Good morning, everyone.
Below, we look at what to expect from 2022's Tennessee General Assembly which starts tomorrow, detail the harrowing and draconian voting laws that Biden will speak truth to power about tomorrow, and give you your standard dose of things to do this week after we take a look at some horrible band names.
Additionally, Jerod Hollyfield takes us through the 10 best movies of 2021.
Thanks for reading.
⎈ THE ASSEMBLY RETURNS ⎈
The Tennessee General Assembly meets tomorrow for 2022’s legislative session. What does this mean and what do you need to know about it?
The Tennessee General Assembly is made up of both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. They meet in Nashville each year beginning at noon on the second Tuesday of January. The Session lasts until about late April or May.
You can identify your senator and representative by searching your zip code here.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Education - As we’ve touched on in the Pamphleteer in previous issues, Governor Lee has prioritized simplifying the BEP (Basic Education Program) Funding Formula as part of his administration’s main education focus. It seems his goal is to simplify the formula first, then reassess how funding follows each student and how money is being spent at each school. Democrats are calling for more spending in schools while Republicans have sought different priorities such as evaluating school curriculum and making school board elections partisan. All this and more is sure to be brought up during the session.
For a comprehensive look at Tennessee School spending, here is a great article by the Beacon Center.
Redistricting - The House Select Committee on Redistricting will be meeting on Wednesday the 12th, and Tennessee politics are hanging in the balance. Redistricting occurs every 10 years after the new Census data is evaluated. District lines for representation and school zones are redrawn to better represent the makeup of each area’s population. The most debated discussion surrounding redistricting has been about whether to split Nashville up into different districts or keep it whole. Jim Cooper (D), who has been the representative for the 5th district in Congress since 2003, has come out strongly opposing the splitting of Nashville.
Here is an article showing how the Democrats are attempting to hold the Republican National Convention hostage as a bargaining chip to prevent the Nashville redistricting split.
Covid-19 - The newest wave of Omicron has created the largest surge of case numbers Tennessee has seen during the whole pandemic. Much of the safety measures we’ve seen in the past have not been activated during this surge. In this Pamphleteer article, we did a quick rundown of what we are no longer seeing coming from Nashville politicians and Tennessee Health bureaucrats. As Biden’s mandates have been found unconstitutional, the Biden administration switched to calling for states to handle Covid on their own, and Governor Lee hasn’t enacted emergency powers again, we will be hearing more about our state’s role regarding Covid-19.
Here’s Mayor Cooper attempting to do some damage control by complaining to the Tennessean about the restrictions created by the Covid Special Session Omnibus Bill and the fact that he can’t mandate masks because he doesn’t have emergency powers anymore.
We will continue to report more from the hill as session commences.
- Tenn. nets $130M in energy assistance funds from ARP (TNJ) President Joe Biden’s administration says Tennessee has received more than $130 million in energy assistance for low income homes as part of the American Rescue Plan.
- Redistricting, education funding major issues looming over 2022 legislative session (Tennessean) Tennessee legislators will return to the state capitol tomorrow to reconvene the General Assembly session with an eye on several major issues, including a once-in-a-decade redistricting process that could substantially alter the state's political landscape.
- Environmental groups oppose new energy market that includes TVA (Tennessean) A group of 15 energy companies in the Southeast have received approval to form a market that will allow for a greater exchange of energy in the region.
- $90M Affordable Housing Development Planned on Prime Dickerson Pike Lot. (Now Next)
- Charlotte developer pays $8.1M for North Davidson site (Post)
- Dallas company pays $30.25M for South Davidson apartments (Post)
⚰ HOW TO VOTE IF YOU'RE ALREADY DEAD ⚰
As Biden prepares to make a speech in the "belly of the voting rights beast", Georgia, where noted romance novelist and half-ass politician Stacey Abrams has still refused to concede her 2018 loss to Brian Kemp in that year's gubernatorial election, it's important to know what exactly the accusations of suppression are.
After taking a series of losses, the Biden administration is looking for a win. If governing effectively won't win voters, then surely accusations of future, potential voter fraud will! As such, the administration begins its full-frontal attack on the filibuster in order to pass a one-off voting rights bill — that basically writes COVID-era voting policies into law — to defeat the "Jim Crow of the 21st century". It's as dramatic as it is stupid, but let's look at Georgia where all of this is supposed to be the worst.
- Voter ID Requires voters include proof of identification with their absentee ballot. Currently, voting officials compare signatures to the ones they have on file. Critics say this will make it harder for those without a Georgia state driver's license to vote (approximately 272,000 voters).
