Saturday, December 16, 2017

What's on the Council agenda for Dec. 19, 2017: Trampling private property rights and killing an affordable housing development, $2.85 million in corporate welfare, selection of a law firm being reconsidered.

The most important item on the Council agenda for this meeting is BILL NO. BL2016-219 on Third

proposed The Ridge at Antioch
and Final Reading. This bill is the attempt to kill an affordable housing project and trample a person's private property rights by cancelling an approved Planned Unit Development and down zoning a person's property without their consent.  To take away a permitted use is a "taking."  Property rights are more than just holding legal title.  When property is taken it should only be for a public purpose and owners should be compensated for their loss.  I know we now have a very liberal Metro Council, but I suspect even many liberals are not comfortable trampling property rights.  If they are unconcerned about trampling property rights, they are probably concerned about exposing the city to a law suit the city is most likely going to lose and the loss of future State assistance in the form of tax credits the state has threatened to withhold  should this bill pass.

The opposition to the development of this property is that it will concentrate poverty and that Antioch does not need more affordable housing. Some of the council members supporting this bill and opposing the affordable housing project are the leading advocates of affordable housing. Hypocrites! They want affordable housing but not where the market says it is affordable.  This proposed affordable housing project should not be thought of as "the projects" or something similar. Unless someone told you, you would not even know this type housing had a subsidy. This planned development is a "tax credit" property. The people who will live there are people who work. The rent will not be based on an individuals ability to pay, but the rent will be "affordable" for a person of modest income. This is what is often called "workforce" housing.

This bill has been disapproved by the Planning Commission.  If this  passes the State of Tennessee has threatened to withhold future tax credits used to help finance affordable housing developments. For more on this story see this link and this and this.

This bill has been in the works for a very long time.  To view the July 6, 2016 Public Hearing on the bill follow this link. It was deferred indefinitely following that public hearing. It was on the agenda on third reading on April18, 2017  and at that time it was deferred to this meeting, the second meeting in December.  Being a dissapproved bill, this will take 28 votes to pass and there will be a roll call vote. I will record in this blog, how members of the Council voted.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you need a copy of the Council agenda and the staff analysis  or you really will not know what is going on. You can get the agenda and analysis at the highlighted links.

Appointment of Roy Dale and Anna Maddox to the Stormwater Management Board.
There are two mayoral appointees to Boards and Commission on the agenda for confirmation. These are the same two that were on the agenda last meeting and deferred to this meeting.  They are the appointments of Roy Dale and  Anna Maddox to the Stormwater Water Management Board. It is very unusual that a  mayoral appointment is just not automatically rubber stamped by the Rules and Confirmation Committee of the Council and the full Council. Last meeting both candidates received a recommendation of a deferral by the rules committee by a vote of 5 to 3 and the Council voted to defer the confirmation of appointments. The Committee chairman said the recommendation was due to unanswered questions from constituents.  I do not know what those questions were and do not know if questions have been answered.  Roy Dale is a former member of the Council and a major developer in town.  This is just a guess but I would bet some members of the public saw his roll on the Sormwater Management Committee as a conflict with his roll as a developer. However that does not explain the opposition to Anna Maddox.  I monitor some neighborhood activist sites but have not seen opposition to these candidates. I have no insight as to what is behind the deferral and have heard nothing. Watch to see what happens. If someone knows what is going on, please contact me or post a comment.

Resolution on Motion to Reconsider
RESOLUTION RS2017-966  is the resolution which authorizes the Mayor to employ the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, as special counsel to pursue claims against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids that have "wrongfully caused drug addiction in Davidson County." This resolution was on the agenda meeting before last and deferred to last meeting and at the last meeting it was approved by a machine vote of 30 in favor, 6 opposed and 4 abstentions. Now it is back on the agenda, placed on the agenda under a "motion to reconsider." A motion to reconsider is authorized under Rule 35 of the rules of the Council . This is what rule 35 says:
 A motion to reconsider a vote of the Council on any ordinance or resolution can be entertained only on a final reading and an affirmative vote and then only when the following have been complied with:
(a) The maker of the motion to reconsider must have voted with the prevailing side.
(b) The motion to reconsider must be made before the next order of business.
(c) Not less than four (4) members of the Council must second the motion, and these four members need not have voted with the prevailing side.
Such motion, properly made and seconded, must be considered and finally acted on at the next regular meeting of the Council or at a special meeting called for that purpose. Such motion shall not be debatable prior to its consideration and final action.
No statement that a member is proposing to offer a motion to reconsider at a later meeting is to be entertained by the Council.
I did not know the motion to reconsider had been made and passed last council meeting but rewatching the council meeting I see that it was.  The maker of the motion and the discussion of the motion between the vice mayor and the attorney for the council is  low volume and barely audible. To see this action at the last council meeting see timestamp 1:14 in the video at this link. It appears this is properly back on the agenda.

