Saturday, February 10, 2024

“You cannot be both for Donald Trump and for the Constitution.”

Liz Cheney
by Vivian Jones, The Tennessean, Feb. 7, 2024- Former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney called on Tennessee Republicans to reject former President Donald Trump as they head to the polls this year, denouncing his flouting of the U.S. Constitution as antithetical to the sustenance of the American republic.

“There’s a really clear choice,” Cheney said. “You cannot be both for Donald Trump and for the Constitution.”  ..... 

On Tuesday, she spoke in conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning historian Jon Meacham as a guest of The Rogers Center and the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy. ... Cheney roundly criticized the Republican frontrunner as anti-Constitutional and unconservative, ... 

“The president is not above the law. The president cannot deploy the military to seize voting machines and rerun the election in swing states as Mike Flynn suggested Donald Trump do,” Cheney said. “If a president refuses to abide by and enforce the rulings of our courts, that immediately unravels the system – immediately – and we know Donald Trump will do that.” 

... “I think every Republican donor who’s giving him money needs to be held accountable for the fact that they’re giving money to someone who has said publicly he thinks we can terminate the Constitution,” Cheney said. “He did attempt to overturn an election. He’s been found liable for sexual assault and now has to pay $83.3 million for that. This is a really depraved individual.”

... Cheney urged fellow Republicans to move beyond obsessive loyalty to Trump, and work to build the future of the Republican Party on a foundation of truly conservative principles: a strong national defense, low taxes, limited government, and genuine fidelity to the U.S. Constitution – something she describes as “the most conservative of all conservative values.” 

“Many of the policies that Trump is today advocating are not conservative, and not Republican,” she said, questioning how “the party of Reagan” came to be “leading the charge to lose the war in Ukraine.” (read more)

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A Special Community Meeting Focused on Proposed Changes to Zoning

From Neighbors 2 Neighbors:

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Friday, February 09, 2024

Perverts and Hypocrites for Donald Trump

 by Rod Williams, Feb. 9, 2024- I am surprised and dismayed and sometimes disgusted by the type of people who have become Trumpinista candidates, high-profile political activists, and pundits. 

First of all, I am continuously amazed that it is Republicans who are the party of American weakness abroad and pandering to tyrants. I am also surprised to see Republicans more concerned with lambasting Bud Light beer rather and addressing the coming insolvency of Social Security. Durning my lifetime, it was the Republican Party that was the party of sober reflection and rational policy proposals. The Republicans were the adults in the room. Not so much anymore. 

Beyond policy however, there is something else that has shocked me about the change in the Republican Party, or at least the Trump wing of the party, and for all practical purposes the party only has one wing. Ever since Trump came on the political scene, we have seen an explosion of Republican nut-jobs, con-artists, and carnival-barkers, charlatans, and moral degenerates. What is it that makes these kinds of people the face of the Republican Party? I guess when the head of the Party is found civilly liable for rape, has had numerous bankruptcies, has engaged in shady business practices, and faces 91 criminal charges, then that kind of sends the green light that kindred spirits are welcome as Republican leaders.   

Not all of this new breed of Republican candidates and leaders are bad people. Some are just light-weight showmen. Dr. Oz comes to mind. Others inflate their resume and give one reason to question their honesty, like our own Andy Ogles. There seems to be a lot of these.  And then, there are those who are the moral hypocrites and deviants. 

Take the case of Gabrielle Hanson who ran as God's ordained candidate in the race for mayor of Franklin, yet had a record of facilitating prostitution, had affiliation with known Nazis, whose husband had marched in a gay Pride parade wearing nothing but American flag motif Speedos, and had several other things that would cause one to question her sincerity and morality. 

And then there is the case of Scott Presler. Donald Trump is pushing to oust Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican Party and replace her with Presler.  Presler was a co-founder of Gays for Trump during the 2016 election.  I don't think that he is gay should disqualify him. In fact, Republicans should be more welcoming to gays. It we agree on economic and foreign policy, then we are on the same side, regardless of what you do in the bedroom.  However, Presler didn't keep his sex in the bedroom and engaged in sexual activity inside a Virginia Beach office the RNC shared with the state party, and posted explicit pictures of the encounter on Craigslist.

