Thursday, September 22, 2022


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Tennessee ranks second for economic freedom in the US, only behind Florida.

 From Cato Institute:


Tennessee has long been one of the economically freest states, largely because of its outstanding fiscal policies, but it also used to be one of the personally freest states in the South. That edge disappeared as it became a more stereotypical red state. As a result, Tennessee fell from third in overall freedom in 2001 to seventh in 2012. It has recovered some ground since and is now fourth overall in this year’s index.

The Volunteer State lacks an income tax, and both state and local tax collections fall well below the national average. We show state-level taxes falling from 5.1 percent of adjusted personal income in FY 2007 to 4.2 percent in FY 2014, then rising to 4.4 percent in FY 2017 and falling to a low of 4.1 percent in the latest data. This shift compares to a national average in FY 2020 of 5.7 percent. Local taxes were already below the national average of 3.7 percent in FY 2009, but they fell off a cliff to only 2.5 percent of income now. State and local debt is low at 14.3 percent of income. Government consumption and investment is low at 9.1 percent of income and has been falling for a decade. Government employment is only 10.2 percent of private employment, a big drop since 2010 as the job market has recovered.

Tennessee’s land-use regulations are flexible, and the state has a regulatory takings law. However, eminent domain reform has not gone far. The state put into place a law preventing employers from banning guns on certain company property in 2015. Tennessee is in the top 10 for labor-market freedom, with a right-to-work law, no minimum wage, and relaxed workers’ compensation rules. Unfortunately, E-Verify was mandated in 2011. The managed care model of health coverage has been effectively banned. Mandates are low. Cable and telecommunications have been liberalized. On the downside, the extent of occupational licensure looks rather high, though different indicators give different pictures. Nurse practitioners lost whatever independent scope of practice they had in 2010, but dental hygienists gained some in 2013. The state marginally loosened insurance rate regulation in 2009/10 but restrictions came back in 2018. The state has general and gasoline-specific minimum-markup laws, as well as an anti-price-gouging law, household mover licensing, and a certificate-of-need law for medical facilities. The civil liability system improved to above average with reforms in 2011 to punitive damages.

Tennessee’s criminal justice policies have been improving the past few years, though it still ranks outside the top 30. The crime-adjusted incarceration rate rose steadily from 2000 to 2011 but has been on a downward trend since. It is still above average, but the past two years have seen a good drop. Drug arrest rates and victimless crime arrest rates are also moving in the right direction. The latter is below average. Asset forfeiture is mostly unreformed, but equitable sharing revenue is going in the right direction. Cannabis laws are strict, though a very limited medical marijuana law was enacted in 2021. Tennessee is mediocre on gun rights in our index, but its passage of permitless handgun carry in 2021 has significantly expanded gun freedom in the state. The new Smith & Wesson presence will provide a positive interest group force in the state. Alcohol freedom is now above average because of blue law relaxation in 2017/18. Beer taxes remain excessive. The state has little gambling, though it now has sports betting as of 2019. Educational freedom is slightly below average, but a voucher program was passed in 2019. Private schools and homeschools face significant regulatory burdens. Tobacco freedom is a bit better than average, with relatively low taxes, but new regulations on internet purchase appeared in 2017.


  • Fiscal: Separate spending and tax committees in the legislature, a reform shown to correspond to lower spending over time. Sales taxes are high and could be cut.
  • Regulatory: Repeal the price-gouging law and all minimum-markup laws.
  • Personal: Deregulate private schools and homeschools by removing mandatory approval and teacher licensing for private schools and relaxing annual notification requirements for homeschoolers.
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    Vandy Pediatric Transgender Clinic gives irreversible hormone drugs to kids as young as 13. Gov. Bill Lee Calls for Investigation.

     By  Zach Jewell, Sep 20, 2022, - Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee has called for an investigation of the Pediatric Transgender Clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) after shocking videos posted by Matt Walsh detailed a doctor’s promotion of “big money maker” transgender surgeries.

    The videos obtained by Walsh also show apparent threats made against medical professionals at VUMC if they objected to the procedures, even for religious reasons. 

