Tag Archives: wendi

On Bashing Tennessee… Especially the Legislature

Bashing the Tennessee Legislature and legislators has become quite popular in some national media circles, but the state’s homegrown writers are pretty good at it, too – as illustrated in two Sunday pieces from opposite ends of the state.
Scott McNutt’s satire blast begins thusly:
As time runs out on the Tennessee General Assembly’s 2013 session, some lawmakers are pushing for Tennessee to secede from the current century.
Although much legislation that would have thrust Tennessee backward in time failed this time around, lawmakers advocating temporal secession argue that the fact that they keep promoting these regressive, time-warping bills only proves how awful the present is and, by extension, how wonderful the past was,

And here’s one excerpt:
Tennessee’s ostensible lieutenant governor, Ron Ramsey, R-Happy Days, informed titular Gov. Bill Haslam that he had decided not to dissuade the Legislature’s time-secession movement.
Ramsey said, “I’m going to let them loose. We might land in the 19th century. It might be the 20th. We might overshoot and hit the ‘Land That Time Forgot.’ The governor said he’d prefer the ‘Land of the Lost,’ but I can’t control them.”
Haslam said that, while he liked some of the anachronistic legislation lawmakers had proposed, he was still taking time to study the possibility of considering the potential feasibility — while weighing the advisability — of determining if it were within the realm of theoretical probability that he might perhaps decide before the end of the century whether any 21st-century secession bills were plausible contenders for his veto.
“Or not,” he added firmly.

Over in Memphis, Wendi C. Thomas compares the Tennessee General Assembly to the Mississippi legislature – and not favorably.
The Mississippi legislature waited until February to formally ratify the 13th Amendment, which in 1865 abolished slavery.
A 148-year-old oversight is embarrassing.
What the Tennessee legislature has done to the poor and working class is reprehensible.

Thomas mentions in her piece a fine example of Tennessee-trashing on the national level, which appeared in Salon.com (HERE). It begins:
If you’re worried about where America┬áis heading, look no further than Tennessee. Its lush mountains and verdant rolling countryside belie a mean-spirited public policy that only makes sense if you believe deeply in the anti-collectivist, anti-altruist philosophy of Ayn Rand. It’s what you get when you combine hatred for government with disgust for poor people.

Today’s Newspaper Columnist Opinions on Legislative Doings

Sanford on Gunfights
Otis Sanford envisions a college course on Legislative Politics 101 — “the fine art of grandstanding and hubris by duly elected legislators” — with a lecture theme on the current gun bill standoff.
Kerr on Guns, Don’t Say Gay
Opening line of Gail Kerr’s Sunday column: If the 2012 Tennessee legislative session were a horror movie, it would be called The Things That Wouldn’t Die. Two bad proposed laws — the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the “guns in trunks” legislation — continue to head toward floor votes despite widespread opposition.
Thomas on GOP Going After Democrats
From Wendi C. Thomas’ Sunday column: Today’s gripe concerns a trio of bills championed by Republican legislators. Taken individually, they seem well-intentioned. But look more closely and you’ll see that these the bills are part of a pattern to beat back marginalized constituencies, who, not coincidentally, tend to vote Democrat.

Some Sunday Opinions on Legislating (and a legislator’s dog)

Monkeying With Evolution on Easter
Sam Venable’s Sunday column starts like this:
How ironic is it that a bill about evolution would wind up on the governor’s desk on the cusp of Easter weekend?
Easter is a celebration of Christian faith, not science. Yet the majority of Tennessee’s lawmakers persist in mixing the two under the preposterous notion they are protecting students and teachers from what is being termed the “scientific weaknesses” of evolution and global warming.
Hoo-boy. How does Tennessee manage to keep stirring this pot after nearly a century? Don’t our lawmakers have real work to do?

Rep. Hurley Suffers Snark Bitte
Scott McNutt clamps his satrical teeth into state Rep. Julia Hurley’s venture to the Roane County courthouse with her dog. (If you don’t know what he’s talking about, previous post HERE.) His column begins thusly:
Hundreds of dogs and humans gathered on Roane County’s courthouse lawn recently to play and chase each other in support of dogs in government. The ersatz dog park was a reaction to the ejection from the courthouse of Pepper, a hairless Chinese crested breed, along with her human, state Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Must Love Dogs.
Mizzles, a Dorgie from Loudon County and member of the Hilltop Kennel Club in Lenoir City, wore a tag reading “She stood for us. We sit for her.” as he sat on the courthouse walk, watching the crowd gather.

Thomas to Legislature: Butt Out
Wendi C. Thomas quotes both sponsor Rep. Joe Towns and legislators who voted against his “saggy pants” bill before giving her opinion in a Sunday column:
Legislators are not elected to be the fashion police, particularly when the style is likely a passing fad.
“The school system, there’s a lot going on and a lot…it may not be a priority,” Towns said.
Exactly. If school districts can ban saggy pants and haven’t, then why should the state step in?
Pursuing such legislation is a waste of our elected officials’ time. Bills like these only reinforce the perception that our representatives in Nashville are majoring in the minors.
If legislators think any such non-problems require legislative intervention, maybe they need a swat right above the area where saggy pants usually start.

A Columnists’ Report Card
Gail Kerr ha written a Sunday column based on the question, ” Is the state winning or losing under the current General Assembly? ” and the answer, “Well, some of both.”
A Basket of Grenades
A Clay Benne cartoon depicts the 2012 General Assembly as an Easter bunny with a baket full of hand grenades instead of eggs. Link. HERE.