And then there is the case of Bridget Ziegler. She is the co-founder of Mom's for Liberty the organization that tries to ban age-inappropriate books from school libraries, fights the teaching of Critical Race Theory and otherwise pushes back against the liberal dominance of public schools. She is a school board member of the Sarasota School District and is half of a Florida Republican power couple. Her husband, until recently, was Chair of the Florida Republican Party.  They also have other positions of responsibility in government and the conservative movement. It turns out that they are swingers and engaged in a threesome with a woman who ended up accusing Christain Ziegler of rape. The above video explains of lot of this saga.  

One can oppose teaching kindergarteners about homosexuality and oppose indoctrination derived from Critical Race Theory and still be a swinger, I guess. Still, for head an organization that is rallying the most religious among us to be led by a swinger, strikes me as hypocrisy. 

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Thursday, February 08, 2024

What Happened at the Metro Council Meeting of Feb. 6, 2024

From Megan Podsiedlik, The Pamphleteer, Feb 8, 2024- Reminiscent of the meetings of old, the council did not adjourn until midnight last night, largely due to the two-hour, pre-budget public hearing period and the fifteen items council members pulled off the consent calendar to discuss. 

A cast of characters both new and recurring came forward to speak. Several artists and board members asked for investments in equitable arts funding. MNPS workers pled the council to fulfill school funding requests. And of course, activists and nonprofit affiliates showed up to advocate for community policing programs to eliminate the cycle of “cops, courts, and cages.”


“I am one of the bike people,” said Nashville Triathlon Club board member Chris Ashton, who showed up to advocate for “increased funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, greenways and non-driving kinds of infrastructure.” Ashton brought up the mayor’s proposed budget, which slashes the Vision Zero budget in half and cuts sidewalk funding from “$60 million to $10 million.” “I don’t understand this,” he said, echoing the confusion many of O’Connell’s most avid supporters feel. 

Considering O’Connell ran on transit reform and strongly advocated for a more walkable, bikeable Nashville during his time in council, cutting the budgets of pivotal initiatives supporting that vision is a curious move. During January 30th’s media roundtable, the mayor did mention that he plans to announce the “reconstitution of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.” Perhaps we’ll understand his motives after WeGo and NDOT’s fiscal analysis concerning a transit referendum. 


Taking a different approach, Pastor Davie Tucker of District 6 offered some words of wisdom to the council during the public hearing: “Budgets are a direct representation of your stewardship of public funds…. Budgets expose your values. Budgets are moral documents. Budgets can also be the reflection of the influence of special interests juxtaposed against the common good.”

He went on to speak about equity, a topic that has recently taken center stage within Metro Government. “Many folk even now say that ‘if you want to achieve equity, we need more funding,’” said Tucker. “That is categorically false. Equity is not predicated on more money. Equity is predicated on two things: number one, acknowledging the inequities that exist. And number two, redistributing the funds you have to address those inequities. Don’t convolute the word.”


A very tired, somewhat confused, and mildly impatient council wrapped up their meeting with a final vote on a lease agreement between Metro and Cameron College Prep. Councilmember Russ Bradford stood in opposition to the agreement. “I think everyone understands where I stand on charter schools,” he said. “How they constantly underperform traditional zoned public schools.” He pointed to Cameron’s low score on “equity and other factors” before concluding, “I really don’t think we should be sending any more of our hard-earned tax dollars to a school that is not really performing any better than our zoned schools.”

Bill sponsor Councilmember Terry Vo then took the floor to defend her bill. “The lease was confirmed unanimously by the Metro Nashville school board,” said Vo. “And I do want to confirm that Cameron was named a level five, which is the highest rating in the TVAAS (Tennessee Value Added Assessment System)… for the past three years.”

The council approved the leasing agreement with 26 yeses, three noes from council members Russ Bradford, Delishia Porterfield, and Ginny Welsch, and one abstention by Zulfat Suara. 

Rod' additional Comment: The bills on First Reading which would liberalize Metro's zoning and allow greater housing density were all deferred. 

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Is Elvis flying Taylor Swift from Tokyo to Las Vegas in his UFO for the Super Bowl

The Economist: The meaning of the hysteria over Taylor Swift

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Interest Costs Will Leapfrog Medicare and Defense This Year

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Feb. 8, 2024- Interest on the debt is the fastest growing part of the budget. Net interest payments will exceed both defense and Medicare spending this year, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, according to new projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That will make interest the second largest government expenditure.

