Saturday, February 27, 2021

The danger of an Article V convention and why term limits are a bad idea.

by Rod Williams - There is a bill introduced in the Tennessee House that makes application to Congress to call an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the U. S. Constitution setting term limits for members of Congress. This is something that some on the right brings up from time to time.  I oppose both and Article V convention and term limits for Congress.  

My primary objection to term limits is that it would empower and strengthen the bureaucracy at the expense of the voice of the people.  We already have a problem with unelected bureaucrats having too much power. I wish we had a smaller government with less authority, but that is not the reality.  For any member of Congress to become an expert on all of federal governance is simply too much to expect.  For new congressmen there is a demanding steep learning curve.  

The staff on an agency of government who understands all of the nuances of a policy can "snow" a new member of congress. We need members of congress who have institutional knowledge and know how policies came about and why things are done the way they are done.  Fewer members of Congress with time on the job means a greater reliance on bureaucrats and a greater reliance on lobbyist. Also, where tried, as an example at the local level with our own Metro Council, I do not think term limits has resulted in better governance. 

The below analysis and suggested reading on this topic come from Tennessee Eagle Forum. Many of you may know Bobbie Patra the long-term president of the organization.  Tennessee Eagle Forum is a source I look to for trusted information and analysis of what is going on in the State legislature. They are an organization deserving of one's support. To subscribe to the Tennessee Eagle Forum newsletter or make a contribution follow this link


HJR 0008 by *Todd ,  Eldridge, Mannis, Garrett, Zachary, Doggett, Calfee, Williams, Ogles, Bricken, Hurt 
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the Congress of the United States.

Looking around at the world in which we are living today, this sounds like a great idea. Article V convention is completely  uncharted territory and there really are important things to know about:

1. In today’s political climate, with the way this election cycle played out, with Sen, Chuck Schumer and Cong. Nancy Pelosi in charge of the US Senate and the US House and the main stream media being their allies, do we really think it is a good idea for Congress to ‘call’ for a Constitutional Convention and think they can be controlled beyond what they want to see happen???
2.  Problems with calling an Article V Constitutional Convention
3. Problems with Term Limits - we have Term Limits - they are called elections, every two, four and six years.

Eagle Forum has long opposed taking this risky action in spite of the assurances that everything would be all right - that is speculation since we have never had one since the convention to amend the Articles of Confederation. This is a very important subject with significant consequences.  Please look at the articles linked below to learn the details. 

States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues

Don’t Be Fooled by Article V Conventions


The Problems with ARTIFICIAL Term Limits

Five reasons to oppose congressional term limits

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Friday, February 26, 2021

Bellevue Breakfast club meets March 6. Special guest speaker State Senate Majority Leader, Jack Johnson

Greetings Breakfast Club Members, 

We have another pandemic month behind us as we inch closer to normalcy in the great state of Tennessee. 

We have a great guest speaker this month, as State Senate Majority Leader, Jack Johnson, has agreed to join us this month. We will be meeting back at River Art Studio, at 8329 Sawyer Brown Rd., in River Plantation, next to Plantation Pub. Unfortunately we will not have refreshments, and we will be following CDC protocols. 

Please join us. March 6, at 830 am. as we welcome Spring and Senator Jack Johnson.  

See you then, 

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bill to ban gender-confused boys from competing as girls in high school sports advances.

.. Or, as the Tennessean puts it, "Tennessee's bill targeting transgender teen athletes clears committees, heads toward final votes." 

Some Democrats, such as Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, thinks that if boys who identify as girls are prohibited from competing as girls in sports then that is  "codifying hatred against a certain group of people." 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Star-Spangled Banner

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Republican Senators warn State schools against student athletes disrespecting the flag; Dems say students need a "safe place."

by Rod Williams - Republican Legislators have warned state universities and colleges that they should take action to prevent student athletes from kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.  Below is an exempt from the Feb. 22 letter.

To address this issue, we encourage each of you to adopt policies within your respective athletic departments to prohibit any such actions moving forward. We view this as a teachable moment in which administrators may listen to concerns from students but also exercise leadership in stating unequivocally what the national anthem means to this nation and explain proper times, places and manners for expressing protest.

This followed a February 16 event at East Tennessee State University when the men's basketball team who was playing a game against the University of  Tennessee Chattanooga "took a knee," during the playing of the national album.  This is not the fist time this has been an issue.  On Jan. 7, all but one member of the Tennessee women's basketball team knelt during the national anthem. Since that event, The Lady Vols have remained in the locker room for the national anthem. 

All twenty-seven Republican senators signed a letter addressed to all state college and university presidents warning them not to allow this to occur again.  None of the State Democrat senators singed the letter. In fact Tennessee's six Democrat senators issued a statement stating: 

Our public colleges and universities should be a safe place for students to express themselves and advocate peacefully for change in our country without interference from the legislature or university administrators. In fact, student organizing on college campuses is a perfect reflection of the American values embedded in our First Amendment. Rather than silencing the voices of students who are peacefully bringing attention to injustice in our country, we should all be working together to address the inequities that brought them to a knee.

"The First Amendment is sacrosanct," said Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma. "I would never resist anything that’s going to allow them to exercise their First Amendment on their own time, absolutely." 

"They're representing the school and the school represents Tennessee and Tennessee shows preference to our time-honored people and institutions who went before us. We respect our heritage and our history," said  Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City. 

Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, said he was concerned that student athletes would engage in an act of protest while "they're taking state money, they're in our state schools, in our state uniforms."

I support the position of the our stat's Republican Senators.  I would hope our governor would take a similar frim stand.  In my view, any state institution that allows student athletes  to disrespect our flag should have the athletic program defunded. 

For more on this story see link, link

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

After a testy debate in Nashville, vice-mayor says next Fair Board nominee will be a person of "diverse background" "no matter what."

Qualifications to take a back seat to "diversity."

Vice mayor
Jim Shulman
Nashville Outlook -
Nashville Metro Vice-Mayor Jim Shulman committed to selecting a “person of diversity” to sit on the Metro Fair Board following a heated Metro City Council meeting February 16th.

During Monday night’s meeting councilmembers considered two appointees to the Hospital Authority board, including Pastor Frank Stevenson and St. Thomas COO Michelle Robertson. Robertson was initially selected for nomination by Nashville Major John Cooper, but after several deferrals by the council her nomination would have been automatic without a vote, according to Shulman and Metro Council policy. Vice-Mayor Shulman said he knew councilmembers had questions and concerns about her appointment, so he asked the mayor to withdraw, then made the nomination himself so the council could take a vote and have a discussion. After about two hours of heated debate, Robertson’s nomination to the board passed by 21 votes, the bare minimum.
Shulman said there are currently three options for Fair Board nominees; he could nominate the mayor’s pick, his own pick, or the pick submitted via letter by the Minority Caucus. He has not made a determination yet but expects to soon, and has committed to choosing a person of “diverse background” no matter what. He said learning the Fair Board is all-white was concerning, and said he listened closely to the debate over Robertson’s nomination. 
Stand Up Nashville is working to make sure all Metro boards are increasingly diverse, and not just in ethnicity or race. Executive Director Odessa Kelly said the organization wants more socioeconomic and LGBTQ representation, too. (read more)

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Nashville is labeled a "sinkhole city," one of 5 worst financially managed city in the country, according to Truth in Accounting.

by Rod Williams - Truth in Accounting has released its fifth annual Financial State of the Cities report. This comprehensive analysis surveys the fiscal health of the 75 most populated US cities prior to the coronavirus pandemic.  Nashville does not fare so well.  Nashville is labeled as a "sinkhole city," one of the five worst fiscally managed cities in the nation. 

The report finds that 62 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. Most of the cities were ill-prepared for any crisis, much less one as serious as what we are currently facing. Total debt among the 75 cities amounted to $333.5 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2019, which will only worsen as the cities face varying and unpredictable effects from the global pandemic, says the report.

Here is a page from the report listing the top five and worst five cities studied. 
A few days ago I wrote a post titled Nashville ranked as 8th best-performing city.  some asked how could this possibly be so and Nashville be broke.  Two things can be true at the same time and they do not contradict each other. The report that ranked Nashville as the 8th best performing city, ranked our economic vitality and economic growth and job growth.  This study ranks cities for the financial management of the city.  The fact that we are the 8th best performing city in the nation makes it even more of an outrage that we are the fifth worst financially managed city. 

Here are the details of the report on Nashville's financial status.  Please read this.  As many of us have been saying for years, Nashville's unfunded retiree health care benefits are a serious problem.  Not only do we need to adequately account for this obligation but we need better day to day management. 

To read the full report, follow this link

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