    “The ‘pediatric transgender clinic’ at Vanderbilt University Medical Center raises serious moral, ethical and legal concerns,” Lee said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain. We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”(link)

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    Tuesday, September 20, 2022

    On banning the use of License Plate Scanner technology for abortion law enforcement, Metro Council vote was 31-0. No abstentions, no "no" votes.


    An ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (“LPR”) technology to exclude assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.

    Council Member Withers moved to pass the bill on third reading, which motion was seconded and approved by the following vote: 

    Yes (31): Mendes, Hurt, Allen, Suara, Toombs, Gamble, Parker, Withers, VanReece, Hancock, Young, Hagar, Evans, Bradford, Sledge, Cash, O'Connell, Roberts, Taylor, Druffel, Murphy, Pulley, Johnston, Nash, Porterfield, Sepulveda, Rutherford, Styles, Lee, Henderson, and Rosenberg; 

    No (0); 

    Abstain (0).  

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    A Gay fairy tale (no pun intended) is in Metro primary school libraries.

    From a Moms for Liberty Davidson County email:

    Rod's Comment: In my view, this book should not be available in school libraries. Libraries cannot offer every book published, so someone must decide what gets carried and what does not.  Woke progressives view failure to shelve a particular book promoting the gay agenda or the critical race theory agenda as "censorship."  Choosing one book over another is not censorship.  Failure to choose to carry a certain book is not "book banning."  

    I do not trust librarians to make the decision of what to place on the shelves and new procedures need to be in place to guide what books make it to the school library shelves. At the primary school level, I favor a policy that would be denounced as "don't say gay."  

    Deciding what books to carry and who gets to make that decision can be complicated. There are fundamentalist Christians I would not want making the decision. My dad would have prohibited any books in which alcohol was mentioned or evolution. I would not have wanted him picking the books for the school library. 

     I applaud Moms for Liberty for letting parents know what is going on in public schools. 

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    Nashville council passes law barring license plate reader use for anti-abortion law enforcement

    by Cassandra Stephenson, The Tennessean, Sept 7, 2022- Law enforcement will not be permitted to use license plate reader technology in Nashville to enforce any laws criminalizing abortion, the city's council decided Tuesday.

    The council separately deferred a $500,000 allocation of Metro funds toward a grant providing "comprehensive sex education," "safer sex supplies" and support for resident access to out-of-state procedures.

    These items are Metro Council's latest actions intended to insulate Davidson County residents who "choose to explore any reproductive rights options" from harm under the state's recent abortion ban. ... The council passed an ordinance in August restricting LPR use for assistance with immigration enforcement.(link)

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    Monday, September 19, 2022

    Who is the richest billionaire in Tennessee?

    37. Tennessee | Thomas Frist Jr. & family

    City: Nashville

    Net Worth: $15.6 Billion

    Rank: 126

    Source Of Wealth: Hospitals

    Frist, a former Air Force surgeon, cofounded Hospital Corp. of America with his father in 1968. Frist doesn’t hold a position within the company, but two of his sons have board seats. (link)


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    Please stop a Trumpinista supporter of the big lie from taking office. Support Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

    Kelly Tshibaka vs. Lisa Murkowski
    by Rod Williams, Sept. 19, 2022- Since suspending my support for the Republican Party and determining that the most important issue facing the country is stopping those who supported the 2021 coup attempt, and those likely to support the next coup attempt, from holding office, I have been looking for places to place my political dollars where they would do the most good to achieve that end. 

    The Senate race in Alaska is one race where I am contributing money. While Lisa Murkowski is more liberal than I am on some issues, she supports the peaceful transfer of power.  Her opponent is Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka who promotes the big lie about the stolen 2020 election

    In Alaska, the top four primary candidates, regardless of party, face each other in a runoff. Both Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski and Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka are in the runoff and are the top two contenders. A new recent poll shows Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rev. Kelly Tshibaka in a dead heat.  

    Please help stop the next coup attempt and contribute to the campaign of Lisa Murkowski. 

    Donate here

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    Set Her Free-Dilara needs both parents in her life.

