Expert: Phil Bredesen Won’t Comment on Brett Kavanaugh Until It’s Safe

John Ryder

U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, if he so chose, could stop all the guessing and announce any time whether he supports U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But he likely won’t comment until and if he thinks it safe. After all, he can’t displease his liberal base, said John Ryder, a Memphis attorney who also chairs the Republican National Lawyers Association. Republican President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh. “I think he (Bredesen) will wait until it’s safe to say he is for Kavanaugh because he has to get a significant number of Republican votes to have any chance of winning this election,” Ryder told The Tennessee Star. “Saying he would vote for Kavanaugh is one way to do that, but if he says that too early then he risks alienating his liberal activist base. Bredesen will wait until some other sitting Democratic senator announces for Kavanaugh. That makes it safe for Bredesen to do that without totally offending his base, and it enables him to look moderate to the Republicans he needs to convince.” Thus far, Bredesen and his campaign staff have yet to return The Star’s repeated requests for comment. Ryder said if Bredesen was in the…

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Democrat Sen. Chris Coons Says He ‘Has To Be Careful’ In Saying Cory Booker Violated Rules With Kavanaugh Docs

by Nick Givas   Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware wouldn’t confirm if his colleague Sen. Cory Booker would face ethics violations, for his behavior at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Booker admitted to violating committee rules on confidential documents, when he claimed to have released information about Kavanaugh despite knowing it may have consequences. He called it his “Spartucus moment.” Host Chris Wallace said the documents in question had already been cleared and accused the Democrats of being overly dramatic, to sell a political stunt. “I have to be careful what I say here because I’m the vice chairman of the ethics committee and in that role I can’t comment on anything that may or may not come before the ethics committee,” Coons replied. “Let me just say this about the whole dispute,” Coons continued. “I do think this was an unprecedented process in which significant amounts, the overwhelming majority of the documents relevant to Judge Kavanaugh’s service in the Bush Administration as staff secretary were blocked from review by the committee. And there was a strong disagreement between the majority and the minority. Overall I agree with that concern.” Wallace continued to push the issue and asked Coons about Booker behavior,…

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Teen Vogue Runs Pro-Anarchism Screed

Teen Vogue Anarchy

Anarchism got the Teen Vogue treatment with an article called “Anarchy: What It Is and Why Pop Culture Loves It” by a self-proclaimed New York City anarchist Friday. “Anarchism as a philosophy lends itself to many ideas,” wrote article author Kim Kelly. “There is no one way to be an anarchist. … Anarchism and anarchists are everywhere.” Kelly’s Twitter bio says she is Teen Vogue’s labor columnist, and her bio in the article lists her as “an organizer with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC).” Kelly laid out the roots of anarchism, which she called “a fully global, intersectional philosophy,” and she also described its relationships with communism and anti-fascism in the explainer piece. “Anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political philosophy that advocates for the abolition of government, hierarchy, and all other unequal systems of power,” Kelly wrote. Anarchism is all about “nonhierarchical, horizontal structures powered by voluntary associations between people,” Kelly wrote. Much of anarchism is standing against certain things, though. “Anarchism is inherently antifascist (much like all anarchists are by necessity anti-police and anti-prison),” Kelly wrote. Kelly also explained the difference between pure communism and pure anarchism — they can never truly coexist because communists view the state as neutral, while anarchists see it as evil because it is “inherently…

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Tennessee and The U.S. Constitution’s 15th Amendment

Celebrating the 15th Amendment

The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted freed former male slaves and any adult male citizen the right to vote,  was ratified by the requisite three-fourths of all states and added to the Constitution in 1870.  At the time there were 37 states, and when the 28th state ratified the amendment in February, 1870, the three-fourths standard was met. Tennessee was not among those 28 states. In fact, Tennessee did not get around to ratifying the 15th Amendment until more than 100 years later, in 1997. Here is that story: During the Reconstruction period in the American South, in the aftermath of the Civil War, three individual amendments were incorporated into the U.S. Constitution – each separated in succession by only a few years – pursuant to that document’s Article V. This trifecta ended a dry spell of more than 60 years of no amendments at all finding their way into the federal Constitution. The 13th Amendment, ending slavery, was adopted in 1865.  The 14th Amendment, defining citizenship status, came along in 1868 (although there is some question as to whether its ratification process was 100 percent strictly by-the-book).  And the 15th Amendment, granting to former male slaves –…

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Columnist: Major League Soccer Could Have Played in Nissan Stadium Instead

