‘Watchdog’ snarls at Democrats, ECD
The “nonpartisan” Tennessee Watchdog targets three Democratic politicians, one state government department and “taxes on tourists” for a year-end round of bashing as the “top five trendsetters for bigger government and taxpayer waste in 2013.”
No. 1 is U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, followed by “hotel and motel taxes,” especially in Memphis; the state Department of Economic and Community Development; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
Under the headline “Political Year 2013 for Dummies,” Jackson Baker rambles from a developing schism in the “control of a monolithic state Republican party” over all political things in Tennessee to the “apparently insoluble Shelby County Schools dilemma, and to federal government gridlock.
Should Waffling William become Bold Bill?
The Vanderbilt Political Review, which is generally devoted to national and international topics, ventures into Tennessee turf with an article on Gov. Bill Haslam’s indecision on Medicaid expansion, suggesting in scholarly fashion that he ought to do something, one way or the other. Excerpt:
The vague terms and low likelihood of a successful compromise indicates that it may be in the best interests of Tennesseans for Gov. Haslam to choose a side and stick with it, no matter what the cost may be. Each decision will inevitably have its drawbacks, however the increasing costs of indecision appear to be too heavy for the Tennessee to bear in the position it occupies in an already tenuous national health care scheme. The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of innovation, and with it an era of uncertainty. The only viable option at a time like this is to make a decision and be prepared to defend it to the unavoidable opposition that will occur.
Kyle’s ‘naughty and nice’ list
Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, in a Memphis Flyer piece:
“The timely question is: Will our state lawmakers be naughty or nice? (in the coming session).
A sample answer:
Governor Bill Haslam, for his part, has proposed a nice plan to use federal money for people who want to buy private insurance. He announced the plan almost one year ago, but he has been naughty since then and made no progress.
Lamar laments ‘unhappy new year’
Sen. Lamar Alexander says the new year will be an unhappy one for ‘tens of thousands’ of Tennesseans because of Obamacare, HERE. That’s after the “unwelcome Christmas present” of President Obama’s “broken promise” on Obamacare. HERE. (Note: A new year, but not a new message — Alexander really, really hates Obamacare. Got that yet, Republican primary voters?)
Small Farm Frank
Frank Cagle’s weekly rumination is on the subject of small farmers, agribusiness and the need for state and federal government involvement in striking a balance between the two.
But there are standard things being done to the food supply, like putting antibiotics in animal feed, that ought to be widely exposed if not prohibited. Like putting arsenic in chicken feed to stimulate appetites and make chickens grow faster.