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Lipstick On a Pig

Lipstick On a Pig

馃悥 Pigs don't wear makeup 路聽ESAs on the rocks 路聽More transit 路聽MLB to town? 路 Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Just a general thought this morning to open us up.

By all accounts, the science of politics has not changed much since Machiavelli. An honest reading of world history shows that 鈥 with rare exceptions that prove the rule 鈥 political man is not interested in governing well, only in protecting his power. I've been picking through James Burnham's The Machiavellians lately, and a passage that lays this out well stood out to me:

"Machiavelli understood politics as primarily the study of the struggles for power among men," Burnham writes. "By so marking its field, we are assured that there is being discussed something that exists, not something spun out of an idealist's deams, or nightmares. If our interest is in man as he is on this earth, so far as we can learn from the facts of history and experience, we must conclude that he has no natural aspiration for peace or harmony, he does not form states in order to achieve an ideally good society, nor does he accept mutual organizations to secure the maximum social welfare."

You might disagree with Machiavelli's view, but it does provide one window through which we can analyze arguments for and against a political proposal. If we reduce every political debate purely to distinct parties jostling for power, we might learn something and avoid vague arguments that appeal more to people's transcendental values and less to their material interests.

For example, let's take the Education Savings Bill 鈥 which as you'll learn below is nearly six feet under 鈥 that Governor Lee has made a plank of his second term agenda. If we ignore the arguments for and against it and look purely at who stands to benefit from its passage or defeat, we can state more clearly what's at stake.

The obvious foil to the ESA program is the public school system which has a huge vested interest in not seeing the bill pass solely because it challenges their hold on power. Supporters of the ESA program are attempting to wrench some of this power away from the public school system. All political rhetoric aside, this is what is happening.

The victory of one side may benefit you more than the victory of the other. But, the reason something benefits you does not map onto glossy ideological terms as easily as it does to concrete changes that will, in this instance, open up available options for educating your child. If you're happy with your public school, work at a public school, or have some other vested interest in the success of a public school, opening up these choices could hurt your situation.

There is something refreshing about people who talk explicitly about their self-interest and refuse to ham it up with vague ideological appeals. This is real politics. Everything else is just lipstick on a pig.


We're hosting a Bitcoin Halving Happy Hour with the folks at Media Farm and the Bitcoin Conference to celebrate the imminent Bitcoin halving. Attend for a chance to win a free pass to this year's Bitcoin Conference in Nashville from July 25-27 (RSVP)

馃幎 It Ain't Over Till It's Over The Senate Finance Committee failed to meet yesterday, suspending the governor鈥檚 ESA bill yet again. Beneath the surface, the contentious proposal has caused a stir in the House and Senate. In an effort to reach a compromise between the two chambers, Lee summoned several legislative leaders to his office moments before the senate committee was scheduled to begin.

Multiple media outlets are now reporting that the state-wide ESA program may be dead in the water. The Tennessee Journal was the first town crier to announce the bill鈥檚 potential demise, followed by a flurry of speculative reports. Though the legislation was placed on today鈥檚 calendar at 2 p.m., it鈥檚 unclear whether or not it will be heard in the House鈥檚 Finance Subcommittee today. We do know this: with an estimated two weeks left in session, it鈥檚 never safe to say anything is over 'til the fat lady sings. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

馃殞 Initiatives On Top of Initiatives While the mayor gears up for Friday鈥檚 big transit referendum reveal, the council is set to move forward on an infrastructure plan that won鈥檛 necessarily require dedicated funding. A resolution to endorse the Connect Downtown Action Plan will be heard during tonight鈥檚 Metro Council meeting. The legislation comes after the conclusion of a study conducted by the Connect Downtown Project Team, who published their findings yesterday鈥 just a day before the council is set to vote.

In accordance with the team鈥檚 recommendations, the action plan will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will include installing adaptive traffic signal technology, implementing the Smart Loading Zone Pilot Program, and introducing lanes for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Transit and mobility centers in SoBro and on the East Bank will also be prioritized, along with an overall effort to increase transit services throughout Davidson County, plus an expansion of intersect safety improvements. The projects will be bankrolled using 鈥渋ndividual funding strategies.鈥 According to the resolution, the plan may also tap into dedicated funding opportunities in the future. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

馃摂 Covenant News This morning, lawyers on both sides of the release-the-manifesto debacle will present their legal arguments in front of Chancellor I'Ashea L. Myles in the Davidson County Chancery Court. The plaintiffs, comprised of media outlets, gun rights groups and State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, are asking to release the writings,arguing the documents should be made public under the Tennessee Public Records Act. On the other side, Covenant parents oppose their release, believing the writings could re-traumatize the students and inspire future school shootings and would re-traumatize the students. Last week, we saw an ethics complaint against Gardenhire from Erin Kinney, who lost her son William in the tragedy, dressing down the senator鈥檚 effort to prevent 鈥渘on-governmental parties鈥 from intervening in public records cases.

I鈥檝e waffled on how to handle the writings. On one hand, I think groveling at the feet of the judicial system and begging for the release of the documents is unbecoming; I don鈥檛 think anything we don鈥檛 already know will be revealed therein. But what鈥檚 become clear of the effort to prevent their release 鈥 and I take no pleasure in saying this 鈥 is that the Covenant parents鈥 grief has been weaponized for cynical political ends. In this instance, what may be of interest to the broader public, is squelched by the desires of a very well-funded cohort acting purely out of self-interest and using emotion to manipulate public sentiment and lawmakers. DAVIS HUNT

鈿撅笍 Seventh Inning Stretch Over at the Nashville Banner, Steve Cavendish caught everyone up on Music City Baseball鈥檚 effort to attract an MLB franchise to Music City. It seems the group is missing the most crucial component of the whole deal: cash money. The group is positioning the team as one that will celebrate the legacy of the Negro Leagues and, potentially, be the first minority-owned franchise in league history. One obvious question is if the Nashville Stars do indeed move to town, what do we do with the Sounds? Managing Partner John Loar thinks the Sounds can 鈥渃oexist with a Major League franchise here.鈥 Not too sure about that one. DAVIS HUNT


  • Cledis Burgers & Beer Garden expands to Bellevue; Prince's Hot Chicken opens new location (NBJ)
  • Meta tees up another data center in Gallatin (NBJ)
  • Long-eyed Midtown project sees movement (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.


馃幐 High Fade @ The Basement, 9p, $15.68, Info
+ razor-sharp funk and disco

馃獣 Vickie Vaughn Band @ Station Inn, 9p, $20, Info

馃崁 Live Irish Music @ McNamara鈥檚 Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

馃幐 Kelly鈥檚 Heroes @ Robert鈥檚 Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

馃幐 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ vet community here