The primary opposition to this resolution is that of the Black council members who are concerned that the chosen law firm does not have a sufficient number of Black lawyers. This is complicated legal work and only a few firms have the expertise to litigate this matter. Also, the firm must have deep pockets to front the expenses, Sometimes cases like this can take years to be settled. There is an urgency to proceed or Nashville could miss the boat.

Under the contract with the selected legal firm, in some cases the law firm could get up to 20% of any money awarded the city. However, if the law firm won no award, the city would pay them nothing. To see the discussion on the resolution that occurred at the last Council meeting, see timestamp 43 to 1:14:06 in the video.

There are no bills on Public hearing on this agenda.

There are 16 resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda. A resolution stays on the consent agenda if it passes unanimously the committees to which has been assigned. Since the committees have not met yet, some resolutions which are listed as on the consent agenda may not be on the consent agenda when the council meets. Resolutions on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government, entering into inter agency agreements over mundane things, appropriating money from the 4% fund, settling lawsuits, or approving signs overhanging public sidewalk. Resolutions on the consent agenda are lumped together and passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. Any member of the body however, may have a resolution pulled off of the consent agenda or have their "no" vote or abstention recorded. Unlike a bill which requires three votes of the Council to pass, a resolution only requires one vote of the Council. Below are the resolution I find of interest. 
RESOLUTION RS2017-779 , RESOLUTION RS2017-780, and RESOLUTION RS2017-781 all  deal with right-of-way closures. These resolutions would increase the fee for closing a right-of-way would specify requirements for a right-of-way site management plan permit, and request that all fee revenue from right-of-way temporary closure permits be used for staffing, expenses, and other direct costs of administering such permits. I do not expect this to be controversial. With Nashville's rapid growth and downtown construction right-of-way closures have been a problem.  Sometimes, streets are narrowed or closed for months while downtown construction takes place causing traffic problems and interfering with the functioning of businesses in the area of the right-of-way closure.

RESOLUTION RS2017-986 awards an economic and community development incentive grant to  Philips Holding. Phillips Holding is a Netherlands-based health technology firm. This would award them  $2.85 million in city incentives and the firm would bring 815 new jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000. To read The Tennessean's coverage of this issue see Barry proposes $2.9M incentive package for Philips' Nashville expansion. While I wish this was not the way business was done, unfortunately it is.  If we do not offer this type of bribe or corporate welfare, some other city will and the company will locate elsewhere. I have a concern that sometimes we award these grants unnecessarily. Some of the firms we give the money to would have probably located in Nashville anyway without the incentive. Sometimes the jobs do not materialize.  A positive feature of this deal is that the jobs are good paying jobs.  The money is awarded as the jobs are created. It makes more sense to lure companies to Nashville that provide good paying jobs rather than companies that pay low wages. I hope the budget and finance company carefully reviews this resolution to determine if it is a good deal for the city.

RESOLUTION RS2017-998  is a memorializing resolution "recognizing the Ryman Auditorium - “The Mother Church of Country Music” - and its 125 years in Nashville as Music City’s most famous and respected music venue attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Nashville each year."
Bills on First reading: There are 10 bills on first reading. First reading is a formality that gets bills on the agenda and they are not considered by committee until after they pass first reading. I do not usually read them until they get to second reading. Bills on First Reading are all lumped together and pass by a single vote except in extremely rare cases. One bill of note on First Reading is BILL BL2017-1031 , "an ordinance adopting a transit improvement program for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, approving a surcharge for the program, and requesting the Davidson County Election Commission to call a county-wide referendum election to be held on May 1, 2018, regarding the levying of the surcharge on certain taxes to fund the program." While I generally think everything should pass on First Reading, if I were serving in the Council, I would vote "no" on this bill on First Reading.