Nissan Stadium

If members of the Nashville Metro Council wanted to save taxpayers some money they would have arranged for the city’s Major League Soccer team to play in Nissan Stadium, according to a new column. This, instead, of building a pricey new stadium. Nissan Stadium, of course, is where the Tennessee Titans play for the National Football League. Eric Boehm published his column for Reason before Metro Council members voted 31-8 this week for a $275 million MLS stadium project at the Nashville Fairgrounds. He said his idea, though, makes more sense. “Taxpayers are already on the hook for $300 million in upgrades to Nissan Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans. That stadium is within walking distance of downtown and could easily be adapted to host soccer games,” Boehm wrote. “In fact, Nissan Stadium has regularly hosted the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams. Teams from the English Premier League, widely regarded as the top soccer league in the world, have played there. It’s also one of the stadiums proposed as a site for the 2026 World Cup. Why exactly does the city need a new soccer-specific stadium?” No one at MLS returned The Tennessee Star’s request for comment on the matter. MLS…

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Drain The Swamp: EPA Shed 1,200 Jobs In Trump’s First Year And A Half

Tennessee Star

by Evie Fordham   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shed approximately 1,200 jobs as roughly 1,600 employees departed and less than 400 new employees were hired during President Donald Trump’s first year and a half in office. Departing employees included “at least 260 scientists, 185 ‘environmental protection specialists’ and 106 engineers,” according to the Washington Post. The EPA’s workforce is now down 8 percent to a size it has not been since former president Ronald Reagan was in office, reported the WaPo. “With nearly half of our employees eligible to retire in the next five years, my priority is recruiting and maintaining the right staff, the right people for our mission, rather than total full-time employees,” EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement according to the WaPo. Nearly 25 percent of the EPA’s 13,758 employees are eligible for retirement, reported the WaPo. Many employees have accepted buyouts, especially in 2017. At its most bloated, the EPA had more than 18,000 employees, reported the WaPo. Some longtime EPA employees are leaving after working under both Republican and Democratic administrations. “I felt it was time to leave given the irresponsible, ongoing diminishment of agency resources, which has recklessly endangered our ability to…

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Will Pence Cast The Tie-Breaking Vote For Brett Kavanaugh?

Brett Kavanaugh, Mike Pence

by Kevin Daley   Vice President Mike Pence is prepared to cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, should the Senate split 50-50 in a vote on his nomination. Speaking Sunday to CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Pence said he hopes the Senate will not deadlock on the Kavanaugh nomination, while appearing to acknowledge that the White House doesn’t yet know how a handful of key lawmakers plan to vote. “Well we hope not,” he said, when asked if a tie in the Senate is likely. The Constitution empowers the vice president to break ties when the Senate splits evenly on the question before it. The vice president did not say whether the administration had a firm vote count for the confirmation. Though most lawmakers have publicly announced their intentions respecting Kavanaugh, a handful of moderate senators have deferred their decisions until after the confirmation hearings concluded. Most notably, two pro-choice Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have not yet committed to supporting Kavanaugh, though both have generally said positive things about him publicly. “We’ll see where we are,” Pence said, when Brennan pressed as to whether the administration knew…

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Maria Butina Worried Russian Email Hacks Would Hurt Attempts To ‘Befriend Politicians’

Maria Butina

by Chuck Ross   Maria Butina, a Russian national accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, expressed concern in July 2016 that her efforts to establish relationships with American politicians would be disrupted by Russian hacks of Democrats’ emails. “Right now I’m sitting here very quietly after the scandal about our FSB hacking into [Political Party 2’s] emails. My all too blunt attempts to befriend politicians right now will probably be misinterpreted, as you yourself can understand,” Butina wrote in an email to a Russian government official believed to be Alexander Torshin, the deputy chief of Russia’s central bank. The message was revealed in court documents submitted Friday night. Federal prosecutors have charged the 29-year-old Butina with conspiracy and with acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. She allegedly acted under the direction of Torshin to infiltrate conservative political groups, including the National Rifle Association. [ RELATED: Russian National Linked To NRA Is Charged With Conspiracy ] Around the time of Butina’s message, Wikileaks published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. Special counsel Robert Mueller has since charged intelligence officials with Russia’s military intelligence bureau, the GRU. The FSB mentioned by Butina is a reference to Russia’s domestic spy service. Butina’s…

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More NFL National Anthem ‘Kneelers’ at Titans Opening Game, Kaepernick Tweets Praise


The Tennessee Titans opened their NFL season with an away game in Miami Sunday, where three members of the Dolphins protested the playing of the National Anthem. Two were ‘kneelers’ and one raised a fist. NFL ratings were down as the league kicked off another season three days earlier on Thursday. Though the controversial kneeling during the National Anthem took a night off on Thursday, apparently so did a lot of viewers. The season opener between Philadelphia and Atlanta drew the lowest number of viewers for an opening telecast since 2009. According to Deadline Hollywood viewership was down 8% from last year’s kickoff between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers of September 7, 2017. The Eagles-Falcons game was not only down from last year, but also lower than 2016, 2015 and 2014 – in which each saw declines from the previous year. President Donald Trump chimed in about the predicted protests just hours before the Sunday kickoffs. “Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on…

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