Net interest has been exploding over the past few years, with payments rising from $223 billion in 2015 to $352 billion in 2021 before nearly doubling to $659 billion in 2023. In 2024, CBO projects net interest will total $870 billion, a near-record 3.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Spending on interest already topped the Medicaid budget and all spending on children last year. At a projected $870 billion, interest will surpass total spending on national defense ($822 billion) in 2024 and grow well beyond the defense budget over time. Interest costs will also slightly exceed net Medicare spending ($851 billion) this year and remain in line with Medicare costs in future years. That would make interest the second largest line item in the budget after Social Security.

The massive runup in net interest is due to a combination of higher interest rates and higher debt. With most Treasury yields paying between 4.0 and 5.5 percent, interest rates are the highest they have been since 2007. And by 2028, debt is projected to reach a record 106 percent of GDP, exceeding its previous record set just after World War II. 

As a result of high rates on growing debt, interest payments are projected to exceed $1 trillion annually by 2026 and grow to $1.6 trillion by 2034. Over the next decade, interest will total $12.4 trillion. Interest costs would exceed $15 trillion – an additional $3 trillion – if rates are just 1 percentage point above projections.

Although Medicare will overtake interest once again in 2028, the fact that both are growing so quickly should sound the alarm in regard to rising health care costs and growing debt. 

Thoughtful deficit reduction can help to reduce interest costs, both by lowering debt and putting downward pressure on interest rates. Absent such action, debt will represent a growing threat to our economy, our health care system, and our national security.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2024

House Republicans are helping Vladimir Putin

 Their cynicism over Ukraine weakens America and makes the world less safe

The Economist, Feb. 7th 2024 - Politicians often put winning the next election above solving problems. Yet this week Republicans in the House of Representatives went a step further and sabotaged their own policy priorities to hurt President Joe Biden. Their cynicism makes America weaker, and gives comfort to its enemies.

For the past couple of years Republicans have made much of the chaos at the southern border, with good reason. There were 302,000 attempts by irregular migrants to cross in December alone. Knowing that Democrats wanted to pass a bill to supply Ukraine with fresh military aid, the House leadership paired the two issues, thinking that by doing so they could drive a harder bargain on immigration. A bipartisan group of senators went away and worked on a border compromise, the results of which are broadly in line with what Republicans had sought. ... 

Rather than take this win, the House leadership then turned around and rejected the thing they had previously asked for. It is no mystery why they did this: Donald Trump wants to win votes by playing up the border chaos. ... 

That is bad enough, but the damage Republicans have done goes far beyond America’s own shores. By killing the border bill, they have also set back the cause of Ukraine, which urgently needs more cash and kit to defend itself against invading Russians. Ukrainian soldiers cannot wait while some alternative funding idea percolates through a congressional committee. They need ammunition now. 

... If Uncle Sam fails to stand behind a democratic ally defending itself against an unprovoked invasion by a tyrant who is also the West’s most belligerent geopolitical foe, what good are American security guarantees in the Baltics or Taiwan or the Middle East? (Read More)

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Tuesday, February 06, 2024

A Happy Valentine's Day Picture Book


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Wall Street Journal: A Border Security Bill Worth Passing

 By The Editorial Board, Feb. 5, 2024 - Do Republicans want to better secure the U.S. border, or do they want to keep what has become an open sore festering for another year as an election issue? That’s the choice presented to Congress this week with the rollout of the Senate’s bipartisan border security bill, and we’ll soon learn what the GOP really wants.

By any honest reckoning, this is the most restrictive migrant legislation in decades. Previous immigration talks have involved trading security measures for legalizing more immigration. There is little of the latter in this bill—nothing for nearly all of the Dreamers who were brought here illegally as children, no general pathway to citizenship or green cards for most illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

This is almost entirely a border security bill, and its provisions include long-time GOP priorities that the party’s restrictionists could never have passed only a few months ago. .... If Republicans pass up this rare chance at border reform, they may not get a better one. (Read More)

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Toby Keith, RIP

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Here is a full list of GOP senators who are opposing the bipartisan border deal

Feb. 6, 2023 - At least 11 Senate Republicans have come out against the bill, arguing it does not go far enough on border security measures. Here they are: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Steve Daines of Montana, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rick Scott of Florida, and J.D. Vance of Ohio. (link)

Rod's Comment: Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. 