Bills on Second Reading. There are 22 bills on Second Reading. These are the ones of interest.
BILL BL2017-865  creates new public works reporting requirements.  This bill creates more transparency regarding Metro public works projects. The council would get regular reports on the cost and status of projects and Public Works would be required to maintain on-line map of the projects providing various data, such as cost and status of the project. This is a good bill.
BILL BL2017-941 would establish a a Commercial Permit Parking Program. The council would have to approve the geographic areas in which this applied. In those areas commercial vehicles could only park on the street if they had a permit to do so.  As we grow, parking become more of a problem with people parking on streets taking parking places that deny those spaces to those who have businesses or residence on the street a place to park. These seems reasonable. This would not impose such a system all at once. Area businesses and residences would have to petition to have such a system in place in their neighborhood. This is a good bill. This bill was on the agenda of 11-7-2017 on Second Reading and deferred to this meeting.

SUBSTITUTE BILL BL2017-953  imposes various regulations regarding commercial solicitation  including restricting door-to-door commercial solicitation to daylight hours. As one who once sold cable TV door-to-door when Viacom was new to Nashville, this seems overly restrictive, especially in the winter when it is dark at 5:00PM. When I was selling cable, I often worked till 8PM. I am pleased to see that a second substitute is anticipated that would  alter the proposed time restrictions by prohibiting door-to-door solicitation after sunset or 7:00 pm, whichever occurs later. With that change, I would support this bill if I had a vote. This was on the agenda on Second Reading last meeting and deferred to this meeting. 

BILL BL2017-983 would require certain information for the assessment of economic and community development incentives offered in the form of PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements and Council approval. PILOTS are a form of corporate welfare used most often to entice businesses to locate or expand in Nashville. It is often offered by the Industrial Development Board but has recently been offered by the Metro Development and Housing Agency in order to encourage the development of affordable housing. Under a PILOT agreement, the business is exempt from paying property taxes but instead pays a fee in lieu of those taxes which is considerably less than the company would pay in taxes. Currently companies getting incentive grants have to provide Metro with certain information such as how many jobs they will create and other things and then the Council has to approve the incentive grant.  This bill would apply those same standards to those getting PILOT deals.  This is a good bill.  Currently the PILOTs are awarded without Council oversight.  This was on the agenda on Second Reading last meeting and deferred to this meeting.
Bills on Third Reading. There are 40 bills on third reading. Most are zoning bills that have been approved by the Planning Commission or are approved subject to modification as recommended by the Planning Commission. BILL NO. BL2016-219 is addressed at the top of this page and none of the others are of much interest.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Thoughts on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama

I was conflicted over Roy Moor's candidacy. The rational part of myself said a win for Roy Moore would be an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party and lead to future losses in 2020 and beyond. He would be a distraction.  He would be a fund raising gold mine for Democrats. He would be the poster boy for why people should not vote Republican.  Republicans are holding on to a small sliver of the electorate but demographics are not in our favor.  Republicans must make inroads in to millennials and Hispanics and African-Americans. Roy Moore would alienate those people. Also, Republicans are losing white college-educated women. Roy Moore's victory would likely cause further loss of this group.

Roy Moore
I also reasoned that we should do the right thing and not elect a person with credible collaborated charges of hitting on 14 year-old girls when he was a 32 year-old man.  I know Democrats a few years ago elected as president a man who had collaborated credible charges of rape alleged against him.  In addition to the charges of rape, Bill Clinton settled several law suites alleging sexual harassment. Still, I reasoned, we should do the right thing.  Just because Democrats put party above principle is no reason for Republicans to do the same thing. We are better people than Democrats.

On the other hand, while I concluded I thought it best if Roy Moore lose the election, I could not help but be pleased when it looked like he was ahead in the polls. There is something satisfying about poking self-righteous pompous liberals in the eye. Also, tribalism is a hard thing to overcome. I want to cheer for my team.  With Republicans only having a two seat majority, shrinking that margin to one seat could endanger the Republican agenda. Some of my feelings of only moderate revulsion at Moore's creepy behavior toward young girls is that my mother married when she was only 15 and my grandmother married when she was 13.  While a thirty year-old man cruising teen girls in the mall is creepy, it is not quite pedophilia. And, it was only allegations and it was forty years ago and the timing of the revelation was suspect.  Maybe he had an attraction to young girls a long time ago but is now cured of that.  Maybe he changed.  Many good men may have feet of Clay. The allegations against Moore are not nearly as serious as the numerous allegations against Bill Clinton, I would say to myself,  and maybe Democrats are right and scoring for our team is preferable to standing for morality and losing an election.  It was not always easy to maintain my preference that Roy Moore lose the election.

