Good morning, everyone.
In case you missed it, this week’s Threat to Democracy is Ron DeSantis. The governor of Florida sent fifty migrants up to Martha's Vineyard in a kind of "shot across the bow" directed at the inhabitants of that retrofitted progressive enclave, prompting The New York Times to give him an updated psychological profile. “He may be a more competent Trump in terms of his ability to use the levers of state to amass power, but he’s also meaner and more rigid, without the soft edges and eccentricity of the actual Donald Trump," writes Jamelle Bouie.
In short—and stop me if you've heard this one before—Ron DeSantis is literally fascism. This latest stunt is a glimpse into the man's soul, showing him to be a callous leader with no regard for human life.
That's, of course, a ridiculous thing to say. Someone with no concern for human life would've sent the fifty to a far grungier locale than the pristine wilderness that is Martha's Vineyard—a place not even I, a well-heeled-family-here-since-before-the-Revolutionary-War American, have been fortunate enough to wander.
There's since been a PR war over the ethics of the whole ordeal: Republicans are deadset on proving Democrats to be the "real racists'', even as the community in Martha's Vineyard did everything in their power to accommodate them (just look at the pictures). Democrats, on the other hand, are wailing about the injustice of using people as political pawns, the subtext of which is, "Hey, you can't use migrants as political pawns. That's our thing!"
Whatever you think of its effectiveness, DeSantis’ stunt has ever so slightly shifted the conversation from whether we should help settle illegal immigrants in this country at all to where exactly we should settle them. This is a downgrade from whatever the previous, lukewarm Republican attitude on the issue was. The correct answer to this conversation is we should settle none of them. End of conversation. Becoming a citizen of the United States is a privilege, not a right.
Watching the residents of Martha’s Vineyard talk about the enrichment the migrants gave them, one wonders if they’d say the same thing about their working-class, mostly white neighbors in Cape Cod’s Barnstable County—those ancestral New Englanders who, over the years, have lost their homes and livelihoods to an influx of first generation, mostly liberal summer residents. Would Vineyarders give them shelter? Would they help them find new jobs?
It's a basic human impulse to care for the downtrodden. I write this today not to dismiss that impulse, but rather to draw attention to the disproportionate distribution of it at the expense of, to put it crudely, tax-paying citizens. We can read this charitably: maybe this impulse arises from an inability to cope with legitimate problems within the nation, and so, such concerns usually reserved for one’s own community, nation, or family are outsourced to those whose presence we don’t have to put up with on a daily basis—a bit like pornography is to sex, a simulation of the real thing.
But that’s the charitable reading. A more political rendering would reveal that affluent liberals in locales like Martha’s Vineyard genuinely despise their Southern and Middle American, mostly white counterparts and use migrants to flex on them—showering migrants with praise and admiration, offering them jobs that might otherwise go to citizens already in the country, and incessantly crowing about the irredeemable racism of people that don’t live in cities.
History would indicate the latter of the two. Maybe that’s why they want the nation’s history forgotten and rewritten. So that they can, with impunity, continue their quest to eradicate everything American about America.
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Thanks for reading.
❍ TONIGHT AT THE METRO COUNCIL
Here are a few interesting things that are going to pop up during tonight’s Nashville Metro City Council meeting.
Sharon Hurt and others are proposing a resolution to change the rules… again. The resolution states, “If a committee lacks a quorum, a Councilmember at-large may join that committee as a voting member in order to meet the quorum. If a chair or vice-chair is not present at a committee meeting, a Councilmember at-large may act as the chair of the committee.” This would, presumably, prevent deferrals by rule when committees don’t have the necessary quorum to vote on pieces of legislation during committee meetings.
Jennifer Gamble and others are proposing a resolution to clean up the Cumberland river. The legislation would appropriate $66,275 through a grant contract to provide trash and debris removal around Nashville’s waterways.
Ginny Welsch and others are fending off nuclear war. In a resolution, the councilmembers are declaring that the Metropolitan Government is opposed to nuclear weapons and urges the United States government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in an attempt to prevent nuclear war.
BILLS ON SECOND READING
Jeff Syracuse and others tackle vaping with a bill that “prohibits smoking and the use of vapor products in certain age-restricted venues in Nashville and Davidson County.” Five amendments are being proposed to refine this piece of legislation. This morning, Axios outlined a proposed grandfather clause that would protect establishments that currently allow smoking. Other amendments would allow exceptions for vaping and hookah in accordance with state law carve-outs for cigar bars.
State law also explicitly gives Metro the authority to prohibit smoking and vaping within buildings owned or leased by the local government, within 50 feet of the entrance to a hospital, outdoor amphitheaters with seating capacities of at least six thousand owned or operated by Metro, and on public playgrounds.
