Friday, October 02, 2020

When the Levee Breaks: What Broke Nashville’s Finances and What to Do About It

by BY RON SHULTIS, The Beacon Center - This report offers the following solutions to get Nashville’s fiscal house in order: 
1. Reform the Pension System 
2. Reform Healthcare & Post-Employment Benefits 
3. Rightsize the Government Workforce 
4. Renegotiate & Reign in Corporate Welfare Deals 
5. Enact a Spending Cap




Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Restoring Our Way of Life: Operation Warp Speed and the Holding Rioters Accountable Act.

Phil Roe

By Congressman Phil Roe - This year has been tumultuous in many ways. Our lives have been upended by COVID-19, and we’ve seen violence and unrest in cities across our country. It’s understandable to be pessimistic during these times, but there are reasons to be hopeful. We all want to restore our way of life, and the Trump administration and House Republicans are working hard to do so and get America back on its feet.

 One of the most straightforward ways to defeat COVID-19 and return our lives to a sense of normal is to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We all miss seeing our church families every Sunday, attending a concert with our favorite bands, or cheering on our favorite football team in person. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, we are well on our way to approving a vaccine and restoring our way of life. 

Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, treatments, and tests in a matter of months. But this does not mean we are cutting corners. The federal government and vaccine manufacturers are basing decisions on science and actual results, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will only approve a vaccine that is demonstrated to be safe and effective against COVID-19. There are already four vaccine candidates in the final phase of clinical trials, which means we could be only months away from a vaccine. This is exciting news.

In my lifetime, I have seen vaccines used to defeat deadly diseases like polio, and it’s my hope that we will add COVID-19 to that list soon. It may seem like a long time ago now, but prior to the development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s, polio caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While polio is still a threat in countries where vaccines are less available, we eliminated polio in the United States in 1979, all thanks to the polio vaccine. Likewise, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will help us defeat this deadly virus and put us on the path to recovery. As a doctor, I know how important vaccines are to public health, and I personally plan to receive the vaccine once it is made available for the general public.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not the only challenge our country is facing. This year, we have had difficult conversations about how to build community trust in law enforcement, and we’ve seen protests in cities across the country. While many of these protests have been peaceful, far too many have devolved into rioting and senseless destruction. To make matters worse, we have seen police officers targeted – and even killed – just for putting on their uniform. This is absolutely unacceptable. This violence must stop now. The overwhelming majority of our police officers are good men and women, and it is sickening to think that they would be targeted for serving our communities.

One of the most disheartening things we have seen during this violence is public officials in major cities refusing to restore peace, or even providing space for lawlessness to continue. I believe these officials ought to be held responsible for turning a blind eye to rioters and those who mean to harm law enforcement officers. That is why this week I joined my colleagues in supporting the Holding Rioters Accountable Act. This bill would allow the Justice Department to withhold 10 percent of certain federal funds from state and local jurisdictions where prosecutors are abusing prosecutorial discretion and intentionally refusing to prosecute rioters and violent protesters. This amount is increased to 20 percent in cases where prosecutors decline to prosecute an assault against a law enforcement officer. It deeply saddens me that this bill is even necessary, but we must restore peace to our cities and protect law enforcement.

Despite the challenges facing our country, we have reason to be hopeful. We still have a long road ahead, but we have made great progress toward defeating the coronavirus, and we are working to restore peace in our cities. The Trump administration and House Republicans are working around the clock to restore our way of life, and I will continue to do so during the remainder of my time in Congress.

Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is physician and co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and a member of the Health Caucus. Prior to serving in Congress, he served as the Mayor of Johnson City, Tennessee.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Nashville Council Member Bob Mendes: ‘Trump Is A Racist M***** F*****’

Bob Mendes is the perhaps the most powerful member of the Metro Council.  He is the member who orchestrated the 34%-37% tax hike, which was more that even the mayor had requested.  It is widely assumed that he will run for mayor at some point.

To read more about this story, including the reaction from his colleagues, follow this link. This was first reported by the Tennessee Star. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Trump Train, Murfreesboro to Lebanon, Sunday Oct. 4th


For details, follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

If the House of Representatives selects the president, Trump Wins. But others questions remain. It could get real ugly.

by Rod Williams - I have never before been as concerned that an election for president may be messy and complicated as I am this election.   My worst-case scenario fear is that on inauguration day we have both Donald Trump and Joe Biden claiming to be the president.  I don't think we are, but I fear we may be on the brink of a civil war. I hope that is not the case but believe it is within the realm of possibility. 

