Good morning, everyone.
Below, we detail the reactions to Nashville's latest congressional redistricting map, preview what's to come of criminal justice reform as mid-terms ramp up, and review a particularly bad political opinion.
Thanks for reading.
𖠽 CARVING UP THE MAP
Well, they did it. They broke Nashville into a million little pieces. Like a mirror shattered across bathroom tile and muddied with the blood of the poor soul exiting the shower soon after, the new district maps proposed by the Senate take Nashville and carve it up three different ways. Seven years of bad luck is expected to follow as punishment for violating the sacred geometry of the Congressional map — the wholeness of the 5th district and its marriage to Davidson county. As it goes in the Book of Tennessee, chapter 5, verse 3: "And if thou shalt divorce the 5th Congressional District from its rightful marriage to Davidson County, then racism shall fall on one's head and claims of dishonesty shall echo through the halls."
Weirdly enough, that's exactly what happened. Odessa Kelly, who wants a Congressional seat so badly she'll make stuff up to get it, claimed, "It's no coincidence that when the first openly gay Black woman is mounting the most serious challenge to win this district, they want to break it up." And no, fact-checkers, this quote was not taken out of context. Kelly utilizes the Trumpian appeal to conspiracy, but to less effect as she lacks the charisma to float the point over her opponent's head.
Charlane Oliver, one of The Tennessean's people of the year, theorized, "It's blatantly obvious this was a GOP political power grab. No other reason justifies splitting Nashville up. Not even on a policy issue basis. This doesn't help anyone except GOP re-election chances." Oliver is correct. This was a GOP power grab. Have you heard of politics? It's about power.
Say all you want about ethics and morality when talking about men divvying up maps in heated meetings and haggling over boundaries like they are carving up a prize pig, but this is American politics. President Joe Biden can say, "I'll be clear: to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights" (a bold faced lie), and people yelp like a pile of puppies in agreement. Democrats have willingly abandoned reality in their effort to secure more power for themselves. With few, if any, journalists to hold their feet to the fire, it's so predictable it's boring that Republicans' efforts to fight back — which are wholly legal — get called evil as if their opponents would not do the same or worse. Gerrymandering in particular cuts both ways. It's easy for Tennessee Democrats to claim "they wouldn't do it" because they will never have the opportunity to. Such statements mean and amount to nothing.
Some have suggested states create a non-partisan, independent redistricting committee to oversee the process. A noble suggestion, surely, but such independent agencies checker the political landscape and are more prone to political capture than even the electoral bodies in charge of building the maps. If Democrats want to control the map, maybe they should appeal to voters. This is "democracy" as they call it. A chaotic, unfriendly, aggressive assertion of a variety of coalitions onto political reality. Play the game or get lost.
⇤ It’s been quiet, too quiet… but not for long
Expect to hear a revived narrative surrounding criminal justice reform in Nashville. Just in time for the campaign trail, we will hear many different narratives about it. While Democrats will highlight the need for an overhaul, it’d serve Republicans best to reestablish the Back the Blue movement alongside constructive adjustments to the system. Will we see that? Probably not. It really depends on what constituents are signaling to politicians and how redistricting will end up affecting campaign strategies.
For now, here are some things coming into focus regarding criminal justice reform in Nashville:
- House Speak Cameron Sexton expressing that juvenile justice reform will be a focus during the general assembly.
- The topic of Criminal Justice reform and a heavier hand against police being a main discussion during the DA race for Davidson County.
- Pressure to relax the jail system… Meanwhile, an attempted jail break plot and an escaped convict are both recent news stories.
- Nashville highlighted in a criminal justice docu-series called Justice, USA that will be airing on OWN.
- House, Senate agree on redistricting plan to split Davidson (Lookout) Republican-drawn House and Senate redistricting maps match on a plan to split Davidson County into three congressional seats, the chambers’ top leaders said Tuesday.
- J. Cole, The Chicks, Tool, Stevie Nicks, More to Play Bonnaroo 2022 (Scene) That Stevie Nicks and Tool highlight Bonnaroo's schedule indicate a creative crisis in the music industry not all that different from Hollywood.
- Williamson County leaders suggest using $43M from American Rescue Plan on broadband, utilities (Homepage) The $43 million in federal funds — $23 million of which the county received last August — come by way of the American Rescue Plan Act, the stimulus bill that was signed into law last March that provided $350 billion toward state and local aid.
- State Street Apartments Start To Take Shape In Midtown Nashville (Now Next)
- East Nashville property sells for $6.65M (Post)
- REI confirms $109M Wilson County shipping hub, powered by renewable energy (NBJ)
- Chicago upscale convenience store concept eyes Nashville (Post)
- East Nashville butcher shop building sells for $1.9M (Post)
✘ WORST TAKE OF THE WEEK
NYT columnist Thomas Friedman opined on the possibility of a 2024 Joe Biden–Liz Cheney or a Kamala Harris–Mitt Romney ticket as a way to bridge the national divide. To Friedman, 2024 could be a world where AOC campaigns for Liz Cheney, but god forbid anyone to the right of Cheney do anything because they're an "existential threat" to Democracy and the 80 million that voted for them are even worse. If you're wondering how to show you've lost the plot without saying it, you couldn't find a better example than this.
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 🤡 The Justice Department created a new domestic terrorism unit to address what the executive branch has deemed an “elevated threat” to American democracy.
- 📈 The consumer price index, a major inflation gauge, for all items surged 0.5 percent for the month and 7.0 percent for the last twelve months ending in December, representing the largest annual spike since June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1 percent.
- A newly released email indicates Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited last September’s letter from the National School Boards Association which compared parents protesting at school board meetings to domestic terrorists.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called high inflation a “severe threat” to a full economic recovery and said Tuesday the central bank was preparing to raise interest rates because the economy no longer needed emergency support.
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.
🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ Best honky tonk in Nashville
🐅 Predators vs. Sabres @ Bridgestone Arena, 7p, $32+, Info
⏚ TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE FRONTLINE
The Pamphleteer went to check out local Nashville artist K.C. Jones at the East Nashville haunt The 5 Spot (they don't get a link) last night. Upon entering the sparsely populated, fully masked bar, the door eunuch blocked our path and disturbed our glee by asking for our identification and vaxxx card. Having neither, we relayed this information to the eunuch who hung his head in shame like a sad donkey and fiddled with a cute little collage in front of him he was trying desperately to look creative with.
What is it all for? For only 5 minutes later we were at Red Door Saloon spitting on strangers — and getting spit upon — while penning this ode to the artist we could not bear witness to, K.C. Jones. Give her a listen and stay away from The 5 Spot unless you have a humiliation fetish.
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
📸 Photographer Has Reunited With Over 350 People Whose Photos He Snapped 40 Years Ago Photographer Chris Porsz tracks down people whose portraits he snapped decades ago and recreates those images
↪ Is the New Right a grift? Accused of being fascists, post-Trump Republicans are more like influencers
⃝ Vaccine purity has infected the West The unjabbed are dismissed as modern-day sinners
Words of Wisdom
You have the right to free speech
As long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it
The Clash, 'Know Your Rights'