Sean Parker and others want to make sidewalk cafes a permanent staple in Nashville. Their ordinance is on second reading which amends the Metropolitan Code of Laws and permanently extends the provisions for county-wide sidewalk cafes.
- How tax incentives are awarded.
- Whether alternative lawful applications exist for tax incentives.
- Whether methods for awarding tax incentives should be expanded given the challenges of Nashville’s growth to the preservation or construction of affordable housing, small business locations, and community necessities like grocery stores, and child care facilities.
- Whether there should be a cap on overall tax incentive allocations or individual categories of tax incentive allocations, and if so to recommend a method for setting a cap.
- Acknowledge and incorporate where appropriate, the information and recommendations provided by the Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee Report issued May 17, 2019.
OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS
The Affordable Housing Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are also meeting this afternoon. As the East Bank development and Stadium arrangements continue to unfold, fears are cropping up about Cumberland river floodplains. We’ll be back tomorrow with a full Metro Council rundown.
- Zuckerberg organization gives $11.5M to Meharry Medical College (Post) On Monday, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced a partnership with historically Black medical colleges, including Meharry Medical College, to further research in an effort to help prevent and treat diseases while addressing gaps in genomics research.
- Southern Environmental Law Center asks TVA for info on retirement of coal-fired plant (Lookout) On behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club and Appalachian Voices, the Southern Environmental Law Center has asked TVA to prepare a supplemental environmental statement in order to address concerns with TVA’s draft environmental impact statement, which details the agency’s plans to retire the Cumberland Fossil Plant.
- Tennessee starts new fiscal year $130M above expectations in tax and fee collections (Center Square) Tennessee collected $1.5 billion in August, which was $130.5 million more than what was budgeted and $100.6 million more than what the state collected in August 2021, despite a moratorium on personal care and autocycle registrations.
- Hal Cato not running for mayor (Post) After stepping down from nonprofit Thistle Farms and publicly flirting with a 2023 run for mayor, Hal Cato won’t launch a campaign for the job after all.
- Tennessee asks court to dismiss private-school voucher lawsuit (Chalkbeat) The Tennessee attorney general’s office urged a judicial panel Monday to dismiss remaining legal challenges to the state’s private school voucher law after a string of court victories cleared the way for the program’s launch this school year.
- 🎙 Titans CEO Discusses New Stadium Design, Enhanced Fan Experience, & Alignment With Imagine East Bank (Now Next)
- East Nashville hotel to reopen in November (Post)
- RiverGate mall retail buildings sell for $11.2M (Post)
- Row-area apartment building involved in $75M deal (Post)
- Hudson Advisors pays $40.2M for Parc at Metro Center apartment complex (Post)
↗ CHART OF THE DAY: EMISSIONS SPENDING
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🗺 Migrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are driving the continued record pace of illegal migration at the southern border, with more than three times as many migrants from those countries arrested so far this year as at the same point in 2021, government data show.
- 💪 Major U.S. companies pledged to hire more than 20,000 refugees over the next three years, a number that refugee advocates say will help integrate the wave of Afghans and Ukrainians who arrived over the last year.
- 🌾 A lackluster U.S. harvest this year is setting back efforts to relieve a global food supply that has been constrained by Russia’s war in Ukraine, agriculture-industry executives said.
- 📑 A key source for the anti-Donald Trump dossier paid for by Democrats has confirmed that he was on the FBI’s payroll for years. Igor Danchenko, who provided information to the dossier’s author, Christopher Steele, “was a vital source of information to the U.S. government during the course of his cooperation."
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar and see upcoming shows here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is this Thursday, October 20th) at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM.
🎩 The Pilgrimage Festival is happening on the 24th and 25th at The Park at Harlinsdale, a century-old horse farm recently purchased by the City of Franklin. The festival has six stages and 60+ artists spanning Rock & Roll, Americana, Alt-Country, Bluegrass, Jazz, Indie, Gospel, Pop & Blues.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
⚔️ The Knights in Armor exhibit is running till October 10th at the Frist: European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy.
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, our playlist of the best bands playing in town this week.
⛓ Slipknot @ Bridgestone, 6:30p, $12+, Info
💥 Amyl & The Sniffers @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $26, Info
+ Aussie punk
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎸 King Buffalo & Oginalii @ Exit/In, 8p, $22, Info
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
Around the Web
⑈ Environmentalism Is a Fundamentalist Religion Today's climate activists resemble nothing so much as a religious movement, with carbon the new devil's spawn.
Words of Wisdom
“For where the laws do not rule there is no regime.”