Up for Debate: Concerns of the state legislature

Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:22am

When considering some of the bills our General Assembly occupies its time with, do you think our legislators really have the public's interest in mind? Some of the debates in Legislative Plaza and the state capitol bring Tennessee national attention in the media, at times to our state reputation's detriment. Is that to be expected in politics or is it unacceptable?

53 Comments on this post:

By: Ummm... on 3/30/12 at 4:40

Our Republican-led legislature is the laughing stock of the country. God only knows what kind of embarrassing legislation they will enact next. When traveling out of state, I would advise everyone to just say they're from "the South."

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 4:55

Good morning, Nashville.

It appears that the politicians in the Volunteer state are beholden to various special interest groups, especially to the born-again evangelical Christians. The NRA is also a big player in TN politics. Faith-based homophobia and a disdain for the federal government are also hallmarks of Southern politics and TN leads the way in those areas as well.

The Citizens United decision will further erode the public's influence upon their elected representatives...money talks and now there are no restrictions on that sort of "speech".

This is unacceptable in a working democracy; the nation is morphing into a militant fascist state whose leaders are actually dupes and front-men for the real power-brokers...guys like Sheldon Adelson, Harold Clark Simmons, the Koch brothers, Mayor Bloomberg etc.

When the rest of the nation reads about TN's "guns in bars" laws and related foolishness, the stereotype of Southern stupidity gets reinforced.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 5:03

Most of the TN lawmakers believe that the earth is only about 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs and humans co-existed...the universe was created by a Jewish fellow in just six days...he took the 7th day off...and that omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Jewish fellow hates Muslims, especially Arab Muslims....that's the Gospel in Tennessee these days....useful idiots indeed.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 5:45

It is what the people of Tennessee want… to be control and told what to do.

By: dargent7 on 3/30/12 at 5:51

Loner: God created the Universe in 6 days. Jesus was His Son who wasn't born yet.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 6:01

God's Son always was and always will be...according to the Christians....it's God the Mother and God the Grandmother who seem to have been wiped from the Jewish creation records and thus are not found in Christian dogma as well...it was an all-male revue in the beginning, according to Scripture....women were an afterthought, or so it seems....I'd like to see an artist's rendering of a pregnant God the Father.

By: Kosh III on 3/30/12 at 6:09

The one thing they have NOT done is be focused "like a laser on jobs."

I guess the fact that over half the counties in the state have official unemployement over 10% doesn't matter. One county is near 20%.


Don't forget the other powerful special interests: the outlaw employers who want to keep illegal aliens in the state so they can avoid taxes and pay low wages; the liquor lobby who has bought the legislature and stifles competition.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 6:20

I have a variant to Loner’s quote, Holy Warriors Suck in Tennessee.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 6:24

There is a secret belief among the Baptist, that their religion is older than the Jews by 2 days.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 6:43

It's time for the return of the coonskin caps in the greenest state in the land of the free...and it's time to grow the green in the greenest state in the union....liberate the medicine!

And for you born-agains:

It's in that King James book...open up and take a look....it was on the third day, when Jah had this to say: "Let the earth bring forth grass...the herb that yields seed"...Jah knew that mankind soon would have the need.

"And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed"; and it's good to have the herb, when you have the need.

"And Jah saw that it was good"....Adam and Noah understood. It's in that King James book. Open up and take a look.

And that review of Genesis 1:11 will conclude this morning's Bible Study With Loner...please send your gifts in faith to the NCP c/o Loner.

By: dargent7 on 3/30/12 at 6:43

Loner: You've mixed up your Biblical myths.
Jesus was born from Mary, Imaculate, and Joseph was just hanging around taking out the trash.
Adam & Eve's fall from grace was from God, directly.
The entire Old Testament didn't include any reference to Jesus Christ.
Jesus wasn't born until the New Testament.
....I seem to remember.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 6:44

Use the variant, Captain...get the word out.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 6:46

At one time the Baptist thought that their history was 10,000 years, but they had to change that when the Creationist came to power. So now it is only by 2 days.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 6:48

Okie Dokie Loner.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 6:49

I never claimed that Jesus appeared in the Old Testament, Darge, please show my the heresy in my preaching....remember, the Lone One is a Pagan Fire Wizard....don't blow no smoke up my vestments, thank you.

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 7:02

Checked on the progress of my Postal Jeep restoration project yesterday....she'll be finished by April 15th....then I can hit the road in that rolling chick magnet....Pagan drumbeats in the Southern Tier beckon the Old One...the Vernal Equinox occurred over a week ago and my Pagan juices are flowing....Brushwood calls to me...renewal is at hand.

The Jeep had some "frame issues"..some new metal has been welded in place...total tranny rebuild, new valve guides, plugs, points, condenser, plug wires...new exhaust system (sans catalytic converter...the Jeep predates converters, so I'll be legal)....coolant system flush..new fan belt....brakes & tires are fairly new...with that fiberglass body, the DJ-5 should go for several more years...I love that vehicle....chicks dig it too....no brag, just fact.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 7:25

That's quite the project you've got going there lone one. I'll be breaking out the V8 Miata soon... needs a clutch and new outer CV joints. I'm also going to rework the hydraulics on the clutch master cylinder to give it a little more throw. New head-rest speakers are here and ready to install. That and a little polish should have it ready for the season. Meant to wrap the headers this winter to cut down on engine compartment heat and fix the little oil leak where we notched the oil pan to fit over the K-member so the hood would close; but that'll be next winter I guess.

By: Moonglow1 on 3/30/12 at 7:40

Moonglow1: There is one bill pending where if you are a health care worker you will not be able to ask what is considered good medical practice: asking a suicidal patient if there is a gun in the house, same for a patient with homicidal tendencies, a patient with mental illness, or a wife beater with a gun at home (these legislators fall into this category-wife beaters with guns).

Doctors \ nurses beware. You may be targeted by the TN legislature for doing your job. For maintaining the safety of your patient and protecting the public.

The TN Legislature is The New Fascist Order. The New Stalin. They are wolves in sheeps clothing. Or wolves in cheap clothing \ polyester suits with cigars hanging out of their mouths and guns in their belts.

The New Regulators of what is left of society. Bills to curb your kids from holding hands, bills to place chickens in the back yard, bills to overturn laws passed in Davidson County, bills to push "creationism," bills to bring guns to work so if you get mad at your co-worker take out your Glock and shoiw em the real boss.

Yes, these legislators are working hard for the money. It's tough following orders from ALEC and the NRA. Hard doing the job that The People (them suckers) voted you in to do.

The TN Legislators believe in creationism because they have not evolved past the Cro-Magnum stage. They are slightly more evolved then gorilla's so they do have a brain albeit not much larger than a marble.

By: BigPapa on 3/30/12 at 7:41

These guys have wasted time on silly social issues playing to the lowest levels of their political base.

The goofy stuff they've been messing with really turns off independents and the typical middle of the road, socially liberal fiscal conservatives like myself. But does it make me long for Jimmy Neifeh and crew? Not hardly.

By: yogiman on 3/30/12 at 8:20

They've got to do something to self justify their being on the job, BigPapa. They just can't seem to think of something they should actually be worried about. You know, something more serious; like a usurper in the White House and what to do to expose him.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 8:31

These are some little things that people like Burch enjoy making a big deal of. The idea is to whip the base into a frenzy so they can elect their statist and socialist candidates. It gives the phrase "fear of God" a whole new meaning.

By: yogiman on 3/30/12 at 8:46

It looks like they're winning right now, BenDover. Hopefully, we can have a complete turnover in political personnel this year. That is, if we're permitted to vote.

By: BigPapa on 3/30/12 at 8:55

The GOP in TN should do things like reforming tenure and the civil service. Those are areas that were out dated and entrenched would never change with the Dems in charge.
Changes like that allow our public institutions to run more effectively. Those are the type of things they need to continue to work on, not worrying about if a person is gay, or going back 100 yrs on the scopes trial.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 8:55

Those were the first big things they worked on BigPapa.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 8:57


By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 9:04

Civil Service legislation:


By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 9:07

Most of the energy is being spent the way you said BigPapa. Our media loves to emphasize the more polarizing legislation though because they have a dog in the hunt and prefer unlabeled editorializing to unbiased journalism.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 9:19


Rick Santorum, Newt Ginrich, Michele Bachman, and Rick Perry are good for whipping up the base into a frenzy. They can put the fear in God.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 9:21

Ben, if you are going to talk about Burch, then why not do it on his article link.

By: pswindle on 3/30/12 at 9:26

Something terrible must have happened in the lives of our Legislative Branch for them to be so incompetent and controlling. I do not want to hear another GOP say, I don't want government in my life." The only bills that they have passed are about the bedroom to telliong women what they can and cannot do with thier bodies. They have taken away our rights all in the name of stupidity.

By: dargent7 on 3/30/12 at 9:36

"Polish the cylinders, wax the CV joints, to give it more throw..."
Ms. "Blown Casket" at Pure Platinum, said the very same thing to me last Saturday.
For $100 bucks extra, she promised to, "turn my rotors"....if there was anything left".
Threw in I wouldn't need any additional oil or a pan.
But, possibly a diaper.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 9:38

The media likes to make the Republican candidates out like they're nuts but they basically hold the exact moral values as Reagan did. I remember they tried all of this Theocracy bullsh*t with Reagan too. Hopefully the people will be smart enough to see through it again.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 9:45

pswindel it is a different story when they are doing it to someone else.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 9:48

Sure Ben sure they do. By reporting what the GOP nuts have made into law makes them nuts. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 9:59

Scopes Monkey Trial Revisited: Tennessee Is Still Officially Anti-Evolution As Science Education Bill Passes (VIDEO)

Listen to what the student says at the end of the video.


By: Ummm... on 3/30/12 at 10:38

Just read where the U.S. Senate Republicans have killed the effort to stop the gov't subsidies to Big Oil. These are not "servants of the people," they are handmaidens of the oligarchy. After the Bush Supreme Court strikes down the healthcare law, maybe the country will finally realize whose side the Republicans are on (here's a hint: it isn't the 99%).

