By Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) –
The Mega Site near Memphis has a long history; since FY08-09 to FY21-22, over $200M Tennessee Tax dollars have been appropriated to a 4100 acre piece of real estate in pursuit of a business that would bring jobs to this remote area of West Tennessee. It isn’t unusual that legislators from other parts of the state to partner with the administration to bring businesses to areas other than those they were elected to represent. In fact, Over the years I have voted for the budget and numerous businesses such as, FEDX, Amazon and Beretta which have brought needed revenue and most importantly, good paying jobs that are a blessing to Tennessee families.
During deliberations about the Blue Oval City development, my colleagues predicted that what amounts to a $1.3B investment will bring a “three-fold return that will stabilize West Tennessee, a rural forgotten frontier and give them a voice bringing high paying jobs that will put this town between Memphis and Jackson on the map. Literally changing the local landscape, The Blue Oval City will usher in businesses such as hotels, restaurants, plus the new construction of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (40M) to train the estimated workforce (5,800) to build electric trucks and the batteries needed to operate these electric trucks. Who wouldn’t want this in their district? Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, why would anyone vote “red” NO for The Blue Oval City?
After deliberate and thoughtful review of the facts before me alongside with the current challenges facing Tennessee’s citizens, I cast a “red” No vote for the following reasons:
1- Constituency Matters! Priority was placed on the Blue Oval City Giveaway over the people’s business. Since 2009 I have insisted that we must first assert our Constitutional duties to put policies in place which protect Tennesseans from unconstitutional mandates and unconstitutional federal intrusion into our state’s business. By putting big business before constituency while Tennesseans are losing their jobs and their freedoms, is simply lopsided. In fact, while we are forced to operate under an increased tyrannical federal government, it is crucial that your state representatives act affirmatively to protect your rights. My position in this regard has never changed- the people’s business comes first. Tennesseans have been waiting all summer long, demanding a special session to intercept the federal dictates of D.C and execute the state Legislature’s exclusive authority and responsibilities as a sovereign state! And what’s the rush for a Blue Oval City anyway!
2-Corporate welfare is defined as any financial benefit granted by BIG GOVERNMENT to a specific business or class of business that is not generally available to ALL Business and taxpayers. Should the generous ten year predictions NOT turn out as estimated, we will have Privatized profits and socialized the losses while leaving Tennessee taxpayers holding the bag. While we are voting to pick winners and losers, too many small businesses, despite working for years all across Tennessee, have been forced to close their doors. Instead, why don’t we remove the Franchise & Excise Tax and make a fair playing plan for ALL businesses? No matter how many jobs are “promised” at a price tag of $884 million, Tennesseans across this state will be paying $152,413 dollars for every job created in West Tennessee. With over 250,000 jobs still available for anyone willing to work, where are the 5800 jobs at the Mega Site going to come from? Corporations can argue they create jobs, however nationwide most generally not a single new job is created – “folks just moved around.”
3- UAW President Ray Curry promised that “The Blue Oval City” will be a Union Plant, offering an “interesting” contrast to what the General Assembly is currently attempting. The General Assembly is in the process of amending our State Constitution to explicitly reflect that Tennessee is a Right to Work State. It is legitimately concerning that included in the plans for the Blue Oval City, is the creation of a New Authority with a new bureaucracy and funding which will create a new path for future corporations which may well be inconsistent with what it means to be a Right to Work State.
Serving as an elected representative for the Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth, I have been faithful in supporting policies which create a robust climate for businesses to thrive. Good government can contribute to the free market by improving the infrastructure, internet service and keeping taxes low to encourage a free market to grow. Businesses of any size are enabled to make a profit when less government and more freedom is at the helm of policy. Evidence of this approach is borne out in our state; Tennessee is one of seven states where revenues have ballooned beyond expectations even during a pandemic! This land of sweet tea and grits, surrounded by lush green hillsides filled with friendly folk, are the added ingredients to our success.
Tennessee is Thriving because of the conservative values we live by and which I have done my best to uphold. You have heard it said, “the devil is in the details.” Well, there is plenty of “devilry” found in HB8001, the legislation authorizing Blue Oval City which, in my judgement, will not, regardless of predictions otherwise, serve Tennesseans well. For all these reasons, I stand by my “RED” vote for The Big Blue City.
House members have submitted 78 bills this week’s session aimed at dialing back COVID-19 mandates (among other things). But the last eight dropped in the hopper before the filing deadline are the ones most worth paying attention to.
They all have one key thing in common: their sponsor is House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville).
With the upper chamber’s filing deadline coming later, it will be most interesting to see whether Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) serves as cosponsor to Sexton’s package of bills.
Having spearheaded the effort to hold this special session, Sexton will be under enormous pressure to pass most or all of his agenda. It remains to be seen how far the Senate will be willing to go along — and how forcefully the business community will push back against efforts to interfere in their operations.
Here are the bills in question, in a rough order of controversy:
HB9078: Banning businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination from customers or employees.
HB9077: Allowing employees fired for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to collect unemployment benefits.
HB9072: Requiring partisan school board elections for school boards.
HB9076: Granting the governor exclusive authority over orders and directives regarding county health departments during a pandemic and giving county mayors the power to decide over local health matters.
HB9074: Requiring the state Attorney General to seek fines of $10,000 for failing to enforce or execute emergency orders.
HB9071: Allowing the state attorney general to request a replacement for a local prosecutor who “peremptorily and categorically refuses” to bring criminal charges on certain laws.
HB9075: Limiting the duration of states of emergency issued by the governor from 60 to 45 days.
HB9073: Allowing banks to use cash as a form of eligible collateral for purposes of securing public deposits amid the massive influx of federal recovery funds.
State Department officials briefed congressional staff this week and told them that it is in touch with 363 Americans in Afghanistan and nearly 176 legal permanent residents, a congressional source who was on the call told Fox News.
That 363 number is significantly higher than previous estimates by the Biden administration, which had put the number at around 100 in September -- and is only the number with whom the State Dept. is in contact. CNN first reported the 363 figure.
It comes amid continuing fallout from the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan ahead of the Aug 31 withdrawal deadline -- which saw a scramble of Americans and Afghans trying to get out of the country before the Taliban took over.
At a press briefing Friday, State Department spokesman Ned Price did not confirm to reporters the number the department was in touch with as a whole -- but said that the number of Americans who actually wish to leave was at one point below 100 but was now between 100 and 200 amid a fluid situation on the ground.
"That figure has risen in recent days as more Americans in Afghanistan have decided to depart in light of our successful facilitation of dozens of departures in recent weeks," he said.
So far the State Department has facilitated the departure of 234 citizens and 144 lawful permanent residents, he said.
Issa, who has been working to evacuate a number of Americans stuck in Afghanistan back to the United States, said he saw the numbers as proof the administration had lied about the withdrawal.
"What we long suspected is now confirmed: what the White House calls a historically successful airlift was in reality the worst ever betrayal of American citizens in a foreign land," he told Fox News. "So they lied about it from the beginning."
Issa’s reaction was shared by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who accused the administration of having shamelessly and repeatedly lied about the number of Americans trapped behind Taliban lines.
"For weeks, their official number was ‘about a hundred’ and it magically never changed — as Americans slowly got out the total number never went down," he said.
The staffer who was on the call suggested there were many more the State Department was not yet in touch with, perhaps because they are scared to come forward out of fear of reprisals by the Taliban.
"What about the people they’re not in touch with?" the staffer told Fox News. "Those who are scared to speak out, how do you put a number on that, or that are scared to use WhatsApp or text a +1 American number, or to even text in English?" they said.
The staffer told Fox that the State Department said it was working with third parties to get people out of Afghanistan, setting up conduits to streamline the process -- while admitting that the guidance had been confusing about what chartered flights needed to take off and land in assisting with the evacuation effort.
On Friday, Price said the department’s goal is to make flights out of Kabul more routine in order to facilitate even more departures of Americans and others -- "and we are committed to doing so."
"We’ve also consistently said there’s a slightly larger universe of Americans with whom we’re in touch and who are not yet ready, for whatever reason, to leave," he said. "That number is also far from immutable as Americans reach out to us, and given the dynamic – the very dynamic nature of human decision-making."
On Friday, Issa announced that an American citizen, Prince Wafa, who had worked as a translator and traveled to Afghanistan to bring his wife home, had been successfully evacuated. Issa’s office said it was in contact regularly with the man, as well as State Dept. personnel. The man had previously written to President Biden pleading for help.
"Prince Wafa provided outstanding support for our troops and bravely served our country when we were in need," Issa said in a release. "This time, he risked all by returning to Afghanistan to bring his wife home. The Biden Administration left them behind and we didn’t rest until they were on their way home."
