Sign up for newsletter >>
No. 650: No one likes the TSA

No. 650: No one likes the TSA

📅 Today, Davis dismantles the TSA, Jerod reviews The Iron Claw, and Megan rounds up the latest from our two senators and the mayor's office.

Good afternoon, everyone.

It's fun sometimes to daydream about what you'd do if you were king for a day. I can think of some big issues that I might address, but honestly, I'd probably prioritize dismantling the TSA before anything else.

Why does a 74-year-old grandmother have to remove her shoes and raise her hands above her head like a barn animal? Any security apparatus that results in an outcome like this is clearly flawed. 




The Iron Claw is a Heartland Epic. Of course, it isn’t an Oscar contender.

From Jerod Hollyfield

The most important character in The Iron Claw, director Sean Durkin’s requiem for professional wrestling fans, is not a barely recognizable Zac Efron pumped up to Arnold Schwarzenegger proportions; it’s Jimmy Carter as he appears on the famously cursed Von Erich family‘s cabinet TV midway through the movie, officially announcing America’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. 

Up to this point, we’ve heard a lot about Kerry (The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White), the Von Erich brother primed to finally bring world triumph to his clan as a discus thrower at the upcoming games. But Carter is having none of it. “The American people are convinced that we should not go,” says the man from Plains as patriarch Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany)’s eyes burn into the screen. 

Nine months later, the American people overwhelmingly became convinced that it was Carter who should go. But, it was too late for the Von Erich’s just as it was for so many Americans. These decisions of the few who know better than the rest of us keep the dream out of reach, a theme that makes Durkin’s masterful interrogation of sport and family one of the few Hollywood films since the 1970s interested in grappling with the type of people the shakers and movers would rather pretend don’t exist.

Continue reading...

From Megan Podsiedlik

Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty have filed legislation with the hopes of  “[ensuring] only legal citizens are factored into the count for Congressional districts and the Electoral College map.”

“Blue states may be losing citizens over their liberal policies, but they’re making up for it by welcoming illegal immigrants,” Blackburn said at this morning’s press conference regarding the Equal Representation Act. “Democrats have admitted the quiet part out loud as they continue to justify their open border policies: they just need a higher headcount to help them acquire more seats in Congress and more dollars from the federal government.”

Blackburn is in part referring to a controversy involving a representative who is allegedly “openly calling for more illegal immigration to her New York congressional district because she ‘needs more people in her district for redistricting purposes.’”

To remedy this, the bill proposes adjustments to the census method: “I’m pleased to introduce this legislation that would require a citizenship question on the census and will ensure that only citizens are counted in congressional redistricting,” said Hagerty


Since entering office in September, O'Connell has already signed more separate executive orders than Megan Barry, Phil Bredesen, and John Cooper respectively put forward during their entire tenures; Karl Dean signed 46 executive orders between 2007 and 2015: the same amount Freddie has put forward in about three months.


That being said, the raw numbers don’t tell the entire story. Not only did O’Connell borrow all of his orders from past administrations, making minor adjustments to about half, but he also terminated all roll-over executive orders that were still in effect. This is perhaps the more impactful move he made, given how many of these there were. Instead, the new mayor wiped the slate clean, setting his administration on its own path forward. 


Staying on brand, O’Connell underlined his goal of making Nashville a walkable, bikeable, busable city with his plan to introduce car-free streets. He is also continuing forward with other previous administration remnants, including the Nashville Council on Gender Equity and the Mayor’s Youth Council.

Something that caught our eye was the mayor’s open data policy. While the order is meant to “foster an open, transparent, and accessible government,” the list of exemptions seems to include some of the most powerful players in Metro: the Nashville Board of Education, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Electric Service, Metro Nashville Airport Authority, Metro Development and Housing Agency, Metro Transit Authority, Metro Sports Authority, Convention Center Authority, Health and Educational Facilities Board, Industrial Development Board, and non-professional employees of the Board of Health. The list of exemptions also includes all elected officials, though O’Connell did request “that the excluded entities voluntarily undertake to develop and adopt similar policies.”

As we’ve seen with the current Arts Commission snafu, closed-door negotiations concerning the stadium deal, and other questionable vetting and auditing processes, transparency has never been more paramount. 


Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell releases $514M capital spending plan (Tennessean) More than $100 million would fund upgrades and maintenance at Metro facilities like parks, libraries, fire stations and greenways, according to a news release. Funding would also cover planning and design for new projects, including the Metro Southeast campus (formerly known as Global Mall) and funding for a new public health clinic.

TikTok’s Move Into Nashville Sparks Political Blowback (Digital Music News) The firm is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and is seeking to lease hundreds of thousands of square feet in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Nashville, Tennessee according to property records coming to light. Down in Tennessee, TikTok is in talks for more than 100,000 square feet in one of Nashville’s new office developments, per multiple real estate reports.

Potholes — some as big as ‘craters’ — are Tennessee’s next winter weather hazard (WPLN) According to TDOT, a sudden thaw in temperature is the perfect recipe for new potholes. When snow falls, water can seep into cracks in the asphalt, then refreeze into ice. When things warm up, the ice melts, then evaporates, leaving a gap between the asphalt and the roadbed. Cars push the asphalt down into the gap, and — clunk! — a new pothole is born.


  • Updated Master Plan Resembles Original Concept Vs. RFP In East Bank Nashville (Now Next)
  • Nashville City Club opens in Liggett Building (NBJ)
  • Racket sport facility set for South Nashville (Post)
  • South Nashville office building sells for $2.35M (Post)
  • National real estate firm buys in The Nations (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

📅 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.


🎸 Sarah Jarosz @ Grimey's, 5p, Info
+ in-store performance & signing

🎻 Video Games Live @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $63+, Info
+ Includes music from Final Fantasy, Halo, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid, Skyrim, Undertale, Okami, The Last of Us, Warcraft, God of War, and more

🎸 Molly Martin @ The Blue Room, 8p, $19.41, Info
+ 90s inspired indie rock

🪕 The Cowpokes @ Acme Feed & Seed, 12p, Free, Info

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

In case you missed it...

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 649: Constitutional Crisis?!
📅 Today, Davis talks about the border, Hamilton joins us to talk about the promise of nuclear energy in a small Middle Tennessee town, Megan thinks about transit, and we furnish our weekly film rundown.
No. 648: Nothing to See Here
🏛 Business as usual, nothing to see here, at this week’s Metro Council meeting.
No. 647: Decolonizing the Arts
🎨 How Metro Arts is seeking to use anti-racism to decolonize the arts and what to expect from the new commissioners.
No. 646: The Metro Labyrinth
🗓 Today, Miles discusses men’s basketball at UT and the prospect of their reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history, and Megan breaks down the labyrinth-like stormwater fee snafu.
No. 645: Engineering Outcomes to Attract More Snow to Middle Tennessee
🗓 Today, Davis talks about the weather, Jerod reviews the new Wonka movie, Megan talks about the loophole keeping violent criminals on the streets, and we furnish our weekly film rundown.


  • ☢️ A small Tennessee town's forgotten history as a nuclear leader (Read)
  • 🤡 Metro Arts launches initiative to 'return land, money, and resources' to 'Indigenous, African, and Asian peoples' (Read)
  • 🖊 G.K. Chesterton's commentary on Nashville and the broader South from his 1921 tour of the US still resonates (Read)
  • 🏘 The double-edged sword of prosperity in Tennessee's small towns (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.