Thursday, April 30, 2009
According to Alexander’s latest press release, those stupid voters are “raising the prospect that we would have no check and balance on one-party rule – the genuine risk of what de Tocqueville called ‘tyranny of the majority.’”
(He even uses that phrase four separate times including the title)
Let me give you a clue on this one, Senator, since you clearly don’t have one. When the overwhelming majority of voters choose the other side, it’s not the voters’ fault. It’s not even the Democrats’ fault. It’s all on you.
You see, in America, you don’t get to lead because you really, really want to or because you’re so darned sure you’re right. You actually have to convince the voters that you’re right. And you failed. Miserably. In fact, you chased them right into the arms of the other party.
You want more control over Congress? Earn it. Go win some seats back. We’ll have elections next year and two years after that. Don’t just sit there and whine that the other side keeps winning.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Study participants felt down when asked to recount real-life moments of social rejection, but they perked right back up again when asked to recount their favorite TV episodes and characters. Who cares if one's real and one's fake? Not your brain.
Might I suggest Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Seasons three, five, and six are the best. Also try Sports Night.
Governor Bredesen Attends the 75th Anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains
And those Bible-hating scientists say mountains take millions of years to create. I knew we couldn't trust them.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This morning I received an email from Ward Cammack spokesman Mark Brown, who assures me that Cammack will ban mountaintop removal mining as Governor. It's a high priority for him and he will work to get an outright ban through the General Assembly.
She also has a rant well worth reading on the governor's race and what it means to be a Democrat in Tennessee.
Democrats have been slowly losing their downballot grip on Tennessee over the past decade; Republicans now have outright control of the state Senate, and are more or less tied with Dems in the House. With Phil Bredesen term-limited out of the governor's office, both the Dem and GOP fields are large, but they also both lack serious star-power. For the Dems, former State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, state Sen. Roy Herron, businessman Ward Cammack and beer distributor Mike McWherter (son of former Governor Ned) are in the hunt, while Congressan Zach Wamp, Memphis DA Bill Gibbons, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey round out the GOP field. Based on Tennessee's recent trend, we have to give the early edge to the GOP, but it's not an insurmountable one.
Dude, I have totally been in that bathroom, and yes, it totally rocks.
This may be the stupidest movie ever.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Strangely, Lamar Alexander ranked high on both lists.
When the votes were counted, five Democratic Senators named Alexander among the most bipartisan, putting him in a tie for #12.
But he scored much higher on the bad side – being ranked the #5 most partisan.
Bob Corker, despite his grandstanding in the auto industry bailout, got six votes for being bipartisan, tying for #8 with Arlen Specter (R-PA), among others.
First, Ward Cammack talked about the importance of civil unions to provide gay couples with equivalent rights under the law as heterosexual married couples. He then volunteered his ardent support for adoption rights for gay couples.
In a seperate conversation, former State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan came up with a similar answer, espousing* civil unions as something Tennesseans might accept because gay marriage was a bridge too far around here. Then I asked her about adoption rights and got a very personal reply. McMillan herself is adopted and couldn’t care less if an adoptive couple is gay or straight so long as they’ll provide a loving home.
So no distance between the candidates there, but good to know where they stand.
*Take time to appreciate my clever use of language.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Two are from Tennessee!
Creating Homes Initiative
State of Tennessee
Tennessee’s Creating Homes Initiative combines state leadership, regional housing development/funding experts, and local partnerships to develop affordable, supportive homes for people with mental illness. Since 2000, $250,000,000 has been leveraged, resulting in the development of 7,200 housing units.
Higher Education Initiative
City of Kingsport, TN
The Higher Education Initiative revitalized an ailing economy in the northeastern Tennessee city of Kingsport by improving the overall education level of its labor force.
So what’s this “government innovations” list all about? According to the website:
The Innovations in American Government Awards was created by the Ford Foundation in 1985 in response to widespread pessimism and distrust in government’s effectiveness. The awards program acts as a significant force in restoring public trust in government by promoting public sector creativity and excellence.
No word yet what issues Herenton has with Cohen's performance in Congress, but statements from both men can be found here. I'm sure the immediate speculation is that Herenton (an African American) thinks he can knock off the white guy in a predominently black district, but I'm not jumping to conclusions.
You can pencil me in on the Cohen side of this one. Even though I consider Cohen a bit of a kook, I don't see any reason to oust him yet.
UPDATE: TNDP Chairman Chip Forester just commented on this issue on a conference call with bloggers. He said there's "not any clarity that Mayor Herenton will be challenging Steve Cohen" and attributed all the speculation to an "offhanded comment" by the Mayor.
I understand why the party chairman wants to skirt this issue for now so I'll cut him some slack, but according to The Memphis News, Herenton issued the statement in writing and "has formed an exploratory committee to run for Congress in the 2010 elections."
Still, let's keep our fingers crossed that Chip is right. Hopefully this will all turn out to be nothing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The five majority judges agreed that cops don’t have blanket authority to search your car just because you happen to be in your car when they arrest you. In other words, if you’re busted for driving without a license, they can’t search the car randomly looking for any other violations such as possession of marijuana.
However, the cops still can search your car if they think there might be evidence related to the offense at hand--presumably meaning that if you’re getting arrested for DUI then they can still search the car for booze (and bust you for anything else they find in the process).
I’m not sure where I come down on this issue. Obviously it’s a weird and confusing one to split the Justices like that.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Granted, it’s a hell of a lot better than President Bush’s policy to only allow research on existing lines of stem cells and no new ones whatsoever.
But there are important reasons why scientists want to clone embryos for stem cells for scientific research, which apparently Obama will not allow funding for. Among them, scientists want the stem cell DNA to exactly match patients to avoid rejection and other problems.
This is a big disappointment, Mr. President.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
It’s real money that would make a big difference to most Americans.
But to the TNGOP, it’s chump change. It’s meaningless. They think “most Americans” don’t need it or want it or couldn’t do anything with it.
Here’s the deal – According the TNGOP itself, the “Obama tax credit” is worth $676 “to most Americans, this year.”
Of course they try to hide that fact with a little math. They take that $676 and break it down to “$13 per week,” which they scoff at and ridicule.
Well, sorry, I’m not an idiot. I can handle a little multiplication. $13 x 52 weeks. That’s $676 this year, and that’s not meaningless to most Americans.
And if you don’t get that, no wonder the Republican Party keeps losing elections.
But hey, thanks for pointing out that Obama just cut taxes for most Americans. Please keep pointing that out.
That's the TNGOP version. Apparently they expect a lot of local Republicans are getting free mortgages from the government and want to brag about it.
The real version of the bumper sticker looks like this:
See the difference?
(Just ignore the obnoxious stock photo that goes with the online version of the story.)
Someday it’ll be Tennessee’s turn. Not someday soon, unfortunately, but someday.
And this isn't some tiny, obscure species of ant in a neglected corner of the rainforest. These little guys, er, girls run the length of South America from Panama to Argentina.
This one doesn't involve embryonic stem cells so no controversy here, just good news.
Confidential data from maritime industry insiders based on engine size and the quality of fuel typically used by ships and cars shows that just 15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars.