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No. 354: A Non-Exhaustive Taxonomy of Grift

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Microsoft · TN-5 · Taxonomy of Grift · Drinkers · Much More!

📰 Here's what we're talking about today:
  • Intro Davis suggests you read the account of a Microsoft employee writing about diversity efforts at Microsoft.
  • Nashville Megan gives us an update on the TN-5 race between Andy Ogles and Heidi Campbell.
  • Elsewhere Jano TanTongco provides you with a non-exhaustive taxonomy of political grift.

Good morning, everyone.

The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology released an anonymous account from an employee at Microsoft yesterday detailing the company's efforts to promote diversity from within. The author regales how such efforts have stultified Microsoft’s hiring efforts and spread into product development.

Back in June 2020, amid the Summer of Floyd and at the height of COVID hysteria, Microsoft publicly declared its intention to “double the number of US Black and African American, and Hispanic and Latinx people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders.”

Two examples from the account reveal how deeply these efforts have since seeped into the company's culture.

First, Microsoft requires employees to fill out a "Connect" form, which asks that they outline their goals for the coming months. Since Diversity and Inclusion efforts have become a focus, managers now require employees to write about their own efforts to promote anti-racism before writing about anything else.

Another internal rule requires that for every position, hiring managers interview at least one woman and one person of color. If a manager is unable to find a minority candidate, the position will remain unfilled until one has, at minimum, been interviewed.

The full piece is worth a read, with other insights into how corrosive (and illegal) these policies can be buried down in the comments.


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Thanks for reading.



“We’re out there meeting with people in the district in their communities. That’s why I’m going to win,” said Andy Ogles, who sat down with Michael DelGiorno on Super Talk Monday morning.

While Ogles continues his boots-on-the-ground campaign approach, he’s also turned up his media presence as we approach the home stretch before November’s general election– that is, if the past three days are any indication. After a 48-hour intermission, he made another radio appearance this morning, this time on the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy.


Back in August, we did some research on how much money each candidate spent during the Republican primaries versus how many ballots were cast in favor of each candidate on election day. We’d outlined the external contributions in favor of each candidate, but after the primaries our readers had some questions about the outside PAC money spent on ads that influenced the fifth district’s primary race. Ogles shed some light on his own PAC strategy while talking with DelGiorno on Super Talk before election day, stating: “We chose that strategy. We firewalled off some of our donors away from the campaign to go run positive ads. There’s been radio ads, there’s been mailers, there’s been doors knocked that I have not been able to control because my campaign wasn’t doing it. That was a better strategy for us which allowed us to have a smaller team and we could focus more on the grassroots day-to-day.”


Ogles’ opponent, Senator Heidi Campbell (D-20), has maintained a steady social media presence since the August primary, employing a revolving door of political strategies and narratives. “This hyper-partisan BS is exhausting,” Campbell tweeted days after her uncontested Democratic primary victory, referring to a statement Ogles made during his primary victory speech: “We’re at war. This is a political war, a cultural war, and it’s a spiritual war.”

Oddly enough, while Ogles has kept to himself on social media and has focused his energy on grassroots campaigning up until this week, Campbell has used her Twitter and media presence to engage in hyperpartisanship. Over the last few months, we’ve seen Campbell claim that Ogles will defund Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act and lambast him for  “vanishing” and refusing to debate– just to mention a couple of trite attacks.  Ogles’ face fills Campbell’s Twitter feed,  yet Ogles himself hasn’t featured Campbell– in name or face– on any of his platforms. In fact, while speaking about Campbell with DelGiorno yesterday, his measure of her was short and sweet: “My opponent is a far leftist. She’s left on all the issues. You have a clear choice here, you can have a conservative or you can have a liberal. Now, go vote.”


During his Super Talk interview, Andy took the time to remind listeners about what matters this November and beyond. “Between the primary and the election we’ve knocked about 15,000 doors,” he said. “It’s boots on the ground, getting people out to vote, and reminding people not to take this election for granted. We have a tremendous opportunity to pick up this seat.”

More on U.S. Congressional races, the Governor’s race, and the Tennessee Senate and House races to come.