Stepping back from the worst-case scenario, however, and consider something less drastic. What would happen in the event of a tie in the Electoral College.  Dr Larry J. Sabato of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia lays out a scenario in which there could be such a tie (link). 

The Constitution provides that in the event of a tie in the Electoral College, that the House of Representatives selects the President. This is what Amendment 12 says, which amended Article 2, Section 1: 

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.-- [These dates were changed by the 20th Amendment.] The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

As you can see from above that despite Democrats controlling the House, each state gets only one vote. Democrats currently hold 233 seats to the Republicans’ 196.  However, that does not matter.  Each state gets one vote. Wyoming has 1 representative and California 57, but each gets only one vote. Currently there are 26 states with Republican majority delegations and 22 with Democrat majority delegations and 2 with split delegations. The delegations are unlikely to change significantly following the 2020 election.  In that case, unless something very unlikely has happened, the House will choose Donald Trump to be the next president. 

This addresses what would happen in a tie. But assume it is not a tie.  I have questions, but not answers.

Assume that in a certain state refuses to certify an election. In my wild imagination, it could happen like this. A battleground state used mail-in ballots.  By the deadline for accepting ballots, the Democrat governor or election commission or legislature says the deadline is extended for accepting of mail-in ballots. They justify this based on an allegations that the President used the U. S. Post Office to  cause a delay in delivery of the mail. The Republicans appeal to the court and the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Republicans. Democrats are outraged and simply refuse to certify the election results. What then?

Does the Electoral College meet without the votes from that state counted?  I doubt that would be the case. Does the Supreme Court compel the Secretary of State to certify the results and if he still refuses, order him jailed and declare the election results certified? That seems more likely but I don't know. 

What if anticipating the presidency will be decided in the House, the speaker persuades the house to refuse to seat the delegation from a couple Republican states.  That seems possible. The Constitution Article 1, Sec. 5 has this to say: "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." So could Nancy Pelosi refuse to seat the delegates of a couple states?  The Constitution is pretty clear. I see no remedy to stop this from happening.  If there is a constitutional expert or lawyer who knows how this action could be stopped, please share. I want to know. 

I am fully expecting Democrats to try to steal this election and if they are not successful at that, I expect them to be convinced that Trump stole the election. Many already believe that the 2000 election was stolen and that the Supreme Court unfairly handed the election victory to George W.  Bush, and they believe that the Russians engineered Trumps 2016 win. Many simple reject the system under which we operate and believe than anytime a president is elected who won the electoral vote but not the popular vote, then that win is illegitimate. 

We already have BLM and Antifa rioting across America, pulling innocent people out of cars and beating them, burning down businesses, assassinating police officers and intimidating people who are simply trying to enjoy a meal at an outdoor cafe.  Cancel culture rules and people who are not sufficiently "woke," are subject to being ostracized and may often lose their job.  It is dangerous to express one's support for president Trump in many places.  Never before has it been risky to put a candidates yard sign in your yard or a bumper sticker on your car.  With the anticipated Senate approval of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, we will see a deeper level of liberal anger and intolerance for the Democratic process.  We have the perfect ingredients for turmoil. I fear many liberals will simply refuse to accept the results of the election should Trump win.  If in some Democrat states, state governors refuse to accept the results and declare Joe Biden the president, or the Democrats in the Congress do so, or units of the armed forces recognize Joe Biden as Commander-in-Chief, this could get ugly.  If someone tells them Trump tried to steal the election and his claim to the office is illegitimate, and that Joe Biden is the legitimate president, half the country will accept that. Many will act on that conviction. 

I am not a constitutional scholar and I have more questions than answers.  I would rather have knowledge than rely on feelings and I am looking for answers that will put my mind at ease, but I have a very bad feeling about this election. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Senator Lamar Alexander: The Message is Clear – Children Need to Be in School

Comments from the Senate floor by Senator Lamar Alexander: Data from Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education projects a dramatic decrease in proficiency— 65 percent in math, 50 percent in reading— among third-graders as a result of COVID-19 school closures in March through this summer. The message is clear: children need to be in school. 

The good news is that, according to the governor, 1,800 schools in Tennessee are open, in person, and as of today only seven of those schools have any sort of closure incident. So this problem hopefully won't be as pronounced this semester in Tennessee, because—except in Memphis and Nashville—almost all of our schools are open in-person to some degree.

To view the Facebook video, follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories