Friday, August 18, 2017

Rep. Steve Cohen seeks to impeach President Trump after Charlottesville

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Sen. Bob Corker critical of Trump, says he hasn't displayed 'competence' to be successful

If you have not seen this statement from Bob Corker about Trumps handling of the Charlottsville matter, I urge you to watch it. Unfortunately there is a short add prior to the start of the statement.

I am pleased to see this thoughtful measured statement from Senator Bob Corker.  I agree. I agree with Corker that what happened in Charlottsville was repugnant. I agree that making Klansmen and Nazis feel their standing in our nation is enhanced is repugnant. I agree with Croker's critique of Trump's stability and competence.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Report on the Council meeting of 8/15/17: Shulman rhymes, rules not suspended to condemn white supremacy, more time to drink beer passes.

At only 56 minutes long, this is a short meeting and there is not much of anything importance happens. To access the meeting agenda, staff analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link. Here is the meeting summary and the highlights:

Sheri Weiner is elected pro tem of the Council in an uncontested election.  It is the job of this person to conduct the Council meeting is the absence of the vice mayor.

Councilman Jim Shulman whose term as Chairman of the Rules and Confirmation Committee is ending gives a farewell and the committee report in verse. It's cute. See timestamp 4:30.

An attempt to suspend the rules to introduce a late resolution to condemn white supremacy fails.  The sponsor is Councilman Bob Mendez. The rules are to be suspended only in  an emergency. The rules cannot be suspended if two council members object and Councilman Doug Pardue and Councilman Tanaka Vercher object.  I support the objection to suspending the rules. This is not an emergency.  White supremacy will be around in two weeks. To see The Tennessean's report on the issue see Nashville council passes on taking up resolution to condemn white supremacy.

BILL NO. BL2017-829  which would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair is deferred indefinitely, but the sponsor says she is still working on the issue.

BILL BL2017-834 on Second Reading which would amend the time restriction of when beer could be sold or served for on-premises consumption passes.  Under this bill a small number of restaurants could sell beer anytime except from 3AM to 4AM. For an explanation of this see the video at timestamp 23:54.

BILL BL2017-826  on Third Reading, which is a disapproved zoning bill in Scott Davis' district, passes without discussion by  a vote of 28 to 2 with 5 abstentions and 4 not voting. This bill had to have 27 positive votes to pass. I have no opinion on the merits of the rezoning and the only reason I am mentioning this is because it is a disapproved bill and sometimes is hard to get a disproved bill passed.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Triumph of Tailgunner Joe.

Bill Bernstein
by Bill Bernstein - Back in 1976 my father took me to see Woody Allen's new movie, The Front. He had to explain to me what a "blacklist" was and the context of The Front, how Hollywood and the Screen Actors Guild between 1946 and 1957 created a list of actors, writers, directors and producers who could not be employed because of their associations with the Communist Party.  All of this took place in the context of McCarthy's witch hunts during this period.

Eventually people asserted themselves against the idea of boycotting someone for his political beliefs or associations. A blacklisted radio host sued a trade organization for damage and was supported by the liberal stars of that era: Louis Nizer, Edward R Murrow and others. The principle established was: people are entitled to their own beliefs. Even if we find them objectionable. Boycotting and outing are not the American way.

Senator Joe McCarthy died in 1957, a disgraced alcoholic reviled by liberals of the day. But somewhere in Heaven ole Tailgunner Joe must be smiling. His principle of waging economic war on those holding objectionable beliefs has become the new normal. Hardly a day passes without Leftists "outing" people opposing their agenda and having them fired, or Conservatives declaring a boycott of some business or actor due to their objectionable statements. The quaint liberal notions of free speech and free association have been thrown aside. And the range of "objectionable" has grown far beyond McCarthy's era, when yearning for Communist revolution was the standard for shunning. Now supporting views expressed by Candidate Obama in 2007 is enough to get one blacklisted and fired.

Needless to say this stifling of speech and thought will not end well. It never does. People croaking about "diversity" would be well to ask how many Conservatives are in their organization, how many Socialists they rub shoulders with daily. At one time the idea was America was a "marketplace of ideas" where ideas competed for adherents. We had a confidence that American liberal values (that is, Classical Liberalism) would win out eventually. That idea is gone, replaced with rigid lines enforced with sanctions. The resulting groupthink will not make the country stronger. The very opposite.

Bill Bernstein first came to Nashville in 1980 as a freshman at Vanderbilt. After finishing he spent time in graduate schools in Classics. He returned to Nashville in 1992 and has been a firearms dealer and Second Amendment advocate for over a decade

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

(update) What's on the Council agenda for 8/15/17: More time to drink beer and more corporate welfare.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. This will again be a meeting that is more boring than usual. There is nothing on the agenda likely to generate passion or debate. To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video on this blog the day after or the day after that and provide commentary.

If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you need a copy of the Council agenda and the Council staff analysis or you really will not know what is going on. You can get the agenda and analysis at the highlighted links. This is going to be another boring meeting.  There is not much that will generate passion or controversy on this agenda. Below are the highlights.

Election of President Pro Tem.
The first order of business following the Call to Order and Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call, and Approval of Minutes is an election of the Council President Pro Tempore for a one-year term ending August 31, 2018. This person's primary duty is to conduct the meetings in the absence of the vice mayor.  The pro tem also conducts the meeting that precedes the regular council meeting at which council members make announcements. This position is prestigious and sometimes candidates really lobby for it. Others times only one person wants the position and they get it.  Council member Sheri Weiner is the only one seeking the position to my knowledge.

There is one insignificant resolution on public hearing which approves a distance variance for an establishment seeking a beer permit.  There are eight resolutions on the agenda all of which are on the consent agenda. None appear controversial. Two are allowing signs to overhang a sidewalk and most of the others are accepting grants and one is honoring Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr. upon his retirement.

Bills on Second Reading
BILL NO. BL2017-829  would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair. Currently if someone runs over your waste container at the back of your house on the alley, or if someone steals it, you the occupant have to pay to replace it. I support this bill. It was on the agenda last meeting but deferred to this meeting.

BILL BL2017-834  would amend the time restriction of when beer could not be sold or served

for on-premises consumption.  Now, beer cannot be sold or served between the hours of 3AM and 6AM Monday thorough Saturday and 3AM to 10AM on Sunday by an establishment with a beer permit.  This would allow it to be sold or consumed anytime except for one hour a day, 3AM to 4AM. This came about due a change in State law allowing establishments with a liquor license to sell liquor anytime except that one hour.  If we do not change our beer law, then an establishment with a liquor license could sell mixed drinks or shots of tequila from 4AM to 6AM but not beer. Beer is not regulated by the State but by local governments.  I support this bill but think we should just go ahead and make it available 'round the clock. I wish someone would offer an amendment to that effect. 

BILL BL2017-836 is a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) deal for the Keystone Automotive Industries to build an administrative office.  This is the kind of corporate welfare that almost all cities engage in.  We will in effect be subsidizing this company about $1.23 million and they promise to create 120 new jobs. That is a little over $10K per job. I would hope the Council would reject this.  For more on this, read the bill and see the staff analysis.

BILL BL2017-837  authorizes the acquisition of property for the purpose of building a new Metropolitan Nashville Police Precinct on Murfressboro Rd.

Bills on Third Reading
There are 23 bills on Third Reading and almost all are rezoning bills.  The only bill of interest is  BILL BL2017-826  which is a disapproved bill in Scott Davis' district.  I have no opinion on the bill but am simply calling attention to it because it is disapproved.  It takes 27 votes in favor to pass a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. Some in the media and some neighborhood activist types think the Council should never pass a disapproved bill.

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