As the situation in Afghanistan continues to unfold, the staffer who spoke to Fox said that the situation felt like the administration "has broken a social contract between America and its citizens."
"When I go overseas there's never a question in my mind that if something happened that blue passport would get me out of trouble -- I have doubts about that now."
Lawmakers are back for yet another special session later this week, the third one this year. This time, Republicans are hoping to demonstrate to constituents they are doing something — anything — against what they see as federal overreach on COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates.
— Banning private companies from requiring employees or customers to be vaccinated.
— Ending the right of minors to decide whether to get vaccinated without the parents’ consent.
— Curbing the authority of the state’s six independent county health boards.
— Making workers who suffer side effects from required vaccinations eligible to sue their employers or file for workers’ compensation benefits.
— Writing into law Gov. Bill Lee’s executive orders allowing parent to opt their children out of school mask mandates.
— Converting school board elections into partisan contests.
“The call is broad enough where we can discuss what all the states have done and figure out if there’s a direction we want to go,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) told reporters last week. “We’ll see what direction that we want to come out on to protect individuals from who want to have their personal decision in what’s happening to them.
The petition to return into special session also includes an item that appears to have little to do with the pandemic. It would allow lawmakers to “address a district attorney general peremptorily refusing to prosecute all instances of a criminal offense without regard to facts or circumstances.”
The language appears to be in response to Nashville prosecutor Glenn Funk’s announcements that he won’t pursue criminal charges for the possession of small amounts of marijuana or those who violate a new state law requiring businesses to post warnings about policies allowing transgender people to use bathrooms of their own choosing.
They say you shouldn't read the New York Times because you won't get any good news.
You just have to read between the lines, so to speak.
The GREAT news today is that at least 12 House Democrats will retire because they surmise that their party will lose the majority next year.
"The quickening pace of Democratic retirements in the House may be the clearest indication yet that the party's hopes of maintaining its narrow majority are fading amid President Biden's sagging approval ratings, ongoing legislative struggles and the prospect of redrawn congressional districts that will put some seats out of reach," the Times reports.
"In recent days, Representatives John Yarmuth of Kentucky, David E. Price of North Carolina and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania have announced they will not seek reelection," the report says. "In all, a dozen House Democrats have said they will retire or seek other offices next year, including powerful lawmakers like Mr. Yarmuth, the chairman of the Budget Committee, and members from the most politically competitive districts, such as Representatives Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona."
As usual, the New York Times didn't identify all the seats and, thus, put virtual targets on them. But that's the nature of highly partisan paper. The following was a quote worth keeping in mind.
"In interviews, the three representatives who most recently announced their retirement said personal issues were paramount in their decisions – they have served 72 years in the House between them," the report said. "But they also cited three political factors: redistricting ahead of the 2022 elections, Donald J. Trump's continued power over Republicans, and the rising Balkanization of the Democratic Party, that they said had made governance increasingly difficult and frustrating."
Even Democrats admit "Balkanization of the Democratic Party."
"None of the three expressed concern about any particular bloc in their fractious party, which includes a growing progressive wing, an ardent group of moderates and the pro-business 'New Democrats.' Rather, they said they were worried that none of the groups was willing to compromise, leaving two vital pieces of President Biden's agenda – a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and an ambitious social policy and climate change measure – in limbo."
You see, the New York Times still thinks the Democrats have "an ardent group of moderates and the pro-business 'New Democrats'" among them.
Democrats are less certain to lose control of the U.S. Senate, the Times says, where they "cannot afford to lose a single seat in the Senate, but they do not face gerrymandered maps there, and vulnerable Republican seats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio make Democratic gains possible."
But it looks clear from here – the mid-term elections next year should be a cakewalk for the GOP. Unless the fix is in again.
Biden is so unpopular his name is often "confused" with Brandon. Deservedly so.
"These Democrats spent decades accumulating power and seniority in Congress. They wouldn't give up that power if they felt Democrats were going to hold the majority," said Mike Berg, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
"As for the right, Mr. Price said, the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 'has scarred the House and raised serious questions that I never thought would be raised, about the future of the rule of law, the acceptance of election results, the peaceful transfer of power and the very future of democracy.'"
The Times continued: "With far-right Republicans such as Representatives Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia already calling for Mr. Biden's impeachment, Mr. Yarmuth said, 'the prospect of serving in the minority is horrifying.'"
Horrifying, I tell you!
Now you see why I can't miss an issue of the New York Times!
