Friday, February 17, 2023

Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity are not committed to telling you the truth.

From National Review's, Morning Jolt newsletter, Feb 17, 2023- When you read text messages from Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity acknowledging that Joe Biden won the presidential election in 2020 and declaring the claims that Trump had his victory stolen “mind-blowingly nuts,” “totally off the rails,” and “completely bs” — and then saying the opposite on air — you should feel very betrayed if you believed them. They are not committed to telling you the truth. They are committed to telling you what you want to hear, what will rile you up, and what will get you to keep watching.

Rod's Commet: I stopped watching Fox News about 18 to 24 months ago.  My watching had dwindled long before that. It happened slowly; my watching dwindled then I found I was not watching at all. I found the channel had less and less news and was mostly analysis and opinion. Most of the analysis seemed weak and shallow and the opinion seemed to be designed to just keep people riled up. I no longer enjoyed it and then, I just could not stomach most of it anymore.

At one time, I watched a lot of Fox. I enjoyed a conservative perspective that was missing or only got a token recognition in mainstream news outlets.  Fox at that time had serious analysis and had some news personalities such as Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg that I admired. Fox had real newsmen that I liked, people like Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Shep Smith, and others. 

Over time, Fox seemed to change. Much like the left-wing MSNBC, Fox seemed no longer designed to inform but to misinform, rally the base, reinforce people's political prejudice and keep people outraged. Over time also, Fox really seemed to dumb down and had fewer people of intellectual curiosity and analytical ability and more people who seemed like the opinionated person you might meet in a bar.   

Since Tucker Carlson is the most watched news commentator in America, I sample Carlson about an hour or two a week on YouTube. What I get from Carlson is insulting shallow conspiracy theories and efforts to undermine trust in the medical community's response to Covid, and to undermine America's support for the Ukraine. I don't know how much of his own stuff he actually believes, but I don't think he is committed to telling you the truth. 

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Mayor John Cooper is working to secure the Republican National Convention in 2028.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Donald Trump is right to advocate "ballot harvesting." As long as ballot harvesting is legal, Republicans should do it.

by Rod Williams, 2/16/2023- Anyone who has read my blog for very long knows I am not a fan of Donald Trump. That does not mean I did not like some of his policies, however.  But after his attempted coup culminating in the January 6 attack on the capital and his continuing denial of the 2020 election results, I could never vote for him ever again. Also, I would never trust Trump with my political contributions no matter the cause. However, I am pleased to see Donald Trump take a position advocating Republican "ballot harvesting." While I don't like Donald Trump; as they say, even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn and a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Below are portions of a campaign solicitation I received from Trump recently:


The radical Democrats have used ballot harvesting to cancel out YOUR vote and walk away with elections that they NEVER should have won.

But I’m doing something HUGE to fight back.

Our presidential campaign will launch our own BALLOT HARVESTING FUND in the states where the Left has been cheating the system.

Our path forward is to MASTER the Democrats’ own game of harvesting ballots in every state we can.

I disagree that Democrat harvesting of ballots amounted canceling your vote. Democrats simply campaigned smarter than Republicans. 

We should do whatever is legal to win elections. We should not handicap ourselves. As long as ballot harvesting is legal, Republicans should do it.  Republicans should also embrace early voting, mail-in voting, ballot curing and meddling in Democrat primaries. While we should continue to work to curtail harvesting, curing, and mail-in voting, we should compete with Democrats in using the tools available to increase the number of people who vote Republican. Below is a November 2022 blog post I wrote on the topic.

Republicans need to embrace early voting, learn to "cure" and "harvest" mail-in ballots, and meddle in Democrat primaries.

by Rod Williams, Nov. 18, 2022 - Now that the dust has settled from the mid-term election, it is safe to say that Republicans "underperformed." There was no Tsunami, no red wave; there was barely a pink trickle. 

I am not disappointed. I did not want to see Republicans loyal to Donald Trump constitute a supermajority.  I put loyalty to our nation above loyalty to Donald Trump. I did not want to see people holding office who would only certify election results if their party won. I am pleased that the worst of the election deniers lost. I did my part to help achieve this outcome. For the first time in my life, I contributed money to Democrats. In several races, I sent money to the Democrat opponents of the worst of the Trumpinistas.  

