Special session is the feds’ fault
In separate writings this week, conservative columnists Frank Cagle and Greg Johnson fault the federal government for the necessity of a special Tennessee legislative session to revise a DUI statute enacted earlier this year – albeit with different approaches in doing so. Cagle sees the matter as “the latest example of congressional impotence,” HERE. Johnson decries it as a federal government “defunding mandate,” HERE.
An excerpt from Johnson: “The feds, never content to let the elected officials who actually live and work in the communities affected make decisions on behalf of their neighbors, insist the state fall in line with the federal 0.02 blood alcohol level for underage drinkers.”
Cagle’s conclusion: “If Congress is too spineless to stand up to federal bureaucrats, international trade treaties, Washington lobbyists, executive orders and federal judges, why keep pretending that who you elect to Congress matters?”
— Continue reading
A federal judge in Texas today blocked the Obama administration’s order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. And, naturally, Tennesseans on both sides of the issue are promptly providing media with press releases giving their perspective — just like folks in the rest of the nation.
Here’s a sampler: Continue reading
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition has declared dismay over the U.S. Supreme Court deadlock that derails President Obama’s attempt to block deportation of millions of illegal immigrants and some Democrats are equally unhappy. Tennessee’s Republican congressmen are celebrating. So is Republican Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who had joined the Texas-initiated lawsuit after prodding from GOP legislators.
All, of course, echo national partisan gridlock on the issue, illustrating once again that the old cliche about of all politics being local is no longer true. Here’s a roundup of Tennessee commentary from the quickly-generated press release pile: Continue reading
Gov. Bill Haslam has announced – via tweet – that at flags at the Tennessee state Capitol and other state buildings will be flown at half staff through Thursday “in memory of victims of violent attack in Orlando.”
Here are some other Tennessee reactions to the Orlando shootings on Sunday from Tennessee political figures:
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) via press release:
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL.
“I am saddened and horrified by the mass shooting in Orlando,” said Congressman Cohen. “My thoughts go out to the victims and their families as well as all members of the LGBT community everywhere who were targeted in this tragedy. This was a hate crime and likely as well an act of terrorism. While the shooter is reported to have vowed allegiance to the leader of ISIS and is Muslim, we must not do what ISIS wants and tie one deranged, mentally ill murderer to others who share his religion. As Muhammad Ali said, ‘Islam is not about San Bernardino, Belgium or Paris…,’ nor is it about Orlando.
“I call on Speaker Ryan to bring a bill to the House floor banning all assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Outside of our military, no one in this country needs an assault rifle to defend themselves or their homes. They are often used in these mass shootings. Also as Congress continues the appropriations process, we must allocate more federal funding for mental health treatments and centers.” Continue reading