occur in committee meetings, but I think the Council has gone too far in the direction of stiffing debate. When I served in the council we had a several good orators. Specifically I remember Doc Adams, a dentist, who would make eloquent speeches, not that I usually agreed with him, but I enjoyed his speeches from the floor. Council debate should not only be for the benefit of the council members but so the public can have a better understanding of what is at issue.

Other rules will determine in announcements are part of the regular council meeting or made prior to the meeting as they have been in the last council. When I served, announcements were made during the council meeting, between resolutions and First Reading.  I think that should stay as it is. Announcements of such things as neighborhood cleanups and school functions can take a lot of council meeting time.

The Council must also determine if they will have a consent agenda for resolutions as they have had or if all resolutions will be considered individually. The council will also establish rules for who, when they are honored, gets the large expensive framed calligraphy presentations or a simple printed copy of the resolutions. These and other rules will govern the council until they are changed.

Current rules could simply be readopted or they could be changed. If a council member would like to see procedural changes, now is the time to speak up. If anyone would like to see the existing Rules of  Procedure, follow the highlighted text. I hope member carefully study the rules and know what they are voting on when they readopt or change the existing rules.

The first order of business is "elections and confirmations," and the only item is the confirmation of Jon Cooper as Director of Law for the city of Nashville. Cooper has been the staff attorney for the Metro Council for at least the last four years and maybe longer. Cooper as staff attorney for the council has been the one who drafts legislation on behalf of council members and does the council agenda analysis. I have always thought he did a good job with the analysis and never tried to influence an outcome. I have heard good things about him. I am sure he will win confirmation easily. I think this was a wise appointment by Mayor Barry.  The council will have to find a replacement for Cooper.

There are 14 resolutions on the agenda but none of them appear controversial. Most are simply accepting grants.

There are 31 bills on First Reading. First reading is a formality and bills are usually not debated until second reading. After First Reading, bills will be considered by committee. Most of the bills on First Reading are zoning bills. I do not read the bills until after first reading.

There are three memorialize resolutions on the agenda, but none are controversial.

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Economic incentives to continue under Barry administration

Economic incentives to continue under Barry administration

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Reflections on the mass rampage shooting in Oregon and what can be done.

Following the recent tragedy of a mass shooting on a college campus in Oregon, President Obama issued his strongest pubic statement yet following any of the mass shooting that have occurred since he has been president. He said, "We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months." He said these event occur too often and it is time to do something about it. He said that when we realize that seat belts saved lives we required seat belts. "When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer," he said. "So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense," he said.

While he did not immediately call for massive and absolute gun control or confiscation he said we need a change in our laws. "I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. And that will require a change of politics on this issue."

Also without naming the NRA by name, he challenged NRA members to rethink their support of the organization saying, "And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners -- who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families -- to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you."

He also said gun laws work and can reduce violence, saying, "We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence." (To read the President's full message follow this link.)

How accurate is the President is saying what he said? Following the shooting in Charleston, S.C. he said something very similar, saying "this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency."

While we are on the high end of this type of rampage killing we are not alone. If you look at the incidents per million people, we have a lower incident of fatal rampage shooting incidents than Norway, Finland, or Switzerland.

For source information and more data, follow this link.
Politfacts is the highly respected non-partisan site that judges the accuracy of political statements. Politfacts  found that statement to be "Mostly False"  "It clearly happens in other countries," concluded Politfacts, "and in at least three of them, there’s evidence that the rate of killings in mass-shooting events occurred at a higher per-capita rate than in the United States between 2000 and 2014. (To read the complete report, follow this link.)

What about the claim that states with the most gun laws restricting gun ownership tend to have the fewest gun deaths? CBS News studies this issue in 2003 and reported that,"A sweeping federal review of the nation's gun control laws — including mandatory waiting periods and bans on certain weapons — found no proof such measures reduce firearm violence." There source was a review conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Different studies and more recent studies show that states with stricter gun control law have fewer gun deaths, however many of these gun deaths are suicide or domestic violence, and while we want to prevent suicide and deaths from domestic violence, that is not related to the problem of rampage mass shootings. Also some of the states with higher gun death rates also have higher incidents of other violence, so the other variables may be more important than the gun laws.

It is worth noting that one of the mass murders occurred in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Connecticut has some of the nations strictest gun laws and lowest rates of gun ownership. Also, Chicago has some of strictest gun laws in the country yet one of the highest murder rates. Also, Washington D.C. has strict gun laws and a high murder rate. There are other factors at play. I don't think one can conclude that stricter gun laws results in less gun violence and certainly one cannot conclude it results in less rampage mass shootings.

President Obama did not call for more gun-free zones, but many people seem to think that somehow having an area declared a gun-free zone reduces gun violence. It does not. The Oregon shooting occurred in a gun-free zone. One study found that 92% of mass killings since 2009 occurred in gun-free zones. Criminals and mentally deranged people simply do not honor the designation that an area has been declared gun-free. Declaring an area gun-free may cause those intent on committing mass killing to feel safer in carrying out their plan knowing they are the only one armed in the area.

It is clear from President Obama's remarks that he does not understand the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not so people can " hunt and protect their families."  It is to protect us from a tyrannical government. It is to protect our freedom. While I support the 2nd Amendment, I accept that we do not individually have the right to have rocket launchers or tanks or hand grenades or nuclear weapons. I accept that there may be some reasonable restrictions on that right and on the type of arms we may bear. The ban on fully automatic weapons and  sawed off shotguns has been determined legal and has been accepted by most people. The degree of restriction on the right to bear arms is up for discussion and reinterpretation from time to time but the basic right cannot just be stripped away without violating the Constitution.

When the President or others point out that other countries have successfully curtailed gun ownership and say we should do the same, those other countries did not have a constitution that guaranteed their right to bear arms. Gun ownership was permitted in other countries, it was not a right. There is a difference between government allowing you to do something and having a right to so something. In America, our rights do not flow from government. We are not permitted to do only what the government allows; the government only has the power we surrender to it. The government's power flows from the people; the people's rights do not flow from the government. Having a constitutional right to gun ownership means the public can not easily decide to surrender the right to bear arms and the government cannot take that right away from people without the people surrendering it.

We have 89 guns per 100 people in America. Even if we started an aggressive buy-back program and stopped the manufacture of new guns it would take a long time to significantly reduce the number of guns in circulation.  It is doubtful that stopping manufacturing or importation of legal firearms would stand a constitutional challenge, but even if it did, it would take a long time to have a significant impact.

What is to be done to prevent the next Sandy Hook, or Charleston South Carolina or Umpqua Community College in Roseburg Oregon?  I am really not sure anything can be done. Many use these incidents as a call for greater mental health services, but honestly I don't think we can detect that someone is likely to commit mass murder before they do it. We cannot lock up or treat everyone who may possibly turn out to be a mass murder. Mental health science is not that accurate or reliable and treatment does not always cure and we are not ready to violate the civil rights of someone that a health care provider says may be prone to violence.

President Obama and all others who say it is time to "do something" to prevent the next Rosenburg Oregon, should be bold and call for a repeal of the Second Amendment, passing  a law preventing gun ownership, and a door-to-door search of every home in America to confiscate weapons. If that is what they want, they should say it and see how far they get.

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