  • Listen to Andy Ogles' full interview with Michael DelGiorno on Super Talk. (More Info)
  • Watch Heidi Campbell’s new attack ad. (More Info)




  • Hermitage apartment property sells for $32.2M (Post)
  • East Nashville site sells for third time in 12 months (Post)
  • Downtown building lands local brewery (Post)
  • Progress made on planned three-tower project (Post)


A Brief Guide to Hucksters, Cope Dealers, and Political Snake Oil Salesmen • By Jano Tantongco • Read Online

If you’re new to the political scene, the cast of characters dominating conversations can be overwhelming, confusing, and even dubious, with hucksters around every corner lurking to con you out of your time, resources, and money. Around here, we call these folks grifters, but how can you tell who’s who?

Maybe you're a former Bernie supporter who finally realized Venezuela and Cuba are not modern-day utopias. Or perhaps the feces-and-needle-ridden streets by your San Francisco tech firm’s office make you yearn for your red hometown to which you swore you’d never return. Whatever your background, the veil on the standard fare of today’s talking heads has been decisively pulled away.

Come in—the water’s fine. But, as we embark on this tour of the political landscape, I preface with this: not everyone who lines up with these categories is a grifter. The term itself is thrown around without much thought and, at its worst, becomes a form of purity testing that only weakens genuine critique of the status quo. And, to a degree, there comes a point when the term “grifter” just becomes synonymous with “person I don't like, succeeding by doing things I also don't like.”

Take the following with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of levity.

Continue reading...



  • 📑 Shortly before the 2016 election, the FBI offered retired British spy Christopher Steele “up to $1 million” to prove the explosive allegations in his dossier about Donald Trump, a senior FBI analyst testified Tuesday.
  • ✉️ The Supreme Court on Tuesday vacated an appeals court decision that required Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots even if there is no date on the envelope.
  • 🛢 Days before a major oil-production cut by OPEC and its Russia-led allies, U.S. officials called their counterparts in Saudi Arabia and other big Gulf producers with an urgent appeal—delay the decision for another month, according to people familiar with the talks. The answer: a resounding no.
  • 🇬🇧 The Bank of England extended support targeted at pension funds for the second day in a row, the latest attempt to contain a bond-market selloff that has threatened U.K. financial stability.
  • 🪙 Google will start accepting bitcoin and cryptocurrency as payment for its cloud services early next year. The internet giant announced on Tuesday that it had formed a partnership with the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, to enable the new payment method.
  • 🤡 The largest public school system in Maryland saw a 582% increase in the number of students identifying as non-binary over two years, according to a snapshot of data shared by a district official.


View our full event calendar 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.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out the Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.

🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, our playlist of the best bands playing in town this week.


🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info

🎸 The Doobie Brothers @ Bridgestone, 8p, $45, Info

🎻 Town Mountain @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info


🕯 W.I.T.C.H. @ Blue Room, (10/17), $15, Info
+ The biggest rock band in Zambia in the 1970s and spearheaded a new genre: Zamrock

🎻 Mozart & Tchaikovsky@ Schermerhorn, (10/28-29), $25+, Info

🎸 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

🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone (10/30-31), Info

🌶 The Gypsy Kings @ The Ryman, (11/1), $39.50, Info
+ The roving band of flamenco guitarists

🎻 Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony @ Schermerhorn, (11/17-19), $26, Info

🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, (12/31), $35+, Info

🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl (2/22), $23+, Info



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Nashville’s “COVID Czar” reflects on the pandemic while refusing to own up to his mistakes
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Around the Web

A poignant essay on the corruption of politics by too much ideology which obscures the "here and now":

I believe we can and should recover that patriotism; a simple obligation to those things that are embodied, not to lofty ideals and aspirational projects. You cannot transcend your own national history any more than you can create heaven on earth, and attempting to do so will keep us all trapped inside the tyranny of ideas. We Americans are exhausted from living in a state of perpetual revolution, and we bristle more and more when ideology dictates our most basic needs and desires. But these might just be the final moments of America the idea. And Patriotism – the way it was originally intended – might be the only effective tool we have against this ideological regime.

Source: Dark Age Patriotism
Lafayette Lee for IM1776, 11 October 2022, Read Online

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Today's newsletter is brought to you by Megan Podsiedlik (Nashville), Edward Landstreet (Local Noise), and Davis Hunt (everything else).