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Governor Lee’s 2024 State of the State Address

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Lee's budget proposal includes $207M for Tennessee parks, conservation

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Feb. 6, 2024- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is proposing the state spend $207 million on state parks, blueways development, farmland conservation and outdoor recreation in this year’s budget.

Overall, the budget proposal is for $52.6 billion with $25.4 billion from the state and $19.8 billion from federal funds. The proposal is a $9.9 billion decrease from the current budget with $6.6 billion less in state funding and $3.4 billion less in federal funding.

Lee noted in his state of the state speech that investing is state parks is a cornerstone of his conservation efforts and the budget would allow for eight new state parks including Hiwassee Scenic River, Ocoee River, Head of the Crow, Fort Southwest and Cardwell Mountain.

The proposed budget would have $59 million in capital improvements to parks including $25 million for a new visitor center, maintenance facility and amenities at Head of the Crow, $22 million for similar improvements at Cardwell Mountain, $12 million for campground improvements and amenities at Hiwassee Scenic River and $2.9 million for overall park maintenance.

The budget proposal includes $10 million to expedite the state’s Bill Dance Signature Lakes Initiative to improve infrastructure on Tennessee lakes and reservoirs.

It also proposes $20 million for blueways trail development which it describes as “water management and the development of new recreational access points to Tennessee waterways” along with $25 million for a Farmland Conservation Fund for farmers who voluntarily choose to place a deed restriction on farmland, paying farmers the difference between the value of restricted land compared to the value for its highest and best use.

The budget proposes spending $71.5 million in one-time funding for the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund to protect natural areas throughout the state and $6.9 million for 20 new positions to enhance Tennessee state parks and recreation areas.

“Our proposed budget will include funding to preserve our natural resources where Tennesseans and tourists are most likely to see them – on the road – with a plan to protect and enhance scenic beauty along our major highways,” Lee said.

The proposed budget also includes a one-time $14.5 million for environmental cleanup with matching federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for state water funds ($13.3 million) and electric grid improvements ($1.4 million).

The spending comes as Tennessee’s State Funding Board has adjusted this year’s tax collection estimates down $718.8 million from original estimates to flat year-over-year and estimate next year’s collections to be a 0.5% increase from this year.

Rod's Comment: I am pleased to see this.  We are blessed to live in such a beautiful place. We don't need to take it for granted. Our State's natural beauty, opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, natural wonders, vistas, waterfalls, and critical habitats, and biodiversity needs to be protected. 

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The Bastiat Society of Nashville presents, “The Myth of the Robber Barons” with Dr. Burt Folsom. Wed. Feb. 7


Renowned economic historian Dr. Burt Folsom makes a compelling case for the importance of market entrepreneurs and capitalism to America’s economic prosperity. Unlike political entrepreneurs, who depended on government support, market entrepreneurs succeeded largely because of their innovative spirit. These innovators included John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, among others, who improved the lives of millions of Americans.

For more event information and registration, follow this link

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Trump allies want Scott Presler to head the RNC — there’s just one problem, ...

.... His sexual indiscretions as a GOP organizer in Virginia could prove a stumbling block 

by Rod Williams, Jan. 30, 2024 - There is a lot I do not like about Donald Trump and the Republican Party of the Trump era. One thing is that Republicans, or at least Trump Republicans, which is most Republicans, is that they have developed a tolerance, if not an affinity, for immoral, unethical, and morally challenged people and con artist, and carnival barkers. Republicans used to be the party that stood for certain standards of moral behavior or at least propriety, and appearances, and good manners.  

There was a time when I thought Republicans might have been too moralistic. There was a time when a Republican could not win a Republican nomination because they were divorced. That time has long passed. Times change and people in general are less moralistic, less judgmental, and more tolerant. Much of that is good. 

What galls is the hypocrisy. The leader of the Florida Republican Party and his wife, a co-founder of Mom's for Liberty, are proven to be swingers and Republicans are not outraged. Trump is a womanizer and a rapist, and good evangelical Republicans do not care.  The Trumpinista candidate for mayor of Franklin had been arrested for promoting prostitution and her husband had marched in a gay Pride parade wearing flag motif Speedos, yet Trumpinista evangelicals didn't disavow the candidate.  Across the country people of immoral character and charlatans and con artist run for office as Republicans and good Christian Republicans don't mind. 

Donald Trump is pushing to oust Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican Party and replace her with Scott Presler.  Presler was a co-founder of Gays for Trump during the 2016 election.  I don't think that he is gay should disqualify him. I am pretty tolerant of one's sexual behavior or orientation. If we agree on issues, I don't much care what you do in the bedroom. What does make me cringe is that some of the same moralistic people engaged in culture wars would support him. The hypocrisy bothers me. 

I don't much care what Presler does in his bedroom. But, he didn't keep it in the bedroom. As reported in The Spectator, quoting a report in Politico, Presler, “engaged in sexual activity inside a Virginia Beach office the RNC shared with the state party — and posted explicit pictures of the encounter on Craigslist.”

He did that and still yet, the element of the Party that is most focused on who uses which bathroom wants him to be Chair of the RNC.  It boggles the mind. I don't get it. 

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Nashville Zoning Reform Proposal could make Housing more Affordable and Reduce Urban Sprawl

by Rod Williams, Feb. 3, 2024- There is a proposal coming before the Metro Council which could stem the tide of rising housing prices and curtail urban sprawl. I have not read the bill and the details matter but this sound like an exciting step in the right direction. You may read more about it at this link.

There are several reasons for rising home prices in Nashville.  One is that more people who make a lot of money move to Nashville and the price point of more expensive homes is where the market it at. Another is that the permitting process is slow and expensive and that drives up housing.  

A major cause of escalating housing prices is that our zoning code discourages density and diversity of housing types and land uses. Our basic zoning, while updated from time to time, was created after World War II and was oriented to car ownership and suburban living. Uses were strictly separated into commercial, residential and industrial and those uses were further separated. This led to strict class separation also. 

One house on uniform lot size was the norm when our codes was updated sometimes in the late 50's or 60's.  A neighborhood could have two houses per lot unless it was zoned for single family only so there was a sprinkling of duplexes but not many.  After Nashville started rapidly growing, starting in about the 90's or so and escalating as time passed, Nashville compounded the problem of our zoning by rezoning neighborhood after neighborhood "single-family-only." 

We did some things right along the way such as passing the DADU ordinance which allows a secondary housing unit to be built on an alley behind the main house.  We also allowed 12th do develop the way it has. Unfortunately, these are only small steps. The places where one can build apartment or multifamily units is still quite limited.  Restricting density makes property than can be developed more valuable and drives up prices.  With increased value of developable land, developers are going to build the most expensive housing the market will bear. 

We have also compounded the problem of our zoning by trying to beautify every part of town. Every pike or road cannot look like Brentwood and still have affordable neighborhoods.  We also increased the cost of housing by requiring property owners to build public sidewalks at their own expense when substantially remodeling or doing infill development. 

Two books I would recommend to members of the Planning Commission, the Metro Council member and anyone who care about affordable housing and urban development are these: Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It, and The Poor Side of Town: and Why We Needs It

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Rather than Secure the Border, Republicans would rather have the Issue of an Out-of-Control Border.

by Rod Williams, Feb. 5, 2024- We now know what is in the Senate's Emergency National Security Supplemental Bill.  It is a $118 billion compromise package to fund aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan along with new border security funding. 

It is a solution to the problem of the border, which Republicans claim to care deeply about.  It secures it. It gives Republicans almost all of what they want and almost none of what Democrats have wanted. Yet, Republicans, or at least Trumpinista Republicans, would rather have the issue of an out-of-control border than solve the problem. There is never going to be a deal better than this one. Dems control the Senate and the Presidency and Republicans have only a two-seat advantage in the House, yet this bill abandons routine amnesty, it contains no pathway to citizenship and it does not address "dreamers." It is what Republicans have wanted. 

Of course, it is not a Republican dream bill. It is a compromise, but Democrats did most of the compromising.  Progressive Democrats in both the House and the Senate are denouncing the bill as an embrace of Donald Trump-style border policies and a curtailing of the asylum system designed to protect vulnerable immigrants fleeing oppression. Republicans should be happy. To get a Republican-perfect bill, Republicans would have to hold the Presidency and have majorities in both houses.  Republicans are nuts not to accept this deal. 

