Tag Archives: Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report


Big news from SCOTUS today:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says a federal law barring people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses from possessing guns can be enforced even in states where no proof of physical force is required to support the domestic violence charge.

The justices on Wednesday reinstated charges against a Tennessee man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in 2001. He was then charged in 2009 with illegal possession of a firearm. Lower courts threw out the gun charge because Tennessee law doesn’t require physical, or violent, force to have been used in misdemeanor domestic assault.

The Supreme Court reversed that decision in an opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The Obama administration argued that the lower courts’ reading of the law would render it unenforceable in many states.


Three accidental shootings make this week’s report, one law-enforcement related, plus a sad update on last week’s accidental shooting in Nashville. But nothing tops this story out of Utah: an 8-year-old, showing his 9-year-old cousin how to handle a .45, while riding in the backseat of a pickup truck. What could possibly go wrong? Listen, folks, just ’cause you don’t believe in Darwin doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in you. Culling the herd, indeed.

Without further ado, I bring you your weekly wrap up of #GunFAIL from across the state.

• March 26, 2014:

A Nashville-area man accidentally shot himself in the hand when he grabbed his gun:

The man told police that he was woken up by a noise at his home on Wellington Court around 4 a.m. While trying to grab his gun, he dropped it and it discharged. He was struck in the hand by a bullet.

That sounds about right.

• March 25, 2014:

1- Two teenagers were arrested for trespassing on the campus of Manassas High School in Shelby County, one carrying a handgun and one carrying a box cutter. They were not students. Seems way too many teenagers have access to guns in this state.

2- Residents of Elder Mountain outside of Chattanooga seek peace from the “Fourth of July every day” they experience due to an illegal gun range at the 86-acre Firemen and Policemen Outing Club.

• March 24, 2014:

A 15-year-old Sevierville teenager accidentally shot himself in the leg with a Colt .45 while putting on his gun belt:

Galloway told Allen they had completed their ride and were feeding their horses when a male in their party, who was 15 at the time but turned 16 on Monday, said he was going to check his “game cameras.”

“He went outside and put his gun belt on,” Allen stated in his report. “A few minutes later they heard him screaming as he came out onto the porch. He told them he had dropped his Colt .45 out of the holster, and when it hit the floor it went off.”

The bullet reportedly traveled through the front side of his lower right leg and exited just above it, Allen added.

Respect the culture, etc. etc.

• March 23, 2014:

1- A man fired shots into the air after an argument at his cousin’s house and was promptly arrested.

2- Update: the Nashville teenager accidentally shot in the neck last week by his friend has died.

3- Lots of gun violence this week, which I don’t normally report here, but I wanted to call attention to this story: One person died and three others were injured when an argument inside a Johnson City nightclub escalated and someone began shooting in the club parking lot. You know, things don’t “escalate” to deadly levels if people don’t have guns with them everywhere. Just sayin’.

But yeah, there’s that one chance in five thousand that you might get to use your gun to play Sir Galahad and live out your wingnut hero fantasies, so by all means, take that chance.

• March 19, 2014:

A Bartlett police investigation into a shooting that occurred while suspects were being served warrants states that the shooting was accidental:

Marcus Allen was shot in the hip as Bartlett officers tried to service a warrant for drugs.

Rikard says Lontrelle Green accidentally shot Allen during the raid.

Bartlett police officers said Green pointed a gun at them so they fired ten shots but did not his either man

All officers involved has been returned to duty.

Also love that the police officers fired 10 shots but didn’t hit anyone.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

One accidental shootings and plenty of gun loonery this week.

• March 19, 2014:

1- A Roane County man who’s been charged with reckless endangerment for shooting an SKS assault rifle at Tiger Haven large-cat sanctuary last year (and nearly hitting a police officer) has been denied his request to have a gun for protection before his upcoming trial. Guy sounds like a loon.

2- Someone shot up the windows of a Nashville area elementary school.

• March 18, 2014:

1- Jimmy Eugene Barker of Louisivlle, TN was shot and killed by Florida police when he allegedly pulled out a gun at a DUI checkpoint.

2- A drunken man caused a disturbance at a Madison Subway restaurant, dropping a glass bottle and then pulling out a gun and threatening to shoot a good samaritan who asked him if he was okay. All of this apparently happened back in November, but the man was just arrested in March. Don’t know what took so long.

• March 17, 2014:

1- An 18-year-old North Nashville teen is in critical condition after his friend accidentally shot him in the neck:

William Blackwell and Robert Goodner, both 18, were handling Goodner’s pistol while visiting a Woodridge Drive home, according to a statement from police. Goodner noticed the safety was off and asked to see the gun.

Goodner told police he mishandled the weapon when it fired, hitting Blackwell in the neck.

2- A 25-year-old Knox County school security officer pulled a Curry Todd, driving drunk with a loaded handgun. This one is even better than Todd’s, though:

A witness told police he followed Copeland after the suspect allegedly pointed a gun at a man on Jackson Avenue Saturday afternoon. When the witness saw a Knoxville police officer on the ramp from I-640 to Mall Road, he told the officer he thought Copeland was drunk.

The KPD officer then followed the suspect and pulled him over after seeing Copeland’s truck swerve over the yellow line on Millertown Pike at about 4 p.m.

According to court documents, the officer arrested Copeland after he failed his sobriety test. Officials said the school security officer also had a loaded handgun in his vehicle.

This is who the NRA and Tennessee Firearms Assn. wants protecting our kids from crazy people with guns. What could possibly go wrong?

• March 14, 2014:

1- A businessman in Maryville was convicted of selling firearms and ammo to a person he knew to be a convicted felon.

2- This one is odd:

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Police say an East Knoxville man who was shot in both hands may have been the victim of random shooting.

Officers on patrol say they heard about five to seven gunshots around 2:02 p.m. Friday.

Moments later, officers located a 19-year-old man who said he had been shot in both hands.

The man was unable to give any suspect information, but said he was in the backyard of his home on Oakland Street when the shooting happened.

Officers could not find any witnesses and believe the shooting may have been random.

I dunno. Sounds a little too bizarre to me.

• March 13, 2014:

A Goodlettsville man who was repeatedly been cited for codes violations fired shots at a codes enforcement officer, and has been jailed.

• March 10, 2014:

A man pulled a gun on his coworker when they got in an argument in the parking lot of the restaurant where they worked.

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Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Isn’t She Special

Y’all probably don’t watch The Real Housewives Of New York City, which I admit is an occasional guilty pleasure of mine (don’t judge! Dorito’s for the brain, cripes, even I need to unwind every now and then). But there was this time about three or four seasons ago when cast member Kelly Bensimon had some kind of nervous breakdown on a trip to the Virgin Islands. It was one of those deals where everything erupted into what you thought was going to be a typical Real Housewives catfight, with Kelly yelling at the other housewives and they’re arguing back at her. But the conversation was odd, there were words but they weren’t forming coherent ideas that related to what anyone else was saying, and all at once you see the other women realize that Kelly was clearly experiencing some kind of mental breakdown. She started shouting “Al Sharpton! Al Sharpton!” apropos of absolutely nothing and cramming hard candies into her mouth.

And as the realization that something was seriously wrong with Kelly dawned on the other women you just saw them all back down and say, “okay, we’re not going to argue, there’s something wrong here, let’s get you some help.” I mean, it was truly amazing to see, how they all at once realized that they were not dealing with a mentally healthy person but someone having a clinical episode of some kind.

That’s kind of how I feel after reading this interview with Victoria Jackson (warning: there’s an annoying auto-start ad at the link so turn your volume off if you don’t want to be screamed at.) I just can’t piece out quotes and make fun of someone who clearly is just … not … all right up there.


Filed under conservatives, pop culture, Saturday Night Live, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Tennessee Gun Report

Forgot to post this yesterday. Sorry.

• March 11, 2014

1- I don’t normally post gun crimes in the gun report but this one was notable: three masked gunmen robbed a Mt. Juliet Goodwill store.

Say what?

Does this make sense? Who robs the Goodwill store? Couldn’t you guys hit up a liquor store or something?

