Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday it was made abundantly clear that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, despises The Tennessean. After the editor-in-chief of said paper, Michael Anastasi, gave a dismal interview to the Los Angeles Times, there was a rare moment of unity across the Nashville media ecosystem. We joked about it in yesterday's newsletter, albeit in a different manner than most of the loud, dissenting voices.
In the interview, Anastasi betrays contempt for the "unsophistication" of the city. Nashville Lefties took issue with this because, well, they are sophisticated—undifferentiated entirely from their coastal counterparts and hip to the “culture” and such. What’s more, many in the local media felt Anastasi was a poor representative of what Nashville –at least from their perspective– is really all about; he failed to draw a clear line between Nashville and the raving lunatics wandering the city's surrounding hinterlands.
This attitude is best summed up by Nashville lawyer Daniel Horowitz who, unrelated to the LA Times story, recently tweeted, "I know this is unfair and probably wrong, but sometimes I sit and daydream about how much easier and relaxing it would be to practice the kind of law I practice in a jurisdiction where everyone within 500 miles wasn’t actively hostile to a modicum of justice." An island of blue sanity in a rolling, vicious sea of red, Daniel stands firmly atop a bluff amidst a vicious storm, radiating justice like a lighthouse, gazing into the abyss as a figure in a Caspar David Friedrich painting might, surveying the chaos below and marveling at his own ability to make it even more disorderly.
Of course, this is also the way most local reporters see themselves. Chief among them are Phil Williams and his bumbling anti-charter school advocates, who couldn't believe Anastasi forgot about their steadfast, right-minded presence. How dare he forget about them and not elevate them above the chaff! As Anastasi says in the interview, "All of us from California understand the power of diversity. People here are just starting to understand it." The unanimous cry from Nashville's most esteemed liberals is: It's all true, but not for me!
The real issue with the interview—aside from Anastasi's almost-comical ignorance and the journalist’s willingness to just go with it—was his belief that his home state of California is somehow more enlightened than Tennessee, and that this was best shown by his home state's understanding of the "value of diversity."
What value? Surely he means the "value of diversity" expressed by expensive housing, rampant homelessness, high taxes, open drug use, and the celebrated mutilation of children. Or, are we missing the point?
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❏ THE LATEST FROM THE EAST BANK
Mayor Cooper held a press conference yesterday doubling down on an ambitious vision for the East Bank.
WHAT IS THE EAST BANK?
The East Bank includes the industrial and underdeveloped areas that surround Nissan Stadium. Back in 2021, the Mayor’s office began conducting studies to aid in a development plan regarding 338 acres of Nashville’s downtown riverfront property. The momentum surrounding the redevelopment of the East Bank came after Metro Council approved of tech giant Oracle’s plan to construct a 65-acre riverfront campus. Mayor Cooper, alongside project lead Anna Grider and planning director Lucy Kempf, addressed the press yesterday regarding the latest draft of the “Imagine East Bank” vision.
WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
The presentation during Monday's press conference highlighted the extensive amount of community input shaping the East Bank development plan. The public will continue to have the ability to submit comments, questions, concerns, and suggestions over the next four weeks before another proposal is presented to Council on September 8th.
It is clear that Metro Government wants to sketch out a consistent, cohesive vision of the area's development before allowing private developers into the picture. In the vision, compatibility regarding transportation, housing development, community greenways, bikeways, the stadium location, and the river bank are all vital to the equation.
In the drafted plan, there are two options for the location of the Titans stadium. Though the Mayor has rhetorically separated the stadium build from the development of the East Bank, the two are, in reality, inseparable, considering that the stadium is the central focus of both proposed development options.
Everything was discussed during the Imagine East Bank press conference… except for actual numbers. When asked about cost, Mayor Cooper acknowledged that the development plan would be ambitious and well, costly. He outlined the $175M in infrastructure upgrades Oracle agreed to pitch in per their East Bank Campus agreement with the city, but did not go into specifics. He also mentioned the extensive amount of Federal grant money Metro will be applying for and hinted at relying on stakeholders and, perhaps, the state. Mayor Cooper then addressed taxpayers and assured them they would not face a tax increase due to this project.
Though a bit of the fiscal plan regarding the East Bank’s development was revealed, a ballpark estimate of how much it would cost and how long the development would take was not disclosed. The Nashville Business Journal released an estimate of the Mayor’s wish list back in May that put the number at around $769M. This does not include the stadium build which, after correcting “clerical errors,” is now estimated at about $2.2B.
Concerns about affordable housing, stadium traffic/parking, and bikeways were brought up during the Q&A session. Considering there is no fully developed plan regarding the housing at this time, it seems affordable housing will be a major topic going forward. The team expressed that they will have more of the proposal refined in September.
Let Metro know how you feel about the drafted development plan. (More Info)
- Tennessee Valley Authority continues to rely less on coal-fired power plants (Center Square) TVA plans to close its Bull Run facility next year and then its final four coal plants by 2035 as it has now retired 34 coal plants and approximately 10,215 megawatts of capacity since 2013. In 2005, TVA relied on coal for 57% of its power and lowered that to 14% in 2020 while increasing from 26% nuclear power to 41% in 2020.
- Casada, Cothren indicted on federal bribery, kickback charges (TNJ) Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada and his onetime chief of staff, Cade Cothren, have been indicted on federal bribery and kickback charges. The FBI arrested both at their homes on Tuesday morning.