There seems to be two problems with the bill for Republicans. One, it secures the border and Republicans would rather have the issue than solve the problem. Two, the bill also provides aid to Ukraine. It appears some Republicans are pulling for a Russian win in Ukraine.  Unbelievable! It looks like Democrat Party can legitimately claim to be the Party of border security and strength abroad.

This National Review piece gives some details of the bill:
The package deal provides funding to increase U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention capacity from 34,000 to 50,000 migrants. It tightens the requirements for those seeking asylum status by limiting the “credible-fear standard” for applicants to specific conditions that might reasonably constitute a “credible fear” of having to return home. It increases the number of judges (and, critically, Immigration Judge Teams) available to process the obscene backlog of immigration claims, and allows some claims to be handled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It puts curbs on the president’s ability to give migrants parole — what Republicans deride as a system of “catch and release” — which presidents of both parties have abused.

Perhaps most consequentially, the bill compels the Department of Homeland Security to turn away all border crossers at any point of entry, legal or otherwise, once officials encounter either a seven-day rolling average of 5,000 border crossers per day or 8,500 migrants on a single day. The provision ensures that Joe Biden would be legally compelled to take the migrant crisis over which he has presided — one that featured 302,043 encounters along the border just last month — seriously.

... as Fox News’ star immigration correspondent Bill Melugin observed, the GOP is operating under a misapprehension. “This does not mean 5,000 are ‘allowed in’ before this authority kicks in,” he wrote of the legislation. “Single adults would be detained, families would be released via ATD (alternatives to detention), and asylum cases would be fast-tracked to months rather than years under a new rapid/expedited expulsion system. Those who fail would be quickly removed from the U.S.”

For more on the bill see this from The Dispatch and from Politico, Detention and that border ‘shutdown’: What’s really in Biden’s bipartisan immigration deal.

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Gov. Lee Delivers 2024 State of the State Address

 Monday, February 05, 2024, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee delivered his sixth State of the State address and presented budget and legislative priorities for the upcoming year to a joint session of the General Assembly and fellow Tennesseans.

Key highlights are noted below, and the full speech as prepared for delivery can be found here. A Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget overview can be found here.

“Tennessee is a remarkable place with a richness of passionate people of all kinds, an unrivaled culture and deep-rooted traditions,” said Gov. Lee. “We are also a state that is focused on opportunity, security and freedom for all of her people. In 2024, and for the remainder of my time in office, I believe our job is to fortify that which has been built over the years, and to remember the work it took to get here.”

Our state’s legacy of responsible fiscal stewardship places Tennessee in a strong budgetary position and allows for investments to secure continued success. Lee’s proposed $53 billion budget includes strategic funding to ensure economic and educational opportunity, protect Tennessee voices, preserve our natural resources, strengthen families, and more.

Notable highlights from Gov. Lee’s FY24-25 agenda include:

Economic Opportunity & Tax Relie

  • $20 million investment in Tennessee’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing Tennessee reserves to more than $2 billion, the largest in state history
  • $410 million recurring funding and $1.2 billion non recurring funding to simplify the franchise tax in Tennessee


Public Education Investments

  • More than $261 million to strengthen education through the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) formula growth, including teacher pay raises
  • $30 million for summer learning programs to support students between school years
  • $3.2 million dedicated to AP Access for All, which provides AP courses to students across rural and urban Tennessee
  • $2.5 million to strengthen students’ reading and phonics skills
  • $577,000 to ensure we train Tennessee teachers to be the best and brightest educators of Tennessee children
  • $15 million to fund charter school facility improvements
Expanding Choices for Tennessee Parents
  • $141.5 million to establish Education Freedom Scholarships to empower parents with the freedom to pick the right school for their child

Strong & Healthy Families

  • $208 million over five years from TennCare shared savings to strengthen rural health by investing in apprenticeships and skilled training, greater access to specialty care and telemedicine, improved career pathways, hospital and physician practice grants, and a new Center of Excellence to sustain and expand rural health support.
  • $100 million over five years from TennCare shared savings to strengthen mental health care by investing in community mental health centers and behavioral health hospitals, expanding substance abuse disorder treatment, intensive in-home supports, primary care training, early childhood training, and children’s hospital infrastructure. 
  • $26.7 million investment in services for Tennesseans with disabilities