While I did not want to see election-denying Trump loyalists take control of the legislative branch, at the same time, I did not want to see a clear Democrat majority that could advance the Biden agenda. What we got was gridlock. While the Dems control the Senate, not much legislation will make it past the Republican-controlled House to make it to the Senate. Given the circumstances, we got the best outcome possible.

Under normal circumstances, Republicans should have won big.  With an unpopular president, high inflation, a crime wave, a southern border out of control, an energy crisis, a pandemic response based on pandering to teachers' unions rather than public health concerns, public schools that dumb-down kids and indoctrinate them, and the still recent Afghanistan debacle, the Republicans should have easily taken back both chambers of Congress.  Instead, Republicans had the worst midterm performance of a party out of power in two decades. Where did Republicans go wrong?

I think the number one thing leading to this debacle is that the leader of the Republican Party is Donald Trump.  Not enough people wanted to vote for a party, whose leader tried to overthrow the government and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.  Also, Republicans had some loser candidates. Too many of our Republican candidates were conspiracy mongers and election deniers. Some were downright nut jobs. Trump's handpicked election-denying candidates underperformed horribly. I hope this Republican underperformance results in a diminishing of Donald Trump and the nomination of fewer nutjobs candidates. 

I think it was not only trump and Trumpinista candidates that are the reason for a poor Republican performance, however. There are other things that I think contributed to a Republican loss and these are things that need to be fixed.  Below are three campaign strategy changes I would recommend to the Republican Party. 

Embrace Early voting.

Democrats are more likely to vote early than Republicans. This is generally true but not universal. In Florida, more Republicans vote early than do Democrats. Forbes reports that among the states that report early voters’ party affiliations, 43% of ballots were cast by Democrats and 34% were cast by Republicans (1). I am unsure why Republicans tend to shun early voting but we should embrace it and get out the early vote. Instead of the twentieth email or text or US mail solicitation to vote for candidate X, some of those solicitations should be to vote for candidate X and vote early.

A vote cast early means that a voter cannot change his mind due to a last-minute political development, or cannot fail to vote because of work obligations, family obligations, accident, illness, or death. An early vote is a vote in the bank. Republicans need an early voting strategy.

Learn to live with mail-in ballots and engage in ballot harvesting and promote ballot curing.

I would like to see mail-in voting curtailed. While there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud tied to mail-in voting, the potential is there.  In 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, many states liberalized their requirements for early voting, some without legislative action but in response to court orders. I support legislative action to roll back mail-in ballot voting and efforts to regulate who can pick up and deliver mail-in ballots. While trying to do that, however, Republicans need to learn to compete with Democrats for the mail-in vote. 

There are three strategies for winning the mail-in vote.  Republicans should encourage mail-in voting among eligible Republicans, should make sure Republicans take advantage of available ballot curing and Republicans should engage in legal ballot harvesting.

Republicans should target the Republican elderly and other Republican voters who may be eligible to vote by mail with advertisements informing them of the process and urging them to take advantage of it. 

Ballot curing is the process of fixing a defective ballot after it is mailed in. A lot of mail-in ballots are initially rejected because of failure to follow procedures. Rejected ballots could make a big difference in the outcome of a close election. Rejected ballots may be rejected because something like the signature on the outside of the envelope does not match the signature on file. This may be "cured." It may be as simple as filing an affidavit with the election officials that says something like, "Mrs. John Doe is the same person as Ms. Jane Doe." Democrats are much better than Republicans about checking to make sure mail-in ballots are counted and if not, contacting Democrat voters and telling them how to "fix" or "cure" a defective ballot. Republicans need to be as good as Democrats at this.

Ballot harvesting is the process of someone going out and calling on voters to collect from them the mail-in ballot they were mailed. I think this process should be banned or greatly curtailed. In my view, all mail-in ballots should be returned by US mail. Even if that is the case, there is still room for someone to knock on a door, help the voter fill out the ballot, collect it from them, and put it in the mailbox for them. 

The campaign worker doing this only calls on the people who are of his party. This kind of ballot harvesting works well in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Democrats are much better at doing this than Republicans. Republicans need to get as good as Democrats at this form of campaigning. When you think about it, this is not much different than giving elderly nursing home voters a ride to the polls on election day.  You only give people of your party the ride. While Republicans may be squeamish about ballot harvesting, as long as it is legal, we need to be as good as the Democrats about doing it. 

Meddle in Democrat primaries.

Perhaps the most important thing Republicans could do to improve their chances in the next election is to meddle in Democrat primaries. 

