Good afternoon, everyone.
Today on the House floor, Rep. Jason Zachary presented a list that ranked House members by the amount of time they spent speaking on the floor last year. Unsurprisingly, Justin Pearson, John Ray Clemmons, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson sat at the top of the list; Pearson occupied a whopping 3 hours and 45 minutes of time.
Befitting his persona, the Memphis representative was caught on camera yesterday achieving levels of cringe heretofore unreachable by mortal men in the hallway outside the chamber.
In other news, Jerod reviews Bret Easton Ellis’ new novel, and Megan catches up with Senator Blackburn’s latest effort to subpoena the Epstein flight logs.
➹ THE ANTI-NOSTALGIA OF BRET EASTON ELLIS
From Jerod Hollyfield
By the time I discovered American Psycho, it was already a period piece. The film adaptation that made Christian Bale a movie star had found its way to one screen of the half-dozen local suburban multiplexes in the spring of 2000, and I had wormed my way in as any dutiful high school sophomore would. Considering my knowledge of New York City was limited to a weeklong middle school class trip, I didn’t really get it. But I had to read the 1991 novel on which it was based. The thrill of the taboo was just too much.
❏ BLACKBURN FIGHTS FOR FLIGHT LOGS
From Megan Podsiedlik
“While redacted portions of Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs and Ghislaine Maxwell’s black book have been released in various lawsuits, we need the complete and unredacted versions from his estate and the FBI,” Senator Marsha Blackburn urged Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in a press release this morning. Back in November, Blackburn filed multiple amendments to subpoena both the Epstein estate for unredacted flight logs and the FBI for all records pertaining to Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
DURBIN TO CONSIDER BLACKBURN’S REQUEST
Though the chairman has yet to hold a vote on these amendments, his hesitancy is a step up from his outright denial of even knowing about Blackburn’s amendments last month. During December 14th’s hearing for the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) made clear that Durbin is willing to work across the aisle with Blackburn once again in order to release more information about the Epstein case to the public.
Blackburn’s efforts have also gained the full backing of Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans. “The American people deserve to know what happened regarding Jeffrey Epstein and prominent American business and political leaders,” said Graham in the same press release from today. The committee members include Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
GA DAY ONE: WRAPPED
Last evening, both Governor Lee and Mayor O’Connell made appearances during the Annual Opening Night Legislative Reception. This morning, the second day of this year’s General Assembly began in the Senate at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Notably absent from proceedings has been Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who is reportedly recovering from an ankle surgery. We’ll be continuing our coverage of the GA throughout the season.
WILCO SCHOOLS KEEPING ILLICIT MATERIALS ON SHELVES?
“[Zero]: The number of years the Williamson County School Board has been in compliance with the Age-Appropriate Materials Act of 2022,” reads a flier recently released by the Williamson County Republican Party. Circulated to promote their school board candidate forum, the flier underscores the ongoing wrestling match between the board and Williamson parents over which books are fit to be in public schools.
Williamson parents have turned to Brentwood Rep. Gino Bulso, who has both filed a suit on their behalf against the county Board of Education and proposed a bill that would allow parents to sue schools for their decisions on these matters.
Other stats included on the flier tell more about the situation in Williamson:
- 53,000: Current student capacity in Williamson County Schools.
- 41,000: Estimated number of students currently enrolled in Williamson County Schools.
- 8: Number of new schools to be built in the Williamson County 5-year plan despite decline in enrollment and fewer school-aged children.
- 100%: Amount Williamson County’s debt has increased since 2018.
- 74.5%: Estimated amount of Williamson County’s budget that goes to Williamson County Schools, including school debt.
The forum will be held at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park at 6:30 p.m. on January 30, 2024.
Titans fire coach Mike Vrabel after six seasons (ESPN) Earlier Tuesday, in a statement announcing Vrabel's firing, Strunk said she told Vrabel her decision to fire him "was as difficult as any I've made as Controlling Owner."
Nashville housing market 'cooling faster' than other large cities (NBJ) Nashville has for the last three years been ranked in the top 10 markets, though its standing had slipped over time. Zillow ranked the city third, sixth and fifth in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Nashville plummeted on Zillow’s list of the hottest housing markets to No. 33 in 2024.
Tennessee financial officials urge calm over state’s flattening revenue (Lookout) From August to November 2023, tax revenue is down by $88.4 million compared to last year. The biggest drop has been the franchise and excise taxes, which are $146.8 million less; the professional privilege tax is down $33.1 million.
- Nashville's 1100 Broadway, former Tennessean offices, envisioned as Gulch Central, awaits better economy (Tennessean)
- The Listening Room Cafe owner buys Pie Town property for $9.45M (NBJ)
- Downtown design firm eyes move (Post)
- Talent agency moving HQ to Nashville (Post)
THINGS TO DO
📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.
🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.
👨🏻🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.
🎺 Rebirth Brass Band @ City Winery, 8p, $30+, Info
🎸 Oliver Bates Craven @ Jane's Hideaway, 8p, Info
+ folk rock
🪕 Bluegrass & 2-4-1's Featuring Sheriff Scott & The Deputies @ Tennessee Brew Works, 6p, Free, Info
+ bluegrass 6-8pm and 2-for-1 craft beer specials all day
🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
- 🖊 G.K. Chesterton's commentary on Nashville and the broader South from his 1921 tour of the US still resonates (Read)
- 📺 The best streaming has to offer for your holiday viewing needs. (Read)
- 🪲 Dream Scenario takes on Culture War schisms from the defiant middle. (Read)
- 🏘 The double-edged sword of prosperity in Tennessee's small towns (Read)
- And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.