Safe Neighborhoods

  • $17 million in funding for an additional 60 State Troopers and related support staff to improve public safety across the state
  • $8 million to expand the school-based behavioral health liaison program to fund 114 liaisons, giving students across Tennessee schools important resources and mental health support
  •  $750,000 to fund Houses of Worship Security Grants
  • Funding for a National Guard recruitment incentive package

Brighter Future

  • $63 million to create four new Tennessee State Parks, with the goal of funding a total of eight new state parks by the time Gov. Lee leaves office, tying a Tennessee record for the most state parks created by one administration
  • $20 million to expand blueway trail access, which will drive tourism and economic activity across our rural communities 
  • $20 million to improve water quality at rivers, lakes and streams across the state, making them safe for future generations to enjoy and the Bill Dance Signature Lakes Fishing Trail
  • $25 million to establish the Farmland Conservation Fund, partnering with farmers to place a conservation easement on their land to preserve and protect Tennessee for future generations
  • $5 million to protect and enhance scenic beauty along our major highways
  • $3 million for Access 2030 to make Tennessee State Parks accessible to Tennesseans with disabilities

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Monday, February 05, 2024

What's on the Council Agenda for Feb. 5, 2024

by Rod Williams, Feb 5, , 2024 - Below is the email newsletter report on the Council agenda provided by Rae Keohane. Rae is a local active Republican.  She reads and studies each Metro Council agenda and shares her opinion on items of interest and shares her email to those on an email distribution list. Having done this myself in the past, I know how time consuming this can be. If you would like to be included on Rae's email distribution list, contact her at In addition to her reporting on the Council, Rae is a facilitator of the Nashville Conservatives breakfast group. 


 Since you will be voting on several matters of concern below is my opinion and questions about some matters before you tonight

I would appreciate some responses to my questions.

I spend a few hours on this each meeting I would appreciate a response to my questions.

and many others will be WATCHING you all on TV! 


RS2024-158 I SUPPORT!  I see no problem with CITIZENS voluntarily sharing their videos with police.  This is no different than being a witness to a crime and giving the info to the police only better. I would like for the next time this needs to be renewed we get quotes from other companies providing the same service.  A resolution approving Amendment Number 2 to a sole source contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Fusus, Inc. to increase the value of the contract.

BL2023-79 I SUPPORT BUT WHERE IS THE SUBSTITUTE FROM PLANNING? An ordinance amending Section 17.12.040 of the Metropolitan Code, Zoning Regulations regarding covered front porches within the required street setback (Proposal No. 2023Z-008TX-001).

BL2023-110 I OPPOSE I don’t usually comment on bills in other districts but, I have friends who live in the neighborhood and there are many people against this project. Councilman Parker has not been responding to e-mails from the neighbors he was supposed to have more community meetings. An ordinance to amend Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, the Zoning Ordinance of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by changing from SP to MUL-A zoning for properties located at 2631 and 2635 Gallatin Ave., at the southwest corner of Gallatin Pike and Carolyn Ave. (0.19 acres), and located within the Gallatin Pike Urban Design Overlay, all of which is described herein (Proposal No. 2023Z-101PR-001).

BL2023-138 I SUPPORT. An ordinance amending Section 17.40.010 of the Metropolitan Code, Zoning Regulations to require notice to the district council member for reasonable accommodations to the Zoning Ordinance granted by the zoning administrator (Proposal No. 2024Z-001TX-001).

RS2024-195 I SUPPORT. I support cutting the budget.  A resolution reducing the authority of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to issue general obligations bonds pursuant to certain initial resolutions previously adopted by the Metropolitan County Council.

RS2024-196 I SUPPORT. A resolution appropriating the amount of $22,848,000.00 from the General Fund Reserve Fund for the purchase of equipment and building repairs for various departments of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

RS2024-198 I SUPPORT.  A resolution to appropriate grant funds from the Martha O’Bryan Center’s Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative Implementation Grant and the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Action Commission, to formalize the party’s relationship while collaborating on direct services, capacity building, collaborative activities, and grant compliance.

RS2024-199 What are these “PAY CARDS” for, how will they be used? Why can’t the employees be paid via direct deposit into their bank accounts/. When I work for the Election Board on election day that is how I get paid.  A resolution accepting the terms of a cooperative purchasing master agreement for money network pay card services for the Metropolitan Finance Department.

RS2024-200 I SUPPORT.  A resolution amending Resolution RS2022-1560 to include Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition’s revised scope of services.

RS2024-201/202/203/205 I SUPPORT.  A resolution amending Resolution RS2022-1450, which appropriated $5,546,000 in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to the United Way of Greater Nashville, to extend the projected program term through December 31, 2024.

RS2024-204 Why are we eliminating ONE of the houses???  A resolution to approve the First Amendment to a grant contract for constructing affordable housing approved by RS2022-1857 between The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, acting by and through the Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund Commission, and Thistle Farms, Inc.

RS2024-210/211/212/213/216 I SUPPORT.  A resolution approving a grant contract between the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, and the Mental Health Cooperative to help operate the Mental Health Crisis Treatment Center and provide emergency psychiatric care, including crisis stabilization, respite care and treatment.

RS2024-214/215 I SUPPORT. Will there be some reporting to the citizens of Nashville re details of success and failure? A resolution approving an application for a Continuum of Care Collaborative Applicant grant from the Nashville Continuum of Care to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Office of Homeless Services, to address the critical problem of homelessness through a coordinated community-based process of identifying needs and building a homeless response system of housing and services to address those needs.

RS2024-224 This doesn’t impact me one way or another but have you made sure this sign is not shining into someone’s apartment, or future apartment?? Because I would be very annoyed!   A resolution authorizing Fourth and Broad LP to construct and install aerial encroachments at 405 Broadway. (Proposal No. 2023M-017EN-001).

RS2024-228 This contract is going to cost TAXPAYERS $11 MILLION till November 2024. Is it really COST EFFECTIVE to have trash service CONTRACTED instead of picking up trash by city employees?????  A resolution approving amendment 1 to the contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Platform Capital Waste Solutions, LLC for the provision of solid waste collection.

BL2024-181 I OPPOSE.  This needs COMMUNITY MEETINGS and CONSTITUENT INPUTAn ordinance to amend Section 16.08.012 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws to amend adopted building codes to allow for certain residential buildings up to six stories to be served by a single exit stairway.

BL2024-182/183/184/185/186/188 I OPPOSE. This needs COMMUNITY MEETINGS and CONSTITUENT INPUTI DO SUPPORT THE AMENDMENT BY COUNCILWOMAN JOHNSTON.  An ordinance to amend Title 16 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws to clarify who may update the official website regarding issuance of permits and notices, remove requirements for washer and dryer hookups in certain homes, remove and separate bathroom facilities at gas stations, and add regulations to permit large homes with three to six attached dwelling units.

BL2024-152 I SUPPORT.  An ordinance to amend Section 2.222.040 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws regarding the board of ethical conduct.

BL2024-153 I SUPPORT.  An ordinance amending section 15.64.035 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws.

BL2023-136 I think I support this I have seen many complaints on Next door about loud parties, noise, and violence at short-term rentals. I hope this means the people who live with STR’s will have more redress! I DO NOT SUPPORT THE AMENDMENT IT SEEMS TO BE GIVING THE STR OWNER TOO MUCH CONSIDERATION! An ordinance to amend Section 6.28.035 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws regarding the review of appeals made to the Short Term Rental Appeals Board.

BL2023-137 I OPPOSE An ordinance amending Title 13 of the Metropolitan Code to add a new chapter thereto for the purpose of allowing participation agreements between the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure and developers to be approved by resolution.

BL2023-139 I support the intention. Once again I am asking do we receive data reports of success and or failure and how many people are in the programs?   An ordinance approving a contract between The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, acting by and through the Mayor’s Office, and the United Way of Middle Tennessee, Inc., to provide financial counseling and other financial education activities to low-income residents in accordance with the Financial Empowerment Center program model.

BL2023-140 I SUPPORT!  SCHOOL CHOICE good for all. An ordinance approving a Lease Agreement by and between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Education and LEAD Public Schools, Inc. d/b/a Cameron College Prep, Nonprofit LLC (Proposal No. 2021M-011PR-002).  

As always thanks for your time and attention.


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