In the Republican primaries prior to the 2022 midterm election, Democrats threw a lot of money into the campaign of the most Trumpinista of Republicans. They spent more than $40 million boosting the candidacy of six GOP candidates. These radical Trumpinista Republicans beat their more mainstream primary challengers and the Trumpinista Republicans won their primary. The strategy was to nominate the most easily beatable Republicans. It worked. The Trumpinistas won the primary and all six lost to their Democratic challenger in the General Election.  

While this practice may appear distasteful, Republicans need to fight fire with fire and play the game. Republicans should help the most extreme Democrats in Democratic primaries.  We should help nominate the most beatable Democrats. 

Now, this would not work everywhere.  There are Democrat strongholds where a candidate could not be too woke or too leftist to be elected. No doubt there are some urban congressional districts in college towns where a committed Maoist would not be too extreme for the electorate. There are districts, however, where the Democrat voters are not totally committed leftists and where a moderate Republican could beat a super woke, super leftist Democrat. In those districts, we need to nominate the worst Democrat we can find.

What would these candidates look like? It would be a candidate who advocates or has advocated defunding the police.  It would be someone who favors open borders, and pro-illegal immigration policies. Such policies as welfare benefits for illegals and giving illegals the right to vote, defunding ICE and Border Patrol, or tearing down the Trump border wall.  It would be someone who advocates a national law to permit unrestricted abortion up until birth and the government pay for the abortion. It would be someone who wants to forgive all student loans and make college free. It would be someone who supports what is called "gender-affirming" policies. It would be Democrats who do not shy away from advocating support for "democratic socialism."

In addition to the candidate taking these radical positions, the candidate needs to be on the record taking these positions so that in the general election, a graphic presentation of out-of-control crime can be shown along with a film clip of the candidate saying we need to defund the police, preferably before a cheering crowd.  Or, the out-of-control border can be shown with the candidate advocating tearing down the Trump wall. There might only be half a dozen districts where this can work, but that can make a difference in which party has control of Congress. 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Federalist Society present economist Bryan Caplan February 22nd

February Fed Soc with Bryan Caplan

Please join us on February 22nd for our talk with Bryan Caplan on the Economics of Discrimination!


Lunch and refreshments are included. CLE credit will be available. Onsite parking is available but we are not validating for this event.

About Bryan

Bryan Caplan is an American economist and author. Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University, research fellow at the Mercatus Center, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and former contributor to the Freakonomics blog and EconLog. He currently publishes his own blog, Bet on It. The bulk of Caplan's academic work is in behavioral economics and public economics, especially public choice theory.

Location: Womble Bond Dickinson, 1222 Demonbreun St. 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37203 


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Sunday, February 12, 2023

Is TBI investigating Nashville DA's office? Allegations of monitoring employee's conversation w/o consent & employee working on Funk's campaign while on the clock.

To view the video, follow this link.
By: Phil Williams, NewsChannel 5, Feb 10, 2023 WTVF — For weeks, an on-going NewsChannel 5 investigation has raised questions about potential misconduct inside Nashville DA Glenn Funk's office.

... Citing the need "in certain, rare instances" to not comment to protect "the integrity of TBI's investigative process," a bureau spokesperson refused to say.

... "Our agency will fully review any information and evidence presented to us in accordance with state law. These reviews may or may not result in formal TBI investigations. For these reasons, and to preserve the overall integrity of our agency’s work, we are not able to provide information about our involvement in this matter."

... Beginning in November, our NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered a part-time employee who Funk had paid $75,000 a year with little evidence of the work he did for that money. In some cases, emails and his calendar did not match the timesheets he submitted. ...  In one case, a set of leave documents appeared to have been altered.

... More recently, our investigation uncovered evidence that listening devices were placed in areas around the DA's office where individuals' conversations could be monitored and recorded without consent. ... Funk's team has insisted it did nothing wrong. (Link)


Listening devices installed around Nashville DA's office, vendor confirms; DA defends practice.