- Tennessee Republicans Sidestep Issue As Abortion Rights Groups Plan To Push For Exceptions To New Abortion Ban (TCN) The new almost total ban on abortions is scheduled to go into effect in Tennessee on August 25. As that date approaches, abortion rights advocacy groups are gearing up to try and push the General Assembly to create exceptions to that ban while Republican leaders continue to avoid vocalizing a firm stance on the issue.
- Is Campbell really leading Ogles? That’s what her internal poll says (TNJ) An internal poll conducted for Democrat Heidi Campbell shows her leading Republican Andy Ogles by 3 percentage points in the open 5th Congressional District in Tennessee. The poll of 1,622 likely voters was conducted by FrederickPolls.
- Metro Council Poised to Approve Measure Banning LPR Use for Enforcement of Abortion Laws (Star) At its August 16 meeting, Nashville Metro Council passed a measure on second reading that prohibits the use of license plate scanner (LPR) technology to aid in the enforcement of “laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs” and is poised to approve the ordinance at the September 6 meeting.
IN THE NATIONAL NEWS
- In Tennessee, Possible Solution to the Cyber Talent Shortage (WSJ) Crucial elements in building a sustainable cybersecurity workforce are education, experience and the amount of time it takes to train workers. In Chattanooga, Tenn., a partnership between the academic and private sectors is testing a plan to address all three.
- 📸 See the images from mayor’s East Bank plan (nashville.gov)
- Downtown law office sets WeHo-area move (Post)
- Development company pays $2.8M for WeHo parcels (Post)
- Former House speaker indicted, arrested (Post)
- Donelson office building sells for $2.99M (Post)
↯ LOWERING THE TEMPERATURE
As John Cochrane points out on his very good blog, The Grump Economist, for all the hoopla about the $250B in "climate spending" that is penciled into the humorously named Inflation Reduction Act, there has been almost no mention of how much this spending is supposed to lower the global temperature or stem the rising of the world's oceans. In previous eras, such things were consigned to the realm of the Gods, but the technocratic belief in the power of paper has obliterated such archaic notions.
Now, admittedly, it's funny to even think about trying to put a number on something so absurd, but Bjorn Lomborg dared to do so, estimating that the new climate legislation will reduce the anticipated temperature of the Earth in 2100 by between 0.0009°F to 0.028°F. "Not good enough!" he cries. Better shovel more money into the Green Energy Furnace! This thing isn't going to run itself.
𝓧 CHART OF THE DAY: WHO FARMS?
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 👋 The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, plans to step down from his roles running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and advising the White House as its chief medical advisor at the end of the year
- 💸 The U.S. on Friday announced it will send a slew of new weapons to Ukraine as part of a $775 million package, including new drones, armored vehicles and artillery.
- 🚼 New data show that the share of employers offering paid maternity leave beyond what is required by law dropped to 35% this year, down from 53% in 2020.
- 📉 The IPO market is on pace for its worst year in decades, leaving fledgling companies with few options but to burn through cash while they wait for the stock market to calm.
- 📑 Former President Donald Trump in a new lawsuit Monday asking that a federal judge appoint a special watchdog to review documents seized from his Florida home as part of a criminal investigation of the removal of White House records when he left office in January 2021.
- 🛢 The 14-year highs reached this week by U.S. natural-gas futures show the unceasing demand for U.S. shale gas across the Atlantic—and likely point to higher prices ahead.
THINGS TO DO
You can view our full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is September 15th) at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
⚔️ Knights in Armor at the Frist starting July 1st: European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy.
🎭 Shakespeare in the park is every Thursday through Sunday from August 18th till September 11th
🎼 Listen to The Pamphleteer's Picks, our playlist of bands playing in Nashville each week.
🎞 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly @ Belcourt Theatre, 4:30p/8p, $10, Info
🎡 Wilson County Fair @ Lebanon Fairgrounds, 5p, $10, Info
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
ON THE RADAR
🎹 Stereolab @ Marathon Music Works, (9/6), $35, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket @ Ascend Amphitheater, (9/23), $22.88, Info
⚔️ HELMET @ Marathon Music Works, (9/24), $35, Info
+ 90's alternative metal band from NY, a Pamphleteer favorite
🏜 ZZ Top & Beck @ First Bank Amphitheater, (9/27), $49+, Info
👾 Flamingosis @ Basement East (9/29), $20, Info
🎻 Gustav Holst's The Planets @ Schermerhorn (9/29-10/2), Info
+ Early 1900's orchestral suite, each movement is named after a planet
🕺 Remi Wolf @ Brooklyn Bowl (10/6), $30, Info
+ Young talented funk/pop/hip-hop singer, one of the few
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info
+ 90's alt-rock from Chicago
🎸 The Doobie Brothers @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/12), $43+, Info
🎺 Too Many Zooz @ Basement East, (10/31), $20, Info
🌶 The Gypsy Kings @ The Ryman (11/1), $39.50, Info
+ The roving band of flamenco guitarists
- Blood Money in U.S. Schools (w/ A.J. DePriest) (Listen)
- Regenerative Agriculture and Animal-Based Skincare (w/ Charles Mayfield) (Listen)
- The Problem with American Agriculture (w/ William Wheelwright) (Listen)
- Hillsdale's Charter School Program (w/ Dr. Kathleen O'Toole) (Listen)
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Words of Wisdom
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”