- Drop Boxes The new Georgia law allows drop boxes, but they must be located inside early voting sites and are only available during in-person voting hours. It also reduces the number of drop boxes available to voters. Drop Boxes were a pandemic era measure.
- Expanded Early Voting Hours Mandates three weeks of early, in-person voting and bans the use of mobile voting centers.
- Absentee Ballots The law shrinks the deadline to request an absentee ballot from six months to three and moves the deadline for submission from four daysto eleven days prior to election day. Additionally, it prevents local and state officials from sending out unsolicited absentee ballots.
- Non-Citizen Voters Leaders in the state have called for a constitutional ban on non-citizen voters in Georgia. Currently, non-citizens cannot vote, but with a Democratic majority, such a policy could be implemented as in NYC.
- State Certification of Elections Consildates control of election certification at the state level. Previously, cerfitications were made on a county by county level. This is the change most subject to scrutiny.
- Rejecting Late Absentee Ballots Yeah. If it's late, sorry, it doesn't count.
- Rejecting Ballots cast in wrong precinct And yes, if you can't figure out where to vote, sorry, your vote won't count.
Are you shaking in your boots about the tyranny, yet? The bar for participation in our very real Democracy is so low that I wouldn't blame you for thinking that corpses could figure out a way to make their vote heard if Democrats get their way. But as Joe Biden said, "It's about who gets to count the vote, and whether your vote counts at all" which says it all.
❍ I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT RACIST
In New York, racial minorities are automatically eligible for scarce COVID-19 therapeutics, regardless of age or underlying conditions. In Utah, "Latinx ethnicity" counts for more points than "congestive heart failure" in a patient’s "COVID-19 risk score"—the state’s framework for allocating monoclonal antibodies. And in Minnesota, health officials have devised their own "ethical framework" that prioritizes black 18-year-olds over white 64-year-olds—even though the latter are at much higher risk of severe disease.
These schemes have sparked widespread condemnation of the state governments implementing them. But the idea to use race to determine drug eligibility wasn’t hatched in local health departments; it came directly from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
Food and Drug Administration Guidance Drives Racial Rationing of COVID Drugs
January 7, 2022, Free Beacon, Read Online
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- A spate of resignations at NPR has the public radio station wondering if they are the real racists after all. As the NYT puts it, there have been three resignations recently and none of htem has been white. As one host puts it, "If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take."
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams enacted a measure Sunday that will allow more than 800,000 non-citizens in the city to vote in municipal elections. The new law, which the city council passed a month ago, will grant voting rights any adult who has been a lawful permanent resident in the city for more than 30 days.
My friend Mike David says, when having a laugh at someone's expense, yes, one person may suffer, but think about all the joy being brought to those doing the laughing. We're just to ignore this? Now, this sentiment doesn't really gel with a lot of people, but who cares. Let's have a laugh at the expense of these bands over their poor name choices.
BAD BAND NAMES
Dance Gavin Dance
+ If a woman hears “Dance Gavin Dance,” her fertility window closes immediately
+ Imagine our enemies hearing this band name
+ “Woah man, Tribal Seeds and Rebelution are playing on Friday, gimme some cash to get a ticket… Dude you owe me for those whippets last week”
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
+ If I were king, I’d ban them from artistic expression
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
+ This name gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach, then I looked at the band and became violently ill
+ Must not have dads
Drivin N Cryin
+ Get out of the fast lane, bro
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🖼 At the Frist, Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City is running until January 30th.
🎩 History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5:00, Info
💀Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 7p, Free, Info
🎸Harry Fontana @ American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
💃 Free Wing Dance Lessons @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 8p, Free, Info
💃 Motown Monday @ The Five Spot, 9p, $5, Info
FROM LAST WEEK
Around the Web
✈ Airport Security Measures Are Popular, But Pointless The bumbling TSA and performative mask requirements are ineffective air-travel hassles.
❒ Against David Brooksism “The only thing Brooks’s ‘true conservatism’ is ‘responsible’ for, however, is progressivism’s thoroughgoing dominance of our culture.
𝑿 Quit Your Job I quit my engineering job in 2014. I was good at it and it was good to me, but it wasn’t the future. I was still working out my plans, so I hit the gym, pursued the most interesting and important ideas I could find, and started looking for a wife.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Joe Biden laughs, finally responds after reporter asks 5 times: ‘Should Americans prepare to live with Covid forever?’
- Marjorie Taylor Greene, just days after calling for all House Republicans to boycott Twitter, is back tweeting
- French protestors throw garbage at a local politician who voted for vaxx passports and vaxx mandates.
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Words of Wisdom
The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, 'Seek simplicity and distrust it.'
Alfred North Whitehead