2- Seeing a lot more of these stories now: road rage and fights escalating into shootings, now that everyone is carrying guns in their cars.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Police are investigating a fight that escalated into a shooting, Tuesday afternoon.

Based on the preliminary investigation, four people were shot at while inside a minivan. The minivan was struck at least once. There were no injuries.

• March 10, 2014

An 11th-grader in Nashville was arrested for bringing a loaded gun onto school property:

Investigators said the teen told them he bought the gun for social status. He was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon on school property.

“Social status.” Right. Let’s keep blaming Hollywood and oh by the way, you can shut up about that now that Harvey Weinstein has pledged to stop glorifying gun violence in his films. Aaand the screams and hollers about how gun loons are oppressed and being ignored by Hollywood start in 5… 4… 3…

• March 9, 2014:

A Clarksville man apparently brandished a gun not once but twice in the same day in road rage incidents. However, the second incident was self-defense, he claims:

According to the warrants, Bellamy told the detective that he owned the gun and admitted that earlier in the day he waved it a woman driving on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard near Exit 4. He also told Honholt that he displayed the weapon when the driver of a vehicle on Madison Street pointed an AR-15 assault rife at him, then tossed it out of the vehicle between Pageant Lane and 10th Street.

Guns-in-cars FAIL.

• March 8, 2014:

A customer got into an argument with a clerk at a Jackson business, went to his car, pulled out a gun, and fired it into the business’ awning. He is still at large. Guns-in-cars FAIL version eleventybillion.

SO glad the state legislature is making sure we have guns at the ready for every instance when they’re not necessary.


Filed under gun control, gun violence

Time Keeps On Ticking Into The Future

Today we sprang forward, part of our annual Daylight Savings Time ritual. I usually hate springing forward because you “lose” an hour but I get over it as soon as I realize that holy cow it’s 6:00 and it’s still daylight!

So naturally, Tennessee Republican State Rep. Curry Todd, ALEC’s man in our state legislature who was last in the news for living with a lobbyist in violation of state ethics rules, wants to do away with this annual ritual. Todd has a bill that would keep Tennessee in permanent daylight savings time.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Republican would want to freeze the state in time.


This is a ridiculous proposal on a lot of levels, the most notable one being, there’s absolutely no reason to do this. Why would Todd want to change this? It’s not like we’ve experienced a rash of issues related to the time change. I suspect some corporate suck asked Todd to file this bill because Todd, as I mentioned, is a Big Business Toady — more specifically, ALEC’s man in the Tennessee legislature who was caught living with a lobbyist in violation of state ethics rules.

Todd claims that he’s doing this “for the children” who have to wait for the school bus in the dark, and at the behest of farmers, and also he did some research and “80% of Tennesseans were in favor of making the switch.”

LOLWUT? He did research? I call bullshit. Please show us this mythic research!

Also, please stop trying to do the children of Tennessee any favors:

When asked though which time gives children more daylight in the morning, Todd admitted, “I really don’t know to tell you the truth.”

In actuality, moving the clock forward an hour means school children will wait for the bus longer in the dark.

Woopsies. Hilariously, Todd’s original proposal would have done away with daylight savings time. He changed it with an amendment making daylight savings time permanent.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Tennessee Republican would propose legislation to prevent the state from moving forward.


Methinks Curry Todd hasn’t really thought this whole thing through.

And then we have this:

The change would cause some time issues for east Tennessee, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.

If Knoxville stays on daylight saving while the rest of the east coast falls back, east Tennessee would be an hour ahead of New York.

This guy makes a good point:

Moving the clock ahead an hour does not add daylight, time or anything else. The primary purpose for the concept of keeping “time” is that everyone is on the same page. If Tennessee decides it is going to buck the rest of the country, then confusion will ensue. This is particularly so given Tennessee borders so many other states. Imagine, five months of the year when Chattanoogans are planning to meet friends from North Georgia, they will be on different times. The other seven months the time will be the same. Confusion will reign in every area that borders a different state (and in Tennessee, that includes Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, etc.).

Indeed, mass confusion is why the Uniform Time Act was passed in the first place.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Tennessee Republican would propose legislation causing mass, state-wide confusion.


Curry Todd is a few sandwiches short of a full picnic, but I have no doubt that he doesn’t do anything without one of his big-money buddies telling him to do it. Clearly he’s too lazy/disinterested to fully investigate the issue at hand.

Would love to know who benefits from this. Anyone?


Filed under Current Events, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

How Not To Meet With Citizens

Nashville representatives of Moms Demand Action say they were greeted with guns and lectures about rape when they met with Republican state legislators on background checks last month:

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum, Moms Demand Action chapter leader, and Telisha Cobb wanted to change some state representatives’ minds about the bill. In the middle of a conversation with Womick, McFadyen-Ketchum said, he reached into a drawer, pulled out a gun and placed it on his desk.

Womick, a Rockvale Republican, denies that. It was a gun holster, he said this week, and he explained that he leaves the gun itself in his car, even though he is exempt from the Capitol’s no-carry law. That’s the point he was trying to make, he said.

McFadyen-Ketchum disputes that version. “Why would anyone pull out a holster?” she said. “I don’t have a photographic memory, but it was a gun.”

Womick, of course, is the John Birch Society tin-foil hat conspiracy nut behind the legislature’s Agenda 21 vote last year, as well as an attempt to bar Muslims from serving in the military. The guy is squirrelier than a bag of nuts, but in addition to intimidating moms who want some sensible background checks, he also seems to have forgotten that one of the last places in Tennessee where guns are not allowed is the state Capitol.

By the way, Womick claims he is exempt because he says he “works in law enforcement,” but according to his bio, he’s an airline pilot who received training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Training is not the same as employment. I would love to know what his actual law enforcement job is.

And let me add, I am alarmed that a raging paranoiac like Rick Womick is running around both armed and writing our laws. Normal people are not scared that sustainable development is a United Nations conspiracy to further one-world government or that Sharia Law is a real threat to America. That is crackpot Glenn Beck shit, y’all. Anyone who believes it is so far inside the John Birch information bubble that they’re oxygen deprived.

And it gets better:

She and Cobb also met Rep. Mike Carter, an Ooltewah Republican, who told them there were lots of guns inside the state legislature, McFadyen-Ketchum said. Then he said some women carry firearms to defend themselves from rape. Carter suggested Cobb should do the same. Cobb said she’d take her chances.

Wow, was that a threat?

Thank you, Rep. Carter, for mansplaining to us ladies about how rape is a thing we need to be worried about. Gee, I was so busy thinking about shopping and clipping coupons that I totally forgot about that! /sarcasm

But let’s get back to the issue of guns in the Capitol:

In the course the meetings, McFadyen-Ketchum also snagged a Capitol security guard and asked whether lawmakers routinely kept guns in their offices. She said the guard told her there was a gentlemen’s agreement — the lawmakers don’t talk about the guns, and security doesn’t look.

That’s encouraging. Let’s hope one of our legislators thumbing their nose at the law doesn’t pull a Leslie Combs.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee, TNGOP

Tennessee Gun Report

Busy week! Three accidental shootings in our report — if you include the one in Hendersonville. Unfortunately, I don’t have a link to the story; the news was reported by the morning anchor on WTVF but, as is so often the case, there isn’t a printed version I can link to, and nobody did any follow-up. You’ll have to take my word for it that I heard the reporter announce this news, but if you don’t, fine.

Also, teenage boys and guns do not mix, y’all.

• March 4, 2014:

A Columbia teenager opened fire on two dogs, claiming self defense. However, police aren’t buying it and charged the teen with reckless endangerment:

She said she immediately broke up the fight and was off the home’s property and in control of her animal when the 17-year-old emerged with a handgun.

“I asked where his mother is. He didn’t answer and he went into the house. I continued walking my dog, and next thing I know, the screen slams open and I turned and he pulls a gun out of his pocket and yells some obscenities at me,” Carroll said.

She continued, “He said, ‘Buck up, b*^%$.’ I was scared, horrified scared. He fired a shot and I let go of my dog which made him a target. I was in the driveway in the house down from him. I was not on his property.”