Here is the petition for the special session on COVID-19 mandates
The Senate finally joined the members of the House to issue the call for the Special Session. As far as we know the five 'purposes' listed below will be what they take up for debate.
Speaker Cameron Sexton
Lt. Governor Randy McNally and I, along with the Tennessee House of Representatives and Tennessee Senate, will return in special session next week to address COVID-19 mandates on our citizens. We will ensure the distinctive voices of our communities are heard and individual choices and freedoms are preserved.
PETITION: Requesting the Speaker of the House of Representatives to call the House into session pursuant to Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution of Tennessee
We, the undersigned members of the 112th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, and members of the House of Representatives of such body, petition the above presiding officer to call this body back into session in Nashville upon similar action taken by the Senate, on October 27, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. (CDT) for the limited purposes of:
(1) Considering and acting upon legislation to establish uniform standards regarding facial coverings, vaccinations, and other restrictions relative to COVID-19; to address the enforcement and use of state funds by public and private entities for restrictions relative to COVID-19; to address adverse actions against an employee based on an employee's vaccination status; to address the federal government's commandeering of public and private resources relative to COVID-19; and to address the federal government's penalizing, or taxation of, citizens of this state through enforcement of restrictions relative to COVID-19;
(2) Considering and acting upon legislation to address the creation, organization, and authority of local entities and officers charged with the promotion, protection, and maintenance, through local health services or directives, of the health of citizens of this state; to address the provision of monoclonal antibody treatment; and to address authorization to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a minor without parental consent;
(3) Considering and acting upon legislation addressing liability of an employer, and compensation of an employee, for harm or injury suffered by an employee as the result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine that was required or incentivized through the employee's employment; and to address an employee's receipt of unemployment benefits relative to COVID-19;
(4) Considering and acting upon legislation to address the length of time and enforcement of an executive order or proclamation issued by the governor under the governor's emergency management powers; to address a district attorney general peremptorily refusing to prosecute all instances of a criminal offense without regard to facts or circumstances; to include cash as eligible collateral and adjust the amount of eligible collateral pledged for the deposit of public funds; and to address partisan elections of school board members; and
(5) Considering and acting upon legislation to make appropriations sufficient to provide the first year's funding for any act which receives final passage during the extraordinary session; and to pay the expenses of the extraordinary session of the General Assembly, including the expenses of carrying out any actions taken pursuant to this call.
President Joe Biden’s crashing polling numbers appear to have no end as he fumbles with the border crisis, a 13-year high in inflation, and the threat of empty toy shelves on Christmas Eve.
In a new Zogby Poll just provided to Secrets, the first-year president has hit another job performance low, 36.4%.
“Our latest polling shows President Biden with a 36% positive job performance rating (excellent-15% and good-21% combined), while his negative rating is 61% (fair-19% and poor-42% combined),” pollster Jonathan Zogby of Zogby Analytics told us.
Worst of all, women are abandoning the president, followed by independents — voters critical to helping lobby for his $3.5 trillion tax-and-spending plan and $1.2 trillion infrastructure program.
“Women voters are abandoning ship. Biden needs to improve his polling numbers with women or Democratic leaders risk losing the 2022 midterm election,” said Zogby.
Zogby said that the problem for Biden is that he appears unable to get his agenda through Congress as the economy is sinking and other critical issues, such as the border crisis, crash in.
“Voters can't help but wonder why the Biden administration keeps sweeping these issues under the rug and declaring them ‘transitory.’ Democratic leaders cannot even come to consensus within their own ranks,” Zogby said in his analysis.
“Without the passage of the ‘Build Back Better Act,’ or a solid infrastructure bill, and the potential default of the U.S. debt on the horizon, is it any surprise Biden's presidency is sinking like the Titanic? Biden's failure to reach vaccination goals and his executive vaccine mandates have also not helped his cause,” he added.
The Zogby Poll shows a continued decline in support and approval of Biden. One recent survey had him down to 38% approval.
Worse, some polls show that Biden would lose to former President Donald Trump in a new election and that even Biden voters have “remorse” over their 2020 choice.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stopped short of claiming that parents should be the “primary” stakeholders in their children’s education on Thursday.
Cardona sat before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Thursday to testify on school reopening strategies and policies around COVID-19. Under questioning from Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Cardona refused to call parents the “primary stakeholders” in a child’s education.
“Do you think parents should be in charge of their child’s education as the primary stakeholder?” Braun asked the Education secretary.
Cardona responded, “I believe parents are important stakeholders, but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming.”
“And I think that’s going to be a little out of focus,” Braun shot back. “What I think you’re going to find across all elements of education, since they pay the bills, they raise the kids, they probably need to be the primary spokespeople for their own kids’ good education.”
Cardona has drawn backlash from Republicans on several education-related issues since taking the post as the head of the Department of Education. In April, two GOP congressmen sent a letter to Cardona denouncing an Education Department grant program encouraging the use of Critical Race Theory in school curriculum.
“Critical Race Theory is antithetical to the fundamental values and beliefs of America and the American dream,” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), one of the signees of the letter, told The Daily Wire at the time. “The 1619 Project is historically inaccurate, racially divisive, and argues that the entire American system is corrupted from top to bottom. Our schools obviously have a crucial role to play in helping make students aware of the negative consequences of slavery and the significant contributions of Black Americans. However, we should never prioritize educational grants for schools that promote attacks on the principles enshrined in our Constitution. I am grateful for the support of Congressman Duncan on this crucial issue.”
During his confirmation hearing in February, Cardona took heat from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) after the then-nominee stated that trans athletes should be allowed to compete in girls’ sports.
“I think that it’s critically important that the education system and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities,” Cardona said at the time.
“I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender,” he continued.
Later in the hearing, Paul slammed Cardona, saying that allowing biological males to compete against girls is “bizarre.”
“A lot of us think that that’s bizarre, not very fair,” Paul said. “Frankly, some boy that’s six-foot-two competing against my five-foot-four niece doesn’t sound very fair. I think most people in the country think it’s bizarre.”
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Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College are partnering to address ‘educational inequities’ in the Nashville area.
According to the two groups, the project will have the goal of “producing actionable, innovative and scalable research to address racial and social inequities in pre-K-12 schools.”
Specifically, Vanderbilt University will offer the public school system resources and research opportunities with the goal of improving outcomes for students.
“The roots of educational inequities in our city are complex and multi-faceted. Enduring challenges have only been compounded by COVID-19 and our city’s recent growth. These are issues that defy easy answers. But together, we can start to address them through rigorous research and collaboration. Drawing on data and history, we can find new ways to improve access and belonging and to reduce disparities in educational outcomes. And we can create new pathways and opportunities for the students of today, who are also Nashville’s future citizens and leaders,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said.
However, the precise actions of the new, broad partnership, entitled Nashville Partnership for Educational Equity Research, will be developed as the partnership continues, as the groups will work together to determine the best approach.
While it is unclear what specific actions the partnership will produce, the agenda of the partnership will be determined by a “steering committee,” composed of Vanderbilt and MNPS officials.
“We are all aware of the issues faced by public schools in Nashville and throughout the country relating to disproportionality and inequities for academic and social-emotional learning outcomes,” MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle said. “Identifying the most effective solutions to eliminate those inequities represents the most difficult challenge we face—but also the biggest reward if we’re successful.”
This is not the first time the two organizations have worked closely. In the past, Vanderbilt students have offered tutoring services to students in MNPS.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commentary: Five Reasons ‘Roe’ Is Ripe for Reversal
by Adam Mill
It seems like only yesterday the Left went to war to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh from ascending to the Supreme Court. Crackpots and charlatans flocked to the call for accusations, no matter how fictional, that might sink his nomination. The Left extracted a compromise from squishy Republicans to give the FBI enough time to frame . . . er, “investigate” Kavanaugh before proceeding to a confirmation vote. The Left is still furious at FBI Director Christopher Wray for failing to gin up a predicate for stopping Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation.
Even then, it was very clear that the public relations assault had nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s history with the opposite sex. As they tried to weaponize sketchy sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh, we learned later that Democrats suppressed allegations of sexual abuse committed by their own leaders and supporters (Andrew Cuomo, Harvey Weinstein, U.S. Represenative John Conyers, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Bill Clinton to name just a few examples). When these leaders were held accountable, it usually followed a long period of cover-ups and denials by their political allies.
But Democrats didn’t really care about whether Kavanaugh committed sexual assault in the 1980s. It was, everyone knew, all about abortion.
So when the Supreme Court appeared to take a step toward remanding the abortion issue back to state legislatures in its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Reeve, I found myself bracing for the kind of hurricane of public outrage that swept the media during Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It didn’t come. Compared to the drama of the late summer of 2018, you could hear crickets. Why?