One thing that made me come down on the side of wanting Moore to lose is that Moore represents the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party.  He has twice defied the Supreme Court. The first time was in 2003 when he defied a federal court order requiring him to remove a large granite Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. This is a monument that he himself had caused to be placed there. The second time was when he issued an order to lower courts in Alabama that they were not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. This was after the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Constitution guaranteed a right to same-sex marriage.  I am sympathetic with Roy Moore in both of these cases, but one cannot just disobey a federal court order.  We are a nation of laws.  Every State Supreme Court judge cannot decide the law for his state.  There are means to legally resist and attempt to overturn a Supreme Court ruling; simply defying it is not one of them.

Another black mark against Roy Moore is that he seems ignorant of basic constitutional provisions. He has said he thinks Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the U. S.Congress.  I don't know if he is aware that the constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. He also seems really uninformed about current events. I saw him being interviewed on TV and he did not even know the meaning of the term "DACA" or "dreamers."  Anyone who is that uninformed to not know these common terms is not informed enough to serve n the U. S. Senate.

Judge Roy Moore joins the ranks of those embarrassing Republican candidates like Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell who were nominated but lost the general election.  While I am pleased the lunatic fringe looses general elections, if Republicans did not nominate nut-jobs and seriously flawed candidates then we could win some of the seats the nut-jobs are losing. We as Republicans need to nominate people with integrity, and who are well grounded in core believes, and in touch with reality.  There are too many Republicans caught up in conspiracy stuff like the birther movement or Agenda 21 or a belief that there is a conspiracy to impose Sharia law on America or other nutty things.  These are not the people who should be selecting our nominees.

Often Republican primary voters undervalue nominating people who can get things done in favor of someone who can push their emotional buttons.  I am pro-life and pro-Second Amendment but to have a single issue focus on these issues and vote for the one who exhibits the most pro-life or pro-Second Amendment passion, at the expense of someone who would be a good manager and govern a state and improve education and solve problems is not wise. Nominating someone who can push the right emotional buttons over someone who would make a good legislator, who understands the issues, and is wise and informed is short-sighted. 

Unfortunately, primaries are decided by only a handful of Republicans. The Republicans who only vote in general elections must start voting in order to ensure the party nominates people who are not an embarrassment and who hand the election to the Democrats. If more Republicans would have voted in the Alabama primary, Roy Moore would not have been the nominee and Republicans would have kept that safe seat. 

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Vice President Pence Gives $4K to Black's Gubernatorial Bid

Memphis Daily News: The Black campaign received a letter of praise from Pence – and a $4,000 check from his political action committee. (link)

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Diane Black surges in Tennessee gubernatorial race, poll finds

The TennesseanDiane Black surges in Tennessee gubernatorial race, poll finds

.... 59 percent of respondents recognized Black’s name, a 10 percent jump from a survey released in May. ... With 41 percent, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, came in second in terms of name recognition. .... House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Knoxville entrepreneur Randy Boyd, who had name recognition of 40 percent and 33 percent, respectively. ... Twenty-eight percent of respondents recognized former Republican state Sen. Mae Beavers’ name ... Just 14 percent of respondents recognized Lee’s name, while 10 percent knew Fitzhugh in the latest poll.

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Humor Break:

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nashville's fees to Wall Street among highest in the nation

In an article by Mike Reicher appearing in The Tennessean it is reported that Nashville's pension fund pays some of the highest Wall Street investment fees of any city in America. The hidden cost associated with the pension fund was revealed for the first time as a result of a request for information from the Tennessean. Below are excepts from the article:

New city data shows that Nashville paid $39 million in investment fees in fiscal 2017 — more than 40 percent above the previous year’s reported fees — while the fund’s assets increased by 10 percent. As a share of its total assets, Nashville’s fees are among the highest in the nation, experts say.