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 11:08

That was expected Ummm..., but don't be surprise to find that there is a critical number of gullible people in the 99% that can’t see it that way.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 12:20

Increasing taxes on oil companies when gas is poised to break $5. Yeah... that sounds smart.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 12:25

It's not the fact they are reporting what happens Nemo... the problem is that they emphasize some stories over others... particularly those designed to polarize factions of the Republican party against each other and rally the liberal base.

It's nothing new. I wish they wouldn't label it news though. It's all editorial listing hard to port.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 12:58

Sure Ben sure

Major Garrett Admits that Fox News Wants to Keep America Divided

According to analysis of BrandIndex data done by Ad Age, Fox News Channel is the top brand among Republicans. Not surprisingly, FNC does not make the Democratic top ten list. Google is tops for Democrats. Some of you may be saying to yourselves wait a minute. Major Garrett was talking about media polarization, not political division. It is a chicken and egg argument whether media polarization fuels political polarization, or political polarization is responsible for media polarization. What is clear is that Fox News is the delivery mechanism for polarization.


By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 1:00

Same Source

When Barack Obama talks about unifying America, he is threatening the very business model that Fox News is based on. Polarization and division are the heartbeat and lifeblood of Fox News. If America ever became more politically unified, FNC would go out of business. A suspicious and divided nation is good for FNC’s bottom line. Fox News does push the Republican agenda, and they do try to divide the nation, because that is how they make money. It’s not just about ideology and politics at Fox News. It’s also about profits, and when polarization stops being profitable, Fox News will cease to exist.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 1:09

....Their dominant emotion is annoyance as expressed in sarcasm and scowling; contempt is the underlying attitude. The other side is usually not just wrong but plain stupid, almost unbelievable in its softheaded naiveté, and distance from reality. A "what do you expect" question invariably tops off the argument that always ends with the Fox host a winner and the Democrat or social critic a loser on every level.

...In this universe, hyping the extreme and outrageous seems to attract audiences, as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have proven. That leads to higher ratings, and the real goal, higher revenues.

....What is hard to recognize or often realize is that the topics chosen are calculated and behind a strategy of using emotionally tested wedge issues to politicize by polarizing.


By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 1:19

Foxnews labels quite clearly its editorial/opinion shows. CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC label their commentators 'new anchors'.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 1:42

Fox lies and Ben believes.

com·men·ta·tor (kmn-ttr)
1. A broadcaster or writer who reports and analyzes events in the news.
2. One who writes or delivers a commentary or commentaries.

ed·i·to·ri·al   /ˌɛdɪˈtɔriəl, -ˈtoʊr-/ Show Spelled[ed-i-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-] Show IPA
1. an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor, or editors.
2. a statement broadcast on radio or television that presents the opinion of the owner, manager, or the like, of the station or channel.
3. something regarded as resembling such an article or statement, as a lengthy, dogmatic utterance.

Is this what you mean about Fox News;

(o·pin·ion/əˈpinyən/Noun: A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.)

By: Loner on 3/30/12 at 2:05

Just listen to any clear channel station on the AM band....totally right-wing...what isn't secular right-wing is Christian right-wing....but guys like Ben Dover claim there's a liberal bias in the major media. Apparently he never touches that dial....Ben Dover, check out today's AM radio....it's fascist propaganda....and it's seeping into the FM band too.

The internet is jam-packed with right-wing sites and cable TV has all the conservative caca that anyone could ever want...but guys like Dover are still upset that PBS is bucking the trend....and somehow surviving a thousand cuts.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 2:25

Ben sometimes fall off the edge. Must be that raw right-wing cookie dough he eats.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 2:56

Limbaugh never claimed to be unbiased... NPR does claim to be unbiased just like CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the left listing 'media' that exemplifies soft-bias every day under the label of 'news' (usually by emphasis of stories that fit the template of their journalistic activism).

Then on top of that they have the left-wing commentary to offset the likes of Fox's commentartors... Rachel Maddow, Keith Oberman, Jon Stewart, Chris Matthews, Rosie O'Donnell, and an army of B-listers ... the left has tons of left-wing commentators to augment the Whitehouse press release megaphone that is the MSM.

Where everyone seems to get most testy though is when I call out Burch and the City Paper on it.

By: slacker on 3/30/12 at 3:09

Ben, ask the City Paper editor for a point, counterpoint session with Burch. It would be interesting reading. The bots like myself could provide comments.
Challenge Burch, he could probably arrange it.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/30/12 at 3:10

I would never consider Rose O’Donnell a news person. Jon Stewart… Ben you are talking apples and oranges. I suppose that you consider Bill O’Riley a boy scout.

I have been watching Rachael Maddow when I can and she gives her guest the attention to tell their side of the story. I think the problem you have with Maddow is that she is smart and gets to the point without insulting her visitors.

BTW Limbaugh never clamed to be a liar, but he is.

By: BenDover on 3/30/12 at 3:20

Nah... I had a writing gig for a while and I didn't like it. I'll just stand back in anonymity and take pots shots as usual.