Here are five factors I believe have caused the Left to de-prioritize abortion as a political issue:
1)The decline in necessity.
If you talk to women who are pro-abortion, you might notice they often tend to be Baby Boomers. The boomers came of age in an era during which the traditional role of a woman as a child-rearer and wife was compared to slavery. Women who chose these traditional roles were made to feel inadequate when compared to those who delayed or avoided having children. In 1972, when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, women who chose motherhood had their first child at an average age of 21. Motherhood at that age required forfeiting career and education opportunities that, in the minds of feminist thinkers, prevented women from accessing the promise of equality. That explains why abortion was such an emotional issue to women of that generation.
Today, that average has increased to 26. By the age of 26, an enterprising woman can obtain an advanced degree such as a law degree and begin her career. But more importantly, the delay in motherhood has taken place in the context of dramatic declines in abortion. Since 1972, numerous birth control methods have come to market allowing more women to delay motherhood without the drastic step of an abortion. And, it should not be overlooked, young people just have a lot less sex than their grandparents did at the same age.
2) Women increasingly regret missing out on motherhood.
There’s a growing gap between the number of children women want to have and the number they actually have. According to the Institute for Family Studies, women typically report wanting an average of 2.5 children. But, “no matter how creatively [the studies are] sliced and diced, no matter what data source is used, women have fewer kids than they say they want, desire, intend, expect, or consider ideal—for themselves or for society on the whole.”
The empowered women of the 1970s who chose not to have children don’t have daughters and granddaughters to form in their image. And young women today aren’t likely to envy the aging childless feminists spending holidays with their cats or at protest marches. Indeed, many barren feminists now find themselves wondering whether the path of motherhood might have led to greater happiness.
3) The reduced stigma of single parenthood.
In the 1960s and 1970s, popular culture depicted pregnancy as a crisis requiring hard choices among bad options. Should she marry a man she doesn’t love, abort the child, or give it up for adoption?
Today America leads the world in single-parent households with approximately 25 percent of all children growing up in a one-parent family. While this points to a serious social crisis, it also indicates that women increasingly will choose single parenthood over abortion.
4) LGBTQ narratives complicate traditional feminist doctrine.
After the Supreme Court decision declining to overturn the Texas law, traditional abortion rights advocates took to the media to advocate for a massive social reaction. Soon, however, they found themselves scolded and shouted down for describing abortion as a “women’s” issue. As TheAtlanticnoted,
Only niche groups tend to care about how Americans discuss gender and pregnancy—including whether it’s better to use the term pregnant people instead of pregnant women. But those groups care a lot. Representative Cori Bush of Missouri used the termbirthing people in a hearing, causing a mini-uproar on social media. ‘When we talk about ‘birthing people,’ we’re being inclusive. It’s that simple,’ the pro-abortion-rights group NARAL tweeted in her defense.
Ten years ago, the Texas abortion law would have been opposed with arguments that were essentially identical to the ones advanced to the Roe court. Today, the Left finds itself in a quagmire of language debates that confuse and complicate its message on abortion. Traditional feminism cannot easily coexist with modern gender fluidity doctrine.
5) Abortion threatens to alienate replacement Democratic voters.
Democrats have been pretty open about their strategy to replenish their ranks with new immigrants. But many of these immigrants come from Cathoic countries and tend to oppose abortion in greater numbers than second and third generation immigrants. When faced with a choice between alienating boomer feminists and new immigrants from Latin America, the Democrats are unlikely to alienate the demographic with greater future potential.
Logically, the most passionate abortion rights advocates are women who have had abortions and thus, fewer children. New adherents to the pro-choice movement must therefore be recruited from families that chose to have children. Unless they can penetrate that powerful familial habit of thinking, old-line feminism is likely to wither. That withering may have already happened. Abortion is no longer on the top-10 lost of key voting issues for Democrats. Particularly in the COVID and social justice eras, the abortion question just doesn’t seem to get as much traction as it once did.
Abortion policy belongs in the state legislatures, not the courts. As then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in a 1983 dissenting opinion in a landmark abortion decision,
The State may no longer rely on a ‘bright line’ that separates permissible from impermissible regulation, and it is no longer free to consider the second trimester as a unit and weigh the risks posed by all abortion procedures throughout that trimester. Rather, the State must continuously and conscientiously study contemporary medical and scientific literature in order to determine whether the effect of a particular regulation is to ‘depart from accepted medical practice’ insofar as particular procedures and particular periods within the trimester are concerned. Assuming that legislative bodies are able to engage in this exacting task, it is difficult to believe that our Constitution requires that they do it as a prelude to protecting the health of their citizens. It is even more difficult to believe that this Court, without the resources available to those bodies entrusted with making legislative choices, believes itself competent to make these inquiries and to revise these standards every time the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) or similar group revises its views about what is and what is not appropriate medical procedure in this area.
