Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Makes $285,000 Per Year, Has Outside Consulting Business, Taxpayer Provided Car, and Much More

Shawn Joseph

Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph has a pretty sweet arrangement with his employer, according to his four-year contract, which began in 2016. He makes $285,000 a year. That salary, all courtesy of taxpayers, will never decrease — but it could increase. Joseph’s contract clearly states he must devote all his full working time to the school district and can have no other gainful employment — except for later in the contract when it says otherwise. Joseph, as the contract goes on, owns an LLC named Joseph and Associates. “The board agrees that the director is entitled to engage in outside professional activities, including writing, consulting, and lecturing, with or without honorarium, as long as such activities do not interfere with the performance of his duties as the director,” according to the contract. The school district did not return a request for comment Wednesday. Among the other luxuries in Joseph’s contract: • The school system pays for the medical, vision, and dental benefits for Joseph and his family — using the program of their choice. • Joseph gets a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, an answering machine, a printer, and a computer installed at his house. Taxpayers are billed…

Read the full story

Facebook’s Political Ad Rules Seem To Be Already Causing Problems

Facebook privacy concerns

by Eric Lieberman   A professor was recently unable to promote a podcast on Facebook that delved into Russians’ perspective of President Donald Trump because it was deemed to fall under the tech company’s new rules against political advertising. Sean Guillory, a scholar with a doctoral degree from UCLA, is the digital scholarship curator at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies. In his podcast episode published Saturday called “Russians on Trump,” Guillory interviewed another expert Laurence Bogoslaw, who has established a collective resource for translated Russian news coverage of Trump. Knowing very well how hot of a topic the president, the foreign adversary and alleged connections between the two are, Guillory wanted to promote the dialogue. Facebook denied his request to purchase an ad slot for the podcast. Eventually, after an appeal, the tech giant explained that it regards Guillory’s interview as political content, meaning there would be greater scrutiny and a potentially higher cost for sponsorship. “This is the crux of the problem: What is ‘political’?” Guillory told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I see my podcast as educational in that its mission is to interview people who have some expert knowledge about Eurasia’s politics, culture and…

Read the full story

President Trump Says He Wishes He’d Picked Another Attorney General

Trumo FBI with Docs

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wished he picked someone other than Jeff Sessions as his attorney general because Sessions quickly removed himself from oversight of the investigation of links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia because of his own contacts with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington. Trump has often railed against Sessions’ recusal from the case, voicing frustration that it has left him without someone he feels should be loyal to him at the country’s top law enforcement agency to protect him from the year-long probe headed by special counsel Robert Mueller. But Trump vented his ire anew in a Twitter remark, citing a television interview comment from Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy that Sessions, a former Alabama senator and early Trump political supporter, had not told Trump before he was named to the country’s top legal position that he would remove himself from control of the Russia investigation. Gowdy said he too would have been “frustrated” in such a situation if not told ahead of time that his attorney general would not handle “the most important case in the office.” He told CBS news “there are lots of really good lawyers in the country. He could have picked somebody else!”…

Read the full story

De Beers Sees Sparkle in Synthetic Diamond Jewelry


Reuters   Anglo American unit De Beers is launching a company to sell laboratory-produced diamonds for jewelry in a departure from its century-old business model of promoting natural stones. Real diamonds created over thousands of years remain the priority, but De Beers is responding to customer demand for more affordable jewelry using stones made in days or weeks and sold for hundreds rather than thousands of dollars. “They’re not to celebrate life’s greatest moments, but they’re for fun and fashion,” De Beers Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver said of synthetic stones in a telephone interview. “We have always said we are a natural diamonds business. We remain a natural diamonds business,” he said, adding that manmade diamonds used in fashion would not undermine the business for real diamonds as they served different markets. As the world’s biggest seller of natural diamonds by value, De Beers is a leader in technology and security processes to guarantee the authenticity of natural stones. To ensure there is no confusion between manmade gems that have little resale value and the real thing, the manufactured diamonds used in jewelry will include a tiny mark showing they are made by Element Six, a unit of De…

