Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Here in Tennessee we have one of many major off year elections.  Today, May Day, more of an alert versus a spring fling, we vote here in Nashville on the Transit Referendum.  It has been as divisive and argumentative as busing was in the 1970s. And by busing I mean integration of schools.  This is one hell of a city that fears change more than black people.

Our next election begins Friday for the Mayor of Nashville to complete the term after the Slattern left in March.  The current Vice Mayor (never heard of this until I moved here) David Briley is serving in the position and I of the adage "Don't change horses in the middle of the stream" person is voting for him.  He did one thing right immediately upon taking office and that was declare Ft. Negley a public park and will have the aging dump of Greer Stadium torn down and green space installed in what was the last civil war outpost built by slaves to remain preserved and more importantly maintained.  As for what happens after that I am going with a spinning wheel as I better be out of here by then.  My time clock is 18 months and that is ticking away like a biological clock only without hormones.

This is then followed by the November elections for our  Senator and Governor of the State replacing the Truck stop Governor and bizarre waffle house employee, Bob Corker.   This is one man I will not miss seeing or hearing on my news as he cannot commit to a decision or have an opinion let alone what syrup he wants on his waffle.

And when I open my beloved New York Times to see the State in the opinion page regarding the upcoming election I either think hell hath frozen over or that this State matters.  I am leaning to the former given global warming y'all!   Oh wait no one here believes in it.  Welcome to Tennessee where logic and education are for those who enter the local colleges and promptly leave the region once diploma is handed over if you are smart.  I have met some of them and it explains a lot.  Again only 33% of the population is educated over grade 12.

Nashville is not liberal. Davidson County is not liberal.  Only 30% of the population votes as Tennessee has the lowest civic turnout in the country.  And the irony is that one believes that education equates civic responsibility and in turn are more liberal in politics.  Wrong again. Nothing you think or believe is true until you move South and it is turned upside down when it comes to SOP.

The editorial below discusses our current options in the upcoming election but he fails to note the voting thing that is coupled with our gerrymandering and our surreal voting laws that also act as a preventative to generating larger turnout.  Irony was that the transit bill has found a much larger turnout in early voting that anticipated which has shocked the true powers and players in Nashville - the Chamber of Commerce.  They run the town and are pro transit and not for the real reasons but for the money bomb it will bring with regards to the construction of said plan.  Everything here is always beneath the surface when it comes to swimming in the deep red sea. The water looks inviting and you dip your foot in and it feels warm and then you dive in and then you find out the predators that swim below. Why do you think the Hockey team is called that?

Marsha Blackburn is already moving towards Plan B, not the birth control as that would be against her fake principles but to become Education Commissioner.  She is perfect for the job as the State in week two of the insane obsessive need to test anyone and everyone has continued to blow up requiring the Legislature to involve themselves and pass bills before retiring for the season.   She could set fire to the tests and thrown them in the ash heap.

Once again Nashville may be the city of the capital but they can't run themselves into anything but the ground and it is apparent in this new Reconstruction sans Civil War.  They have civility wars here and its the women like Marsha Blackburn and her battleax cohort, Diane Black, who is running for Governor that is literally running this State into the ground. And they are one of many who are standouts in this state who you have to hear to believe with regards to the idiocy level. They make Trump seem intellectual.

The South is complicated and over 200 comments regarding the article address much of the issues and train of thought that envelopes the region.  I was impressed with the quality of comments and relieved that intelligent articulate individuals live here - all 216666** of them. Love the triple 6s, that too is irony in this city weighted with them

*The number was calculated on the 2016 estimate of Nashville population of 650K


Can a Tennessee Democrat Pull a Doug Jones?

By Steve Cavendish
Op-Ed Contributor
Mr. Cavendish is the former editor of The Nashville Scene.
April 29, 2018

To understand how Phil Bredesen, a former Democratic governor of Tennessee, has a chance of winning this year’s race to replace Bob Corker as the junior senator from this deep-red state, it helps to know a story making the rounds in Nashville about his likely Republican opponent, Representative Marsha Blackburn.

After returning from a 1995 trip to Los Angeles to drum up support for the Tennessee film industry, Ms. Blackburn, the executive director of the state’s Film, Entertainment and Music Commission, submitted her expense receipts to the office of the Republican governor, Don Sundquist.

The office sent them back, saying that a limousine was inappropriate for a state official. Ms. Blackburn said she didn’t hire a limo, but paid the charges; she then set the receipts on fire and sent the ashes to her superiors with a note: “Copy of L.A. expense report as requested!”

The story would remain a fun bit of political lore, save for one detail: Today those ashes are in the care of a Bredesen staffer. Someone in Mr. Sundquist’s circle saved them, waiting for a chance to pass them along to the right person with a pointed message: There are a lot of Republicans waiting to see Marsha Blackburn fall.

Ms. Blackburn is a Tea Party and Trump stalwart, as are many Tennessee voters. She also represents a type of conservatism that may be peaking in some parts of the South: combative, inflexible and more interested in picking fights than actually governing. An aggregate of recent polls has Mr. Bredesen leading her by 5 percentage points.

Mr. Bredesen spent two terms as governor, from 2003 to 2011, with a pro-business reputation. But since he last ran for office, in 2006, when he won all 95 counties, his party has suffered a string of defeats: only in Nashville and Memphis do Democrats hold congressional seats; at the state level, Democrats have been reduced to superminority status in both houses, meaning they are not even needed for the Legislature to hold session.

Why then did Mr. Bredesen, at 74, dive back into the political fray? Associates say that he never would have challenged Mr. Corker, a friend and, like him, a former mayor and businessman, but the thought of losing a nominal check on Mr. Trump bothered him. And even last fall, before the Democrat Doug Jones beat Roy Moore for a Senate seat in Alabama, internal Democratic polls put him slightly ahead of Ms. Blackburn in a state that Donald Trump carried by 26 percentage points.

Ms. Blackburn, on the other hand, was ready made for the Trump era. As a state senator she hounded Mr. Sundquist on taxes; after jumping to Congress, she became an at-the-ready Obama critic who spent the last decade as a fixture on cable news outlets. She’s one of the president’s strongest defenders in Congress, voting with him 91 percent of the time.

But a statewide campaign in Tennessee is not like running in a safe House district or doing another segment on Fox News. And not all Republicans are alike.

Take East Tennessee, which has produced many of the statewide Republicans in recent years, including Mr. Corker, Lamar Alexander, Howard Baker and the current governor, Bill Haslam. Mountain Republicans have 150 years of political tradition and, while conservative, have often displayed a pragmatic streak.

But in Middle Tennessee, the conservatism is newer, and more cultural. The state’s biggest wingnuts, like the senator whose anti-L.G.B.T. student bill was referred to as “Don’t say gay,” primarily hail from here. Ms. Blackburn’s 7th District, running from Kentucky to Alabama, draws heavily from this area and her stance on many issues has played well with that crowd.

But even in Middle Tennessee there are some ominous signs for Republicans. In a special election for a State Senate seat in December, a Democrat lost by just 307 votes, in a district Mr. Trump carried by more than 50 percentage points.

While Mr. Trump’s rhetoric may play well nationally, it may be a tougher sell at the state level, where personalities, local politics and the driving need to get something done dominate. Ms. Blackburn is a barnburner; it’s not clear that she can be a barn-builder. On the stump, she’s more comfortable talking up illegal immigration and, at an event in Murfreesboro, calling for the support of a candidate who believes in creationism. In contrast, Mr. Bredesen’s latest spot emphasizes that as senator he would support a good idea, even if it comes from Mr. Trump.

His get-it-done message resonates with state Republican leaders, including Mr. Corker, who couldn’t even say Ms. Blackburn’s name in a recent appearance on CNN. “I’ve said I’m gonna plan to vote for this person,” Corker told an incredulous Dana Bash, before adding that Mr. Bredesen “is my friend,” adding, “I’m not gonna campaign against him.”

In a race that could determine control of the Senate, Tennessee Republicans may hold their nose and vote for Ms. Blackburn. Then again, one of the wealthiest of them, Colleen Conway-Welch, held a fund-raiser for Mr. Bredesen, which raised $350,000. Ms. Conway-Welch and her husband, Ted Welch, have supported Republicans for decades. But Ms. Blackburn appears to be a bridge too far.

If this keeps up, the Sundquist staffer who held onto those ashes for years may finally get revenge.

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