 By: Phil Williams, NewsChannel 5, Feb 09, 2023 - District Attorney Glenn Funk's team installed listening devices in areas around the DA's office capable of picking up conversations of employees and visitors who are not warned about the audio monitoring, NewsChannel 5 has learned. ... Funk's team could be violating a law they are bound to enforce. ... president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (TACDL), Jonathan Cooper, called it a "betrayal of trust." ... Funk's team had refused to produce videos and audio requested by NewsChannel 5 Investigates from their security system 

...the company that installed the security system confirmed the existence of eavesdropping devices in areas of the downtown office building controlled by the DA's office — cameras equipped with microphones capable of picking up conversations — in the elevator lobbies outside DA offices as well as inside the office's main lobby. (For a lot more on this story, follow the Link)

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The Davidson County Republican Party (DCRP) meets for Reorganization Convention. Rousing speeches, election of new leaders.

James Garrett
by James Garrett, Former Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party, February 12, 2023 - The Davidson County Republican Party (DCRP) met Saturday morning, February 11, 2023, for their biennial County Party Reorganization to elect its officers and key grassroots leaders for the next two years.  Members of the State Republican Party leadership attended, including Chairman Scott Golden, who spoke to the crowd once the event got underway, and members of the State Executive Committee. 

The energy was high as the DCRP Reorganization was kicked off with outgoing Chairman, Jim Garrett, welcoming the crowd.  Linda Knight offered the opening prayer and shared tributes, followed by a moment of silence, in memory of Republican leaders who have passed away since the last Reorganization in 2021.  Those remembered were Phil Valentine, Tootie Haskins, Tim Skow, John L. Ryder, and Maclin P. Davis Jr.  Then Chairman Garrett led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.  This was followed by recently-naturalized citizen, Tobias “Tobi” Maier, leading the Salute to the Tennessee flag.    

Impassioned speeches given by U.S. Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) and the newly-appointed Chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, U.S. Congressman Mark Green, M.D. (R-TN-07) rallied the enthusiastic attendees with news and promises of actions to be taken in the days and weeks ahead in Washington DC.  Both effective speeches preceded the day’s main agenda.  Also present were dignitaries including Congressman Rose’s Chief of Staff, former Congressman Van Hilleary, and Metro Councilman Robert Swope.

The Chairman of the Contest and Credentials Committee (C&CC), John Richardson, took the stage and guided delegates/attendees through the proper procedures of the election as dictated by the current DCRP Bylaws utilizing Roberts Rules of Order. Throughout the process, the Parliamentarian, John Wendt, was consulted for clarification of several items.  A delegate moved to waive the requirements in the State and County Bylaws stating qualifications for individuals to be qualified to hold County Party office.  Initially, the Chairman of the C&CC ruled that the motion was not proper.  Then, a motion was made to reconsider the Chairman’s ruling.  That motion was voted down by the attendees.

The Davidson County Election Commission was kind enough to provide voting machines and a bipartisan staff to facilitate accurate ease of voting and potential changes in candidates arising from nominations made from the floor.  In the end, the machines were used only once for two positions – 1st Vice-Chairman which was uncontested and 2nd Vice-Chairman which was contested.  Ten of the twelve positions up for election, including that for Chairman, were elected by acclamation of the attendees.

The Reorganization proceeded with the election of a full slate of County Executive Committee officers. 

Those elected to be officers of the County Executive Committee were:

  • Lonnie Spivak – Chairman
  • Laura Nelson – 1st Vice-Chairman
  • Dia Hart – 2nd Vice-Chairman
  • John Wendt – Recording Secretary
  • Larry Charles “Chuck” Grimes – Corresponding Secretary
  • Shannon McGuffin – Treasurer
  • Leroy “Johnny” Ellis – Assistant Treasurer 

The final round of floor nominations was accepted for key activist positions of Regional Vice-Chairmen.  As candidates for these positions were uncontested, an easy voice vote brought the voting portion of the agenda to a close. 

The introduction of the recently-elected Young Republican (YR) officers was supported with a hearty round of applause.

The newly-elected Chairman, Lonnie Spivak, in his closing comments, said: 

Together, the new board and I will work tirelessly to uphold the values of the Republican Party and promote the principles of limited government, individual freedom, and fiscal responsibility.  In the coming weeks and months, we will reach out to all of Davidson County who have not yet found the Republican Party, listen to their concerns, and strive to find solutions that benefit our community in a way that expands our numbers and promotes our values.

I am committed to making our party more engaging, and representative of the diverse perspectives and needs of our county.  Together we will work to build a strong and united party, where every voice is heard and Every Vote Counts.  Let us move forward towards a brighter future for our city and our great state.

Overall, this was a highly successful reorganization, and the Republican Party in Davidson County is sure to see future success.

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