Read the full story

President Trump Puts an End to Taxpayer Subsidies for Unions

President Trump

by Richard Manning   Government employee unions have enjoyed an absolute boondoggle in recent years, receiving hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds. But the boon could soon be over thanks to a new executive order from President Donald Trump. Last Friday, the president signed an executive order requiring that federal government employees who work full-time for the public employee unions at taxpayer expense spend at least 75 percent of their paid time on the government’s business. The administration estimates this will save taxpayers $100 million. This measure is one of three executive orders the president signed on Friday. Those orders do not eliminate taxpayer subsidies for public employee unions altogether—that is Congress’ job—but they do end the taxpayer subsidy of travel for union business; mandate that unions be charged fair market value for rents of government office space; streamline the public employee appeals process so that bad apples can be fired more rapidly; and force taxpayer-funded union workers to spend at least three-quarters of their time doing the people’s business. Most people are shocked to learn that taxpayers have been footing the bill for public employee union salaries, but they become incensed when they learn that in 2016, union employees were paid $177 million by the…

Read the full story

Promise Kept: President Trump’s Landmark ‘Right to Try’ Legislation Curbs Government’s Monopoly on Medicine for Terminally Ill Patients

Trump right to try

In a signing ceremony on Wednesday, President Trump fulfilled another campaign promise by signing legislation nicknamed “Right to Try” that will expand seriously ill patients’ access to experimental treatments that could extent or even save their lives. Mr. Trump called the measure a “fundamental freedom” for people with terminal conditions to use medicines that have not yet completed the approval process of the Food and Drug Administration, but nonetheless show promise in their initial testing. “With the ‘Right to Try’ Law I am signing today, patients with life-threatening illnesses will finally have access to experimental treatments that could improve or even cure their conditions,” President Trump said. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives last week largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the measure – saying it could give hope to people looking to save their own lives – while Democrats opposed the the bill, citing such a law would engender ‘false hope.’ Similar laws have been passed in all but ten states with broad support by both parties – an uncomfortable fact many Democrats will have to explain as they return home for the campaign season. As Marc Thiessen wrote in the Washington Post Wednesday, “In the states, Right to…

Read the full story

Neighbors, Farmer Settle Pitched Lawsuit Over Green Groups and Her Property Rights

Martha Boneta

by Kevin Mooney   A husband-and-wife real estate team accused of teaming up with environmental activists and government officials to interfere with a Virginia farmer’s business have reached a legal settlement with the farmer, according to court records. Martha Boneta (pictured), who owns and operates the 64-acre Liberty Farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Paris, Virginia, sought damages from the real estate agents, her neighbors, in a lawsuit filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court. Under the terms of the legal agreement, Boneta is not permitted to disclose the amount of money attached to the settlement. She sued the neighbors, Phillip and Patricia Thomas, for $2 million, court papers show. Phillip Thomas owns Thomas & Talbot Real Estate, based in Middleburg, Virginia, and used to own Boneta’s Liberty Farm. His wife, Patricia, also is a lawyer admitted to the bar in Virginia. Their farm, Liberty Hall, is across the road from Liberty Farm. [ The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more ] The Thomases are members of Piedmont Environmental Council, a nonprofit land trust headquartered in Warrenton, Virginia, that also was named in Boneta’s litigation. Their…

Read the full story

Commentary: Media Monopolies Declare War on Conservatives

Vig Right Turn

by Richard A Viguerie, CHQ Chairman   Conservatives, wake up!  We face a problem that challenges our very existence.  Elitists want to eliminate us as a cultural and political force to be reckoned with.  To reach that goal, they will decide what news we see and which opinion viewpoints we hear.  And they have the power to do that. I’m referring to the elitists’ new information monopolies—Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube.  We are in the early stages of this Information War, but be forewarned—that war has already started. Recent changes in Facebook’s rules of operation, for example, have already resulted in conservative sites losing an average of 14% of their traffic, while liberal sites have enjoyed increases.  This doesn’t mean the number of liberals is increasing while the number of conservatives is decreasing—far from it.  It means that the new rules are manipulating the news and opinions the public is allowed to see.  Let this continue, and conservatism will be “the incredibly shrinking movement.” But this is a wake-up call, not a call for despair.  Conservatives have faced elitist information monopolies before, and we beat them.  We can do it again.  It’s in our genes! The old information monopolies were known…