Abortion is legalized homicide, particularly in situations where the fetus is destroyed when it could have survived separation from the womb. As I’ve previously written, “a 46-year-old decision by now-dead justices is the wrong way to draw a line that should have evolved with the state of science and public morality.”
Here’s hoping Kavanaugh will prove abortion rights advocates correct and cast the deciding vote to send that debate back to the democratic process to weigh competing moral and medical concerns. In the midst of COVID lockdowns and social justice wars, now may be the ideal time to render a thoughtful decision without fear of organized retribution from the Left.
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Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.
Governor Bill Lee (R) on Wednesday joined Senators Marsha Blackburn(R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and demanded answers from the Biden administration over Afghan refugee resettlement.
Over the past several months, thousands of refugees from Afghanistan have been relocated across the United States after President Joe Biden’s chaotic withdrawal.
In Tennessee, approximately 400 refugees are to be resettled throughout the state. However, state leaders have received little information from the Biden administration about the refugees, according to the letter written to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
In the letter, the trio of Tennessee elected leaders posed seven questions to Mayorkas in order to learn more about the refugees and the resettlement process as a whole.
“What is the timeline for resettling the 415 persons evacuated from Afghanistan and proposed for resettlement into Tennessee? Is this number the first group of evacuees to be resettled in Tennessee, or the complete total?” the group asked in one question.
Blackburn, Hagerty, and Lee argued for greater transparency in the process, detailing the federal government has provided little information to the public.
“We all ultimately answer to the American public, and the public deserves transparency and information regarding how this resettlement process is working so that they can understand and accurately judge its efficacy. We look forward to a detailed response that addresses each of the above questions and subsequently welcome an open dialogue on these issues,” the leaders wrote.
All three leaders have repeatedly called on the Biden administration to increase transparency levels. Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security relocated dozens of migrants to the area, providing no information to state leaders.
“These experiences sow seeds of mistrust in our communities, and work to intentionally subvert the will of the people for a secure border and a clear, lawful immigration process,” Governor Lee wrote in a letter after the incident. “Additionally, the lack of transparency places an undue burden on our law enforcement partners to determine whether these types of flights constitute a criminal act of human trafficking or the federally-sponsored transport of vulnerable children.”
“School choice” is a term that many conservative politicians have adopted as one of their main platforms.
It is concerning that parties touting the importance of freedom and small government are championing a program that is the very epitome of government overreach.
For many, school choice does not mean what they think it means. We already have school choice. Parents have the option to send their children to public or private schools, or they can opt to home-school them.
What school choice really means is government funds allocated to families to spend on education. The irony in this is that the very politicians who say they want less government are in support of a program that always results in government oversight, regulations and mandates.
As the founder of a local Middle Tennessee home-school support group, I have seen a large number of families move into our area to escape school choice states. Here’s what some of them have to say about their experiences with school choice:
“We just came from California. We home-schooled privately through a charter. So, I did all the home-schooling, but we got a lot of funding for kids’ classes and activities. But it did come with strings. You are right. A teacher came every 20 school days to check in and collect samples. We were blessed with a good one, but many are not. I’m thankful to not be in that system anymore. The money wasn’t worth it.” – Emily Arrington.