    Lydia A Hubbell and Dilara Gider
    by Rod Williams, Sept. 19, 2022- Bad things happen to good people and justice is often elusive and life is not fair. The story of how Lydia A Hubbell came to have her daughter totally cut out of her life is a heartbreaking story.  I have gotten to know Lydia well, and know her to be a good person.  I have read the court filing in her case and have watched videos of court proceedings.  While often, there are two sides to a story, I can see absolutely no justification for why Lydia was totally cut off from her daughter. When Lydia lost joint custody and then visitation, she tried for supervised visitation and could not even get that. 

    The only thing I can figure out is that the father of her child, Sinan Gider is an evil person who was willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to achieve his goal of cutting Lydia out of his child's life. Lydia is low-income and has limited resources. Lydia lost because she was simply out-lawyered.

    Lydia has refused to meekly accept the reality that she is prohibited from contact with her daughter and has gone to jail for such things as protesting in front of her child's school and for violating a restraining order. One of those occurrences was when she had gone months with no contact.  She did not know if her daughter was dead or alive or even still in the state or the country. Authorities would not make a wellness check or give her any information.  Lydia went to the house to confirm her daughter was still alive and there, and went to jail for the offense.

    Don't think something similar could not happen to you.  While the rights of fathers are more secure now than when I was fighting for visitation with my daughter 35 years ago, there are still parents who are cut out of their child's life for no valid reason and DHS continues to unjustly take children from parents. Ever since I had to fight for visitation with my daughter, the issue of parental rights and the government's abuse of children has been an issue of concern for me. Your right to parent your child is a fragile right that you could lose at any time. 

    A current issue that should concern civil libertarians is that Lydia is prohibited from even mentioning Sinan Gider's name or even posting public documents that mention him. Regardless of the custody issues at hand and other related issues, such a blanket gag order should be concerning to anyone who values free speech. 

    Lydia does not have any information about her child. There have been times when the father was ordered to bring her to court but he did not and was not punished for not doing so.  The last Lydia knew her daughter attended Meigs school. Lydia is prohibited from finding out the status of her daughter. She is prohibited from contacting the school.  She would love to know how her daughter is doing in school, if she is still at Meigs, if she is well adjusted, what activities she is involved in and any snippet of information she could glean. 

    Anyone interested in learning more about this miscarriage of justice and offering moral support to Lydia can follow her on her membership Facebook page at Set Her Free-Dilara needs both parents.  Also, one can follow Lydia on her public Facebook page at Lydia Hubbell

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    Sunday, September 18, 2022

    Hold Onto Your Wallet When Quincy McKnight Runs For Mayor

    Hattie Bryant
    by Hattie Bryant, Sept. 15, 2022 - Quincy McKnight said when he quit his race for the 5th Congressional seat that he will run for mayor of Nashville so heads up, hold on to your wallet.  Quincy has branded himself as a business owner and as one who wants to serve in public office. It’s not even 2023 yet, the year when we get a chance to elect a new mayor, and he’s taken two men who thought they were friends to the cleaners.  These are men I’ll call Joe and Tom.  

    Quincy asked both men for loans for “just one week” and now months later all they have from Quincy is a list of lies.

    Quincy told both Joe and Tom, "We (Covenant Pay Partners) need a one-week bridge loan. We have just received a check from a customer for $900,000 and our bank needs some time to check it out."  

    Joe is a known political operative and was introduced to Quincy by a well-meaning neighbor.  The neighbor was impressed by Quincy; everyone is for the first 10 minutes.  Little did Joe know that by agreeing to run Quincy’s super PAC for his mayoral race that the short-lived relationship could end up in court. 

    A few weeks after meeting for the first time, Quincy, using the $900,000-check-on-hold excuse, convinced Joe to loan him $26,000 for just one week to help him pay for his upcoming wedding.  Now many weeks have passed that have been full of excuses but no loan repayment.  Quincy has even promised to return the loan soon with 300% interest.  

    Fed up with Quincy, Joe has been calling all the men he knows who have given Quincy donations for campaigns in the past to expose Quincy’s criminal behavior.  Guess what? At the time of this writing, Quincy is no longer running for mayor. Quincy texted to Joe on June 13, “You calling Glenn (Funk our DA) and Steve (Smith the owner of Tootsie’s) is fine.  Screw politics.  I don’t care. You already know I’m not running. I don’t need those people any longer.”

    Glenn Funk and Steve Smith please take note: Quincy doesn’t need you anymore.

    What Quincy needs is a one-week bridge loan of $120,000 to make payroll.

    A woman who does straight commission sales for Covenant Pay Partners which is owned 51% by Quincy introduced her hard-working friend, the man I call Tom, to Quincy for the purposes of a short-term lending opportunity.  Tom was skeptical, but when he asked her if the deal was solid, she reassured him, “It is 10,000 percent solid.”  With that vote of confidence, Tom met Quincy on the morning of April 4th in Quincy’s office at Covenant Pay Partners.  Quincy told Tom, “We need a one-week bridge loan of $120,000 to make payroll.  We have just received a check from a customer for $900,000 but our bank has a temporary hold on the check due to its size.  It should clear in another 24-48 hours, and we’ll pay you right back, by the end of the week at the latest.  Near the end of their meeting, Quincy was even audacious enough to joke that he had to make good on payroll obligations because “you just don’t mess with people’s money.”

    Keep in mind, Covenant Pay Partners may have no more than three on a payroll as the salespeople are 1099s. Keep in mind that paying commissions late simply means the company is using its salespeople as a bank.  

    Quincy, and many others I might add, use running for office to build the brand of their businesses and even to enjoy some lifestyle choices that their regular income might not support.  Donations can be funny money and donors like to dote on their favorites.  Please read about Quincy McKnight's past runs for public office which resulted in him running into brick walls and taking donor cash on the run.  (Add links to other articles)

    When Quincy told me over the phone that he is a very wealthy man with a trust fund,  I intuited he was lying and here's new evidence my gut is right.  

    Tom was trying to make sure his friend got paid her commissions and trusted that Covenant Pay Partners is a business run by the businessmen you can read about on the website, Dan Percey and Quincy McKnight look like they are doing good by doing right. Too bad this is not the case.

    Too bad also that Tom wired the money to Quincy’s personal account, not to Covenant Pay Partners account, as was represented during their meeting.  This could mean that Dan Percey has no idea that Quincy is using CPP as a cover to defraud friends for personal use--not to save the business from failure.

    These two one-week loans have not been paid back and now 20+ weeks have passed and Quincy has been served notice that Tom has filed a lawsuit seeking his $120K plus damages.  

    Since being served, Quincy has been spending time in Ft. Lauderdale but we hear he is back in Nashville now trying to borrow more money to pay his Ft. Lauderdale rent before he is evicted.  I am also being told that Dan Percey is now aware that Quincy has scammed 12 victims out of a total of $1.5 million.

    Looks like Quincy McKnight is a fraud committing fraud. The gift to all of us is more truth is rising about a man who is gifted at posing, posturing, and pretending.  Just maybe the handsome and ever charming Quincy is out of politics.

    Yet, we have on tape Quincy saying, "When I run for mayor, I hope none of the women I have been with come forward because I've been with a lot of women."  Maybe I take it back.  Let him run. Let's hear from the women!  Just remember my advice is don’t give him a penny and for sure don’t give him a one-week loan.

    Hattie Bryant is the District 19 Chair for the Davidson County Republican Party.  Learn more about her at Where soulcare meets healthcare.

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    Who are the Republican senators who voted against election certification?

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 18, 2022- I have determined I cannot support Republican candidates for office who participated in the Trump coup attempt or those who continue to support the big lie of the stolen election. In my view, anyone who voted against certifying the 2020 election results is unfit for holding office. Also, anyone who continues to spread the big lie of a stolen election should not be trusted with power. They can be assumed to be supporters of the next coup attempt. The peaceful transfer of power is an essential, fundamental, foundational principle of democratic rule. 

    Since I cannot support Republicans who supported the coup attempt or support those likely to support the next coup attempt, I am doing research as part of my effort to determine where I should put my political dollars this season. In a post, I am suspending my support for the Republican Party, I explained why I would not be supporting generic Republicans.  Since then, I have been scrambling to find sane Republicans worthy of support.  Also, for the first time in my life, I am seeking to support Democrats who may be able to defeat Republicans who supported Trump's coup attempt. There is no clearing house giving me the information I want and research is slow, so I may be spending very little money on campaign giving this season, in a year when I was prepared to give more than ever. 