Read the full story

Disgraced Congressman Faces Trial For Campaign Abuses After Failed Appeal

Aaron Shock Downton

by Kevin Daley   The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected former Rep. Aaron Shock’s request to toss out indictments against him on constitutional grounds Wednesday, in a massive blow to his efforts to duck a criminal trial. Shock hoped rulings from other federal courts affording special status to the internal rules of the House of Representatives might shield him from criminal prosecution, but a three-judge panel repudiated those theories. “The ruling is not consistent with those rendered by other U.S. Courts of Appeals in similar circumstances, thus we will be evaluating our options regarding further appeal on these constitutional issues,” Shock’s attorney, George Terwilliger, said in a statement. The former congressman, a Republican, resigned in disgrace in 2015 after press accounts revealed profligate spending practices. He was subsequently charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and submitting false tax returns. Shock argued his actions were protected by the Constitution’s speech and debate clause, which provides immunity to members of Congress when they are engaged in official legislative activities. The indictments impermissibly draw from the internal rules of the House of Representatives, he further said. The Constitution’s rule-making clause grants the House alone the prerogative to set its rules and punish members. Shock’s…

Read the full story

White House Official Feels ‘Duped’ By FBI Informant Who Sought Ambassadorship


by Chuck Ross   White House trade czar Peter Navarro said he feels “duped” by Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who sought out members of President Donald Trump’s campaign and applied for an ambassadorship in Trump’s administration. “I feel duped, yeah, pretty much,” Peter Navarro told Fox Radio’s Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday. “It’s baffling,” Navarro added. Halper, a former Cambridge professor with deep ties to the CIA and MI6, approached Navarro in 2017, seeking a nomination to an ambassadorship to an unidentified Asian country, Axios reported on May 21. At the time he submitted his application for the ambassadorship, Halper was working as an informant for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. As part of that under cover operation, Halper met with three Trump campaign associates — Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos. [ RELATED: Stefan Halper Pitched Himself For Trump Administration Ambassadorship ] Halper maintained contact with Page from July 2016 through Sept. 2017, as The Daily Caller News Foundation has reported. He met Clovis once, on Sept. 1, 2016. And Halper paid Papadopoulos $3,000 to write a policy paper that appears to have been cover to arrange a series of meetings in London. Papadopoulos has told associates Halper…

Read the full story

JC Bowman Commentary: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

Dark Money

This election cycle we have already seen an influx of unaccountable cash, known as dark money, which pours into our state. Outside money hurts more than it helps. Tennessee voters were not swayed by big spending outsiders. It is worth noting the message the outsiders bring is almost always negative. If you don’t think this is an erosion of democracy, you’re not thinking about it hard enough. The formula is simple: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

Read the full story

Humboldt’s Tyson Plant Breaks Ground Without Permits From State Dept. of Environment & Conservation

Tyson meat processing

Despite lacking mandatory permits from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), Tyson Foods went ahead and broke ground yesterday for its new chicken processing plant in Humboldt. After reviewing Tyson’s application for a permit to discharge storm water from the Humboldt plant construction site, a letter dated May 18, 2018, from the TDEC Division of Water Resources informed Tyson that the company’s “Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) “was deficient so no permit could be issued. TDEC’s letter cautioned Tyson’s Senior Project Engineer Larry Jackson, that “[n]o discharges of stormwater associated with construction activity are authorized by the general permit until the completed NOI [Notice of Intent] is submitted and Notice of Coverage issued by the division.” The NOI submitted by Tyson Farms, Inc., as referenced in the May 18 TDEC letter was “submitted to obtain coverage under a General National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity.” Jackson was also directed to review “the enclosed checklist for deficiencies in the SWPPP that must be addressed before permit coverage can be issued.” You can read the May 18, 2018 letter from the TDEC to Tyson’s Jackson here: [pdf-embedder url=”” title=”DWR-TNR122070-Notice of Deficiency-18-MAY-18-2366″]  …

Read the full story