The city pays nearly as much in investment fees as the state pension fund, which has more than 10 times the assets of Nashville and better investment returns during the past decade. 

While other local governments have taken steps to control Wall Street fees, Nashville officials show no indication they’re concerned.

Metro paid fees equal to about 1.3 percent of its assets in fiscal 2017. Pew surveyed the largest state pensions and found the average external management fee was 0.34 percent. The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, the pool for local and state employees, spent $41 million on external management fees, or 0.08 percent of its assets. 

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Republican Women Annual Christmas Luncheon and Toy Drive for the Children of Tennessee Soldiers

Wednesday, December 13th 
Richland Country Club
One Club Drive (just off Granny White Pike)
10:30 a.m. -  Registration and Coffee
11:30 a.m. -  Program/Lunch

It's toy time for the Children of Tennessee Soldiers! Please join the Nashville Republican Women for their Annual Christmas Luncheon and Toy Drive, December 13th. Don't forget to bring an unwrapped toy! 
Our special guests will be Chrissy Haslam, the First Lady of Tennessee, and Maj. Gen. "Max" Haston, the Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard. 

Cost is $25 per person. Reservations are requested by Friday, Dec. 8th.  For reservations and additional information, visit:

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Insufferable Become Sufferable: The Evolution of A Never-Trumper

Gene Wisdom
by Gene Wisdom - There are few things that does the soul good like admitting you’re wrong. Having officially entered the ranks of the elderly in turning 60, I have certainly had my share of those occasions. But fortunately, just as “love means never having to say you’re sorry” (OK, that’s a lie, right, men?), being a conservative means rarely having to admit to error. Well, now it’s my turn.

When Trump entered the Presidential race (which I’m convinced he decided to do when President Obama ridiculed his “birther” position, shortly after Obama was elected, at a White House correspondents’ dinner) I was like most, I think, surprised at that move. Throughout the nomination process I remained a devoted Ted Cruz supporter. I still think he would have made a better President. Whether he would have beat Hillary, who knows?

As you might guess from my support of Cruz, I am a lifelong Reagan Republican. The postwar (WWII, I suppose I now should add for clarification) conservative intellectual movement consisted of three legs of a stool: traditionalism, represented by Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet; libertarianism, best represented, at least early on by Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman; and the anti-Communists which included James Burnham, Whittaker Chambers. As the differences sharpened between these three groups, there was an effort to bring these strains of thought together, to fuse them. Hence, “fusionism”, propounded by Frank Meyers. The best-known examples of individuals who combined all three influences together were William F. Buckley, Jr., who was arguably the founder of the movement, and Ronald Reagan. I have spent my life reading, studying, and advancing the ideas of conservatism. I know what it is and I are one.

Donald Trump, I am convinced, is not. There is nothing in his biography that gives any hint that he has said or done anything to advance conservative principles. As is well-known, he contributed to Planned Parenthood and a list of Democratic (i.e., not conservative) candidates. His history as a successful businessman was often advanced as suggestive of someone who would make sound decisions but it says nothing of what he even believes. It certainly doesn’t make one a conservative unless one wants to put George Soros, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos on the Right side of the divide. Further, his record of ruthlessness and bankruptcies in business says nothing about principles except a readiness to sacrifice all, including his creditors, in pursuit of the dollar. Between God (or other principles) and mammon, his choices in favor of the latter have been clear.

Even while “God’s spokesmen” lined up to support and endorse him. Shamefully so, in my opinion.

Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail gave me no further reason for confidence. There is no doubt that he lacked polish; he also doesn’t have the judgement, character, or temperament to occupy the Oval Office. And there is much reason to have such doubts to this day. He plays fast and loose with the truth. His virtually daily outbursts on Twitter display the maturity of a stunted 12-year old. A pathological narcissist and adolescent.

We conservatives became well-known—and mocked by the media and Hollywood elites--in the 90’s for insisting that character still matters. Congress not only impeached Bill Clinton but we cast aside our own for sexual misconduct: Bob Packwood, Bob Bauman, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig. And it still matters as Republicans wrestle with the proper response to the candidacy of a very popular Senatorial candidate, Roy Moore, accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

But in Trump’s case, at what point do his negatives cancel out accomplishments of his Presidency? Do they require that the positive entries in the ledger never be considered or even entered? We know that the media rarely give even a passing glance at them. For myself, I have remained a continual critic of Trump while acknowledging those “few” things he got right.

It is time for me to take a second look. And there is much there for conservatives to celebrate. My friends, who often accused me, rather ridiculously I might add, of being a Hillary supporter during the campaign, often reminded me of Trump’s commitment to appoint solid conservatives to the Supreme Court and other federal courts. And then came Neil Gorsuch. A knock out of the park. Trump came through. Though Reagan’s legacy also included Antonin Scalia and Ed Meese, who arguably began the originalist debate and revolution, his appointments also included Anthony Kennedy whose proximity to the Right side is belied by his reputation as a “swing” voter on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s legacy, I will be presumptuous to predict, will equal the intellectual heft, if not the wit, of Antonin Scalia, and the fidelity to text and history of Scalia and Clarence Thomas. And Trump’s appointments to the appeals courts will only deepen that legacy as we see with the appointments of Kyle Duncan and Davis Stras.

We soon saw President Trump’s much-maligned and miss-distorted travel ban. He campaigned on tightening immigration, both from south of the border and of Muslims. He sought to clamp down on immigration from nations that did not adequately vet those leaving. Those nations included Venezuela and North Korea. The Supreme Court recently validated this executive prerogative in a 7-2 decision.

On the national defense side, the pluses start with the appointment of General “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense. Need I say more? OK, I will. Among the military accomplishments was the elevation of Cyber Command to a “Unified Combatant Command”, raising their profile and priority. For a glance at how far that capability has come I suggest that you read Fred Kaplan’s Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War. There was also the reversal, by President Trump, of President Obama’s decision to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military.

Diplomacy is again being used to advance U.S. interests. As a recent example, North Korea has again finally been re-designated as a “state sponsor of terrorism”. Long overdue. Just this week, Trump declared that the U.S. embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, by which policy will reflect reality. Again, long overdue. The Trump State Department is also cutting funds to some United Nations organizations, such as the UN Population Fund.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions (a particular favorite, being formerly a strong conservative Senator from my home state of Alabama) is a particular bright spot for conservatives. While there is a significant negative in Sessions’ commitment to civil asset forfeiture, he has sought to restore the rule of law in cracking down on sanctuary cities. Toward restoring the integrity of the election process, he demonstrated commitment to election integrity with the DOJ’s recent stand with Texas on its voter ID law. Justice also recently ended the Obama-era Operation Chokepoint initiative which sought to block some businesses, including firearms dealers and payday lenders, from having access to bank loans.

The Obama Administration’s collaboration with the far Left in the “sue and settle” strategy was ended. With “sue and settle” an environmental group, for example, would sue the Environmental Protection Agency and then reach a settlement by which a consent decree would be entered effectively extending regulations without benefit of legislation or even the formal regulation process. Regulation by litigation. Over.  For more on “sue and settle” read the Heritage Foundation study at

President Trump promised to trim down the Leviathan of regulation, saying he would do away with two regulations for every new one implemented. In this case, he has over-accomplished. In a presentation I heard from a representative from Freedom Works this past weekend (which was the inspiration behind this essay) I learned that the ratio is actually SIXTEEN to one.

A list of Trump accomplishments would be incomplete without mentioning the absolute paroxysms of hate and rage his election and presence in the White House has elicited. Oh, the joy this gives me. Beginning with the feminist protests and their pussy hats immediately after the inauguration to snowflake college students who simultaneously require safe spaces on the hearing of Trump’s name while also violently protesting conservative speakers, much of the “resistance” has more ideological affinity—and sympathy--for Venezuela’s government and Jane Fonda than protecting American interests. CNN programming is a continual drumbeat of anti-Trump “news”. Positives? If mentioned at all, they are covered as negatives.

Am I now a Trump supporter? Don’t rush out and get me a MAGA hat. Trump is still Trump. But Trump’s accomplishments? Many would make Reagan proud.

Gene Wisdom, a retired naval officer, is a lifelong conservative Republican.  He is a native Alabamian, and he and his wife have recently moved from Nashville, where they lived for ten years, to Knoxville. While in Nashville Gene was moderator of the Conservative Fusion Book Club. 

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