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Len Assante

So much has happened since last time, I thought I'd devote today's column to a miscellany of misadventures by my friends on the right.

NIMBY Emerges Across the River
Citizens and elected officials in Hendersonville are justifiably alarmed by the prospect of an asphalt plant potentially being built across Old Hickory Lake in Nashville. According to news reports, concerns include reduced property values, health effects, noxious fumes and several types of environmental damage. It should be noted that Hendersonville voters overwhelmingly voted for a candidate for President that vowed to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and seems to be making good on that promise. They also overwhelmingly voted for state-level candidates who support the President's position and a Congressman who has voted 100% with the President so far. In literature class, we called this kind of turn of events "tragic irony."

Mae Beavers Opposes a Public Health Threat, Fails to Do Anything About Another
State Senator Mae Beavers seems to oppose anything having to do with human sexuality, most recently sponsoring a successful Senate resolution decrying the evils of pornography, calling it among other things a "public health crises." While Beavers and her colleagues should be commended for wanting to do something for public health, perhaps she should also remember the public health crisis in Tennessee exacerbated by her party's refusal to consider her own Governor's plan to expand Medicare. Thousands of Tennesseans don't have access to affordable health insurance that their neighbors in 30 other states do because of Republican stonewalling on health care. Republican cries about the "failure" of the Affordable Care Act ring hollow when that failure is their own fault.

Where's Diane Recess Edition
Congressman Diane Black's most recent newsletter to constituents noted how she has been travelling her district. Interestingly, the newsletter comes on the heels of congressional recess during which Rep. Black held zero town hall meetings. An earlier meeting on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University (not in her district) hosted by the MTSU college republicans turned into a packed house of protest that made national news. Calls and visits to her offices in Gallatin and Cookeville by voters requesting a town hall went nowhere, except the news. It seems Rep. Black does not like to be reminded that her votes often do not reflect the opinion of many her constituents. In fact, according to the vote-tracking app Countable, Diane Black has voted against the wishes of the majority of voters who expressed an opinion on legislation I followed 100% of the time. Anyone can download this free app onto their smartphone, express their opinion on legislation and track how their Members of Congress vote. Anyone can then also remember those votes come election time.

Trump's Golf Game an Expensive Hobby -For Us
According to Salon, as of last week, President Trump has spent over 20% of his time in office to date in Florida. Each trip costs the taxpayers approximately $3 million. During the campaign, Trump called President Obama a "habitual vacationer" and complained loudly about how much such trips cost. With one more trip to Florida, President Trump will have cost the taxpayers more in travel expenses than President Obama did in a full year. At the present rate, President Trump will spend more in one year than President Obama did in his entire 8 years in office. I guess the swamp that needs draining is in Florida.

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