    Six Republican U. S. Senators voted against certifying the election results from Arizona and seven voted against certifying the election results from Michigan. Many more were planning to vote against certification but after the Capital riot of January 6, they changed their mind and voted for certification. 

    These are the eight senators who voted against certification:

    • Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  He is next up for reelection in 2024.
    • Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. He not only voted against certifying the 2020 election but was the loan U.S. Senate to vote against allowing Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is a hero to the Trumpinistas and is mentioned as a 2024 presidential candidate should Trump not run. Unfortunately, Josh Hawley isn’t up for reelection in the 2022 Midterms.
    • Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Her current term ends on January 3, 2027.
    • Kansas Senator Roger Marshall.  Marshall is next up for reelection in 2026.
    • Louisiana Senator John Kennedy. Senator Kennedy is up for reelection. Senator Kennedy has been one of my favorite Republican senators, but anyone who supported Trump's coup attempt is unworthy of office.  Despite almost daily email and text fundraising appeals from the Kennedy campaign, Kennedy's campaign is ahead by a country mile (as Kennedy might express it) and does not need any additional funding.  Unfortunately, Kennedy is so far ahead that there is no way his opponent can win the election. In a recent poll, Kennedy was favored by 53% of the poll respondents and his Democrat challenger by only 14%. It is not even close, so I will not be wasting money supporting Kennedy's opponent. If his opponent, had a chance, I would support his opponent.
    • Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville is next up for reelection in 2026
    • Florida Senator Rick Scott. Scott is next up for reelection in 2024.
    • Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis.  Lummis is next up for reelection in 2026.
    As you can see, this research has been a wasted effort. Only one of the eight is up for election in these mid-terms and he does not have a viable challenger. If anyone has come across a sane patriotic Republican worthy of supporting or an opportunity to fund a Democrat who stands a chance of defeating a Trumpinista Republican, please share it here, or email me at

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    Who is running for Mayor of Nashville in 2023?

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 17, 2022- Below is a rundown on who is likely running for Nashville mayor in 2023. This list comes from a recent article in The Tennesseean, an article in Axios Nashville, an article in The Nashville Scene, and other sources. These are listed in subjective order of the likelihood that they will seek the office and the seriousness that one should take their candidacy.

    Mayor John Cooper has yet to announce whether he plans to run for reelection in 2023. He is fundraising and has appointed a treasurer for the 2023 race. It can be assumed he is running. 

    Freddie O'Connell: District 19 Council member Freddie O'Connell has served two terms representing this downtown district. He has pushed for improved transit infrastructure and increased affordable housing as well as services for Nashvillians experiencing homelessness. He has announced he is running. (link)

    Matt Wiltshire: He previously served as economic development director under three mayoral administrations and most recently served as a public-private partnership coordinator for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. He is a declared candidate.

    Hal Cato: He is one of Nashville's most prominent nonprofit executives, serving as CEO of Thistle Farms, a faith-based program that helps women who are victims of human trafficking. (link)

    Sharon Hurt: She is a term-limited Councilmember-at-large and retired as CEO of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), (link)

    Jim Gingrich: He is a former top executive at AllianceBernstein.

    Rep. Bob Freeman:  He is the District 56 Representative and son of Bill Freeman. Bill Freeman is Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc. a real estate investment, management, and brokerage company. Bill Freeman is a mover and shaker in Nashville and a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party. If Bob Freeman runs, money would be no object and Bill Freeman could call in a lot of IOU's on Bob's behalf. 

    Odessa Kelly: She is a local activist progressive Black woman who is currently running for Congress against U.S. Rep. Mark Green. Assuming she loses in this Republican district, she may enter the race for mayor.  There is a constituency for a more radical candidate. She probably could not win an election for mayor but may pull off enough of the progressive vote to open a path for someone else to present a serious challenge to presumed front-runner John Cooper.

    Quincy McKnight: He is a Black Republican who run for but then dropped out of the GOP 5th congressional race saying he planned to run for mayor. To read criticism of Quincy McKnight published in this blog follow this link.  While he could be a spoiler, if he actually runs, I doubt he would be a serious contender. 

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