TN political junkie weekend reading suggestions

There’s a ton of stuff written on Tennessee state government and politics and yours truly makes a stab at keeping track of it on this blog. Here’s a sampler of links to some things not noted earlier, for one reason or another, that may be of interest to Volunteer State political junkies looking for something to read this weekend.

Becky Massey and Jim Coley profiled
Sam Stockard has been doing weekly profile stories on state legislators who perhaps don’t get as much media attention as those in prominent leadership roles or an inclination to take controversial positions.

This week, the subject is Sen. Becky Massey, R-Knoxville, HERE. Last week, it was Rep. Jim Coley, R-Memphis, HERE. Both are recommended reads.

Fowler fumes over bathrooms
David Fowler, who heads the Family Action Council of Tennessee, is upset that the state Department of Education is “working overtime” to kill a bill (HB2414) that would require use of restrooms as designated by gender by students for “reasons so bogus it is laughable.” The headline: Will TN’s Department of Education flush biological differences down the toilet? HERE.

Cagle ‘shocked’ by liquor bill, intrigued by Duncan vs. Burchett
Frank Cagle declares at the outset of his weekly column that he is “shocked, shocked, I tell you” that the state’s liquor lobby got a provision inserted into the WIGS fix bill to limit competition from out-of-state companies, violating the spirit of free enterprise. But reading the rest of the piece leaves the impression that maybe there’s a bit of sarcasm there. HERE. Cagle also had an interesting recent piece – at least to political junkies – on the possibility of Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett challenging longtime U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan in 2018. HERE.

Vulgar reactions to UT sexual assault stories
Tennessean News Director Maria De Varenne says the “vulgar reactions” to coverage of alleged sexual assaults at the universities in Tennessee – “acerbic letters,” “angry comments” and “vile name-calling on social media” – is is troubling, not only to the journalists receiving those messages but to the community as well. HERE.

TN presidential campaign perspectives
Over in Memphis, left-leaning Otis Sanford laments cancellation of a Ben Carson visit to the city and — more or less/kinda-sorta — the demise of Carson’s campaign in general.

In Middle Tennessee, David Plazas observes that the “American two-party system that Martin Van Buren helped build is in danger of crumbling in the 2016 election because of Trump and Bernie Sanders. HERE. And fellow Tennessean columnist Saritha Prabhu, a confessed Democrat, declares: “I like Gov. John Kasich, both as a presidential candidate and, more importantly, as a person.”

In East Tennessee, right-wing (but usually establishment-oriented) columnist Greg Johnson laments that Donald Trump’s nomination will mean election of Hillary Clinton. Along the same lines, Robert Houk (a middle-of-the-road fellow with perhaps liberal tendencies) declares that the prospect of a Trump triumph leaves some people “giddy” and some with a “cold shiver.” But as for himself, says Houk:

Not me, my friends. Bring on the apocalypse! Hallelujah, I am ready for the chaos.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, has written an opinion piece on the presidential election and passed along a copy. It bashes “Queen Hillary,” naturally, but further suggests a need for change in the GOP. It is HERE.

And a Charlie Daniel cartoon:
030316charlie