Carroll told News 2 the teen fired at her from about 12 feet away, even though she had control of Prince, who was between her legs. She said that she let go of her dog, fearing for her life.

“I turned around and saw my pit was shot and he was squirming on the driveway and he kept firing. I was screaming at top of my lungs, ‘Oh God!’ My other dog was limping to a car. At that point, [the teen] walked toward me and I was afraid for my life. My life flashed before my eyes; I didn’t know where the gun was.”

She added, “I was crying. Screaming scared for my life. He had come up to me say he was sorry. I screamed, ‘Where are my dogs at?’ One dog was in a drainage ditch, shot three times. The other dog was behind the car, and she had no involvement in the fight.”

Stupid kid.

• March 2, 2014:

A Hendersonville teenager accidentally shot himself in the knee, according to WTVF.

• March 1, 2014:

A 13-year-old boy in Carter County was accidentally shot in the neck by his 14-year-old brother with a gun they’d found in a closet.

• February 27, 2014:

1- An angry, intoxicated Kingsport woman was arrested after she started randomly firing her gun in the street on account of being angry and intoxicated. Respect the culture, etc. etc.

2- Nine assault rifles were stolen from a Memphis Walmart.

• February 14, 2014:

A man in Baxter was cleaning his .38 when it accidentally fired, shooting him in the arm.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

What’s The Word For This Again?

Welcome, Crooks & Liars!

Y’all think maybe these two stories are related? Story one:

Tennessee’s attorney general again says federal gun laws must stand

The latest attempt by state lawmakers to nullify federal gun laws probably violates the U.S. Constitution, Tennessee’s attorney general said in an opinion released Friday.

Senate Bill 1756, a measure that attempts to block federal laws within Tennessee, would violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, state lawyers said in a terse, two-page opinion signed by Attorney General Robert Cooper. State lawyers note they reached the same conclusion on a similar bill a year ago.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, sought the opinion. Kelsey and the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, have clashed previously over the issue.

Story two:

Attorney general bill advances in Tennessee state Senate; on state House calendar this week

The state House version of a bill that would give Tennessee’s governor and the General Assembly power over the state attorney general is on a subcommittee calendar for debate Wednesday.

The state Senate version of the bill passed out of committee last week on a 5-3 vote and is set to be scheduled for a full Senate vote.

Supporters say the bill would make the state attorney general’s office more accountable to Tennessee citizens. The attorney general now is appointed by Tennessee Supreme Court justices, who themselves are appointed by the governor.

Bill opponents, who include Gov. Bill Haslam, say the legislation is a power grab that could violate the state constitution and politicize the independent office.

You know what? I’d like to see our representatives in the legislature be more accountable to Tennessee citizens first, ‘m’kay? We keep hearing about jobs and the economy being peoples’ number one concern, but when you elect Tennessee Republicans like Mae Beavers what you end up getting is a lot of culture war crazy and attempts to roll back the clock and re-litigate battles that were settled long ago.

And, yes. A special kudo to that crack legal mind Mae Beavers — and when I say “crack,” I DO mean influenced by illegal substances, as she’s so far off the rails, even her fellow Republicans can’t take her seriously any more. I simply cannot believe that there isn’t a person out there who can send this idiot packing. I mean, Tennessee Republicans, have you not thought about finding another candidate for this seat? Mae Beavers is kinda tarnishing your brand. She does not belong in public office of any kind, let alone in the state legislature.

But isn’t this just typical? The state Attorney General keeps telling certain legislators that their ideas are unconstitutional, illegal, even crazy. They won’t stand up in court. Instead of behaving like grown-ups and realizing maybe they might be, y’know, wrong, they just want to use their power to politicize the office and hire some Monica Goodling-type with a “degree” from the University of Phoenix to do their bidding. Power grab? Umm, gee, ya think? But this is what happens when you elect a bunch of people who are more interested in getting their way than doing what’s right.

Now, tell me: what’s the word for this, again? Corrupt? Evil? Stupid? Childish?

By the way, the AG’s opinion can be read here. It’s hilarious.

Constitutionality of Legislation Amending the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act”


Is Senate Bill 1607/House Bill 2145 (hereinafter “SB1607”) of the 108th Tennessee General Assembly, which would amend the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” constitutional?



Well, alrighty then. Now run along and play, children, and leave the actual governing to the grown-ups.

And let me remind Tennessee Republicans supporting this ridiculous Attorney General’s bill about one thing: pendulums swing. You won’t be in power forever. The day will come when Democrats are back in charge and get to have all the power you are grabbing for your Republican majority now. And you will not like that. And you will scream and squawk and whine and complain but you will have made this bed and you will have to lie down in it.

And nobody will feel sorry for you.


Filed under gun control, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

Tennessee Gun Report

Four accidental shootings reported this week, two in Greeneville and two in Memphis. The Memphis shootings were fatal.

Carry on, nothing to see here ….

• February 25, 2014:

1- Congratulations, Derrick Lee Thornton! You are Chattanooga’s 20th shooting victim of the year!

2- A passenger at Tri-Cities Regional Airport tried to board a plane with not one but two loaded weapons in their carry-on. Two guns? TWO? One wasn’t enough? You needed them both?

3- A Memphis 15-year-old accidentally shot and killed his 13-year-old friend early Tuesday morning. The two were playing with a gun when the weapon fired, killing Cartrial Robinson. Nobody knows where the gun came from, though I suspect one of the adults owned the weapon because of this:

Police originally were told Robertson showed up at a home in the 600 block off Hillcrest Street just before 3a.m. with a gunshot wound and collapsed.

When you start out lying to the police about what happened, there’s probably a lot more going on, too.

• February 24, 2014:

• It’s a Greeneville two-fer! Two accidental shootings were reported, one of a 7-year-old boy who was injured while squirrel hunting.

• February 23, 2014:

1- Remember that awful case from last November where 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, wandered into a guy’s yard in the middle of the night and the homeowner shot and killed him? Here’s an update: shooter Joe Hendrix still hasn’t been indicted.

2- Meanwhile in Memphis, 23-year-old Courtney Hatch was sitting in the back seat of a car looking at a gun he thought wasn’t loaded. Guess what: it was. Seventeen-year-old Kennedra Miles was shot and killed in the car’s front seat. He’s black though, so he was charged right away with reckless homicide.

• February 20, 2014:

A Tennessee State University football player was shot outside a West Nashville Walmart in what is believed to be a road-rage incident:

According to the statement, Carter told police he was headed to a local restaurant when a man open fired on him after blocking the intersection he was approaching. Carter said when he drove up on the sidewalk to pass that’s when he was shot.

So glad people are carrying their guns with them everywhere.

• February 18, 2014:

An Athens woman says she was shot in the ear by a stray bullet as she was driving in the morning. The incident is still under investigation.


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Obamacare Boosts Wages, Tennessee Proves

What’s that you say? It’s true, according to Dean Baker:

This is the “job loss” that has gotten opponents of the ACA so excited. But there is another aspect of this picture that should get other people excited. Back in intro economics we teach students about supply and demand. Other things equal, we expect a reduced supply – in this case of workers – to lead to a higher price or wage. In other words, a reduction in labor supply associated with the ACA might lead to some increase in wages.

We have an opportunity to test this proposition since Tennessee effectively did Obamacare in reverse, eliminating health insurance subsidies for low and moderate income adults without children in 2005. If the resulting change in labor supply has an impact on the market, then we would expect to see a drop in wages in Tennessee relative to other states.

That is in fact what we see. The figure below shows the median real wage for workers with high school degrees or less (the workers most likely to be affected) in Tennessee since 2000 compared to the workers without high school degrees elsewhere in the South.


Interesting idea. Also ironic that Tennessee kicked its low and moderate income folks in the teeth 9 years ago and saw a decline in wages as a result. It stands to reason that lifting up these folks will see a rise in wages. It’s sorta what people like Krugman have been saying since forever, but don’t expect the Republican’ts to start listening.


Filed under healthcare, Obamacare, Tennessee, wages