“I’m also from California (we just bought a house in Tennessee). I’ve been home-schooling under a California charter for four years now. When we started, it seemed downright magical. I can teach my kid what I want and they will pay for it?! Win! My kid can take gymnastics and horseback riding and they pay for it?! Jackpot! It came with some strings, but they seemed very minimal. A teacher visited every 20 or so days to see how we were doing and offer resources—this felt like a win. As a new home-schooling mom, I appreciated the oversight and support. My ‘teacher’ has been a huge blessing to us. My daughter is on an Individualized Education Program and getting those services for free has been amazing. But, each year things have gotten a little stricter. It went from ‘just show us a sample in each subject’ to ‘we need to see all their work for the learning period to make sure adequate learning is taking place.’ Then it turned into ‘we need the next two learning period lesson plans laid out for every subject so we can ensure you are completing everything.’ I’m a super-organized home-schooling mama, so at first this seemed fine. I even took it as ‘well, some of these moms need to get it together and have a better game plan’ (sorry mamas, I was a jerk). But then I started to see the major shifts that had been quietly taking place. There was no longer room for days where we learned by doing. There were no longer opportunities to learn through life and through being immersed in experience. Creating a natural lifelong learner was taking a back seat to predetermined curricula and deadlines. If you took an opportunity to explore and step away from the books, you found yourself having to make up for it. They added things like a mandated sex education program that public schools are taught (it is disgusting in California). You can sign an exemption to get out of it just like you can exempt from state testing and immunizations, but you now carry a file with a big old bullseye saying you have exempted your child from these mandated things. That’s a big no-no in this insanely governed state. The money may seem tempting, the support may seem great, but I’ve watched the purse strings tighten, and with it, the expectations heighten and the ‘choice’ slips away. All this to say: sometimes the grass looks greener; it’s just because of all the manure it’s planted in.”
– Salina Kelley.
“I grew up in Alaska, which has some of the freest laws when it comes to home schooling. You literally just had to make sure your children received an education. No reporting of any sort was required. However, a government-funded charter school option came along, and we saw so many free home-school families give that up in exchange for paid computers and school books. It was one of the worst things to happen to the home-school community there and took a big toll. There were definitely strings attached. One huge catch was the charter schools wouldn’t pay for any specifically Christian materials. We ran a small home-school bookstore and had a front row seat to how this affected people’s curriculum choices. Suddenly, if it wasn’t covered by the charter school, they wouldn’t buy it, or would lament that they had to pay for it themselves. Even the handwriting program we carried then had the word ‘God’ in the title, and I remember that being an issue. It was so distressing to see full freedom in their children’s education laid down for government control and money.” – Jen McBride
Before you think that school choice only negatively affects home schools, it’s important to note that any private school accepting government funds also becomes a target. Read legislation for voucher programs and you will see the words “approved curriculum.” If the school takes the money, the government can dictate what they are allowed to teach. If a politician tells you they will allow an “opt out,” don’t fall for it. Wording is easily amended.
The bottom line is “what the government funds, it runs.” Money never comes without strings. Don’t take the cheese.
Tiffany Boyd is the founder of Free YOUR Children, a homeschool advocate, consultant, speaker and the founder and administrator of Middle Tennessee Christian Homeschool Connection. She holds a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies from MTSU. She is a wife of 30 years and mother to five children, grandmother to two. She is a former tenured public school teacher. She and her husband have home educated for 18 years. Contact her at email@example.com.
Late Tuesday, Metro Nashville City Council members’ attempt to impose an indoor mask mandate was indefinitely deferred. Councilmember Joy Styles, chief sponsor of bill BL2021-872, moved to indefinitely defer the legislation that would have imposed a mask mandate in all indoor spaces in Nashville.
There were cheers in the chamber following the motion.
Along with Styles, the other council members who sponsored the bill included Sharon Hurt, Sandra Sepulveda, Emily Benedict, and Russ Bradford.
The bill would have required masks in public spaces like stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and bars with violators facing $50 fines.
As The Tennessee Starreported, two notable exceptions to the wide-ranging measure are listed on page three and again on page four of the proposed ordinance. First is that masking is exempted while in houses of worship. The second is that the mask mandate does not apply while an individual is in a building or indoor space owned, managed, or leased by the State of Tennessee or federal government.
Before the final decision was made on Tuesday, Councilmember Joy Styles presented an amendment moving to make the mask mandate null and void once 85 percent of Davidson County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Councilmember Sean Parker also moved to amend the legislation. Parker considered adding an ordinance that would lift the mask mandate at the beginning of 2022 unless extended by a Metro Council resolution.
Despite the amendments suggested by the councilmembers, the proposed ordinance is now effectively dead – although it is unclear what legal authority would have been attached to the measure, had it passed.
The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) has previously said that a mask mandate isn’t needed, per CDC guidelines. The health department is standing by a letter from MPHD Director Dr. Gill Wright that states as valuable as masks are, the way through this pandemic is vaccination. Dr. Wright added if hospitals are stretched to the breaking point or overrun by an influx of COVID cases, there could be action. But he says we aren’t at that point right now in Davidson County.
The Metropolitan Council is the legislative authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, a city-county consolidated government created on April 1, 1963.
Watch the Nashville Metro City Council meeting here: