Category Archives: elections

Elections Have Consequences

Call me biased but there are some issues that I firmly believe are better in Democratic hands than Republican ones. And I put the environment at the top of that list.

If you want clean air, water, soil and all the rest, Democrats are your people. Sure, we have disagreements and we’re not perfect; BernieBros purists will be happy to point out Democrats who are okay with fracking, or others who believe in “clean coal.” These are complicated issues and there are some tough choices and all the rest. But by and large, Democrats are the ones who are reliable defenders of the environment. Republicans are the ones who harp on about “red tape” and “regulations” harming jobs, who peddle fantasies about the “free hand of the market” driving polluters out of business and who constantly harp on about dismantling the EPA.

So excuse me for being a little puzzled by the people of Benton County, TN who have lately been wondering how their landfill all of a sudden started accepting hazardous waste, which appears to be a health issue for those living nearby. I’ll tell you how that happened: you overwhelming voted for Republicans at every level of government, and those people don’t give a shit about your water and air, that’s how.

Or to put it another way:

Obtaining a state permit to establish a new landfill requires public notice and disclosure about the types of waste that will be deposited so communities can discuss, debate or even intervene to stop a landfill before it starts. Once a landfill has gotten its initial permit, however, landfill owners and waste generators in Tennessee can privately petition the state to accept additional and potentially hazardous materials.

[…]

Camden Mayor Roger Pafford said no one from TDEC informed city officials that their town was now home to a hazardous waste landfill. The omission was particularly galling to city officials because the leachate – or wastewater – pipe carrying hazardous waste from the landfill flows directly above a city drinking water main.

Well, that’s bad news. So is it okay for private industries to “privately petition the state to accept additional and potentially hazardous materials” and not tell anyone what’s going on? I certainly don’t think so. But remember, our wonderful “moderate” non-crazy Gov. Haslam is the one who removed consumer representatives from the Underground Storage Tank and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board. So that might be one reason why you didn’t know about the toxic sludge now buried in your backyards.

And to add insult to injury, these folks are now hoping the EPA can help them get to the bottom of this mess. They’ve actually requested that the Environmental Protection Agency investigate this.

Excuse me a moment.

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AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA }}

Okay, I’m back now.

Have y’all seen the bill Republicans filed in Congress to eliminate the EPA? That is literally what the bill says:

The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.

And that’s it. So, Benton County, good luck with that! Even if that bill fails, have you seen the order of the President (the guy you voted for overwhelmingly) to dismantle the EPA’s clean water rule? Or his proposal to slash the EPA’s budget by a whopping 25% so we can build more nukes? I mean, you voted for it, bigly, so certainly you’re aware of the Trump mandate that EPA data and studies undergo a political review before being released to the public?

You knew about this right? Right?

So do you seriously think a Trump-era EPA has the time, money, or political mojo to go after Haslam cronies in the solid waste business? Pardon me again:

{{ HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA }}

And do you really think that Congressman Marsha Blackburn, who wants to fold the EPA into a cubby in a corner of the Dept. of Energy — and yet another politician you’ve voted for, repeatedly, by like 75% — is going to give a rats’ ass about your drinking water?

And let’s see how much Gov. Haslam, who also has your undying electoral love and devotion, cares. He’s in the midst of actually increasing the amount of toxic sludge flowing into landfills that people previously thought were for orange peels and other household waste:

TDEC is moving forward with efforts to speed up the special waste approval process. TDEC officials last month told members of the Underground Storage Tank and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board – the oversight board of members appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam – they were creating an online submission portal that will allow TDEC officials to approve requests for disposal. Haslam four years ago reconstituted the board to remove consumer representatives.

So I really want to know why you idiots keep reflexively pulling the lever for Republicans when you’re worried about safe drinking water and complaining about the loss of land values because of the burning sensation when you jump in the swimming pool and the pH levels that are “off the charts.”

When will you people wake up and realize that your Republican representatives at the state and federal level do not respect you or care about you? They use gays, God and abortion to sucker you into voting for them, then they ignore you the rest of the time. They cut government to the size where it’s useless when you need it, but hey: you bought every BS line they sold you about “big government,” so you have only yourselves to blame.

And okay fine, go ahead and join the Sierra Club now as a last resort, while you try to tell yourself that you’re “not an environmentalist.” We’re all environmentalists, asshole. Poisoned air and water don’t care about your party affiliation. This stuff affects all of us, regardless.

Honestly, I don’t get it, folks.

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, elections, environment, EPA, Tennessee

Where Your Treasure Is

… there your heart will be also.

And with a record $4 billion+ — that’s billion, with a B — spent on this midterm election, it’s safe to say that America’s heart is with power.

That’s it. Very simple and terribly sad. Slow clap, Murrica. This is why we can’t have nice things. When I think what we could do with $4 billion — free college education, healthcare, assistance to small businesses or child care for single moms or what about high speed rail or hey, let’s fix our roads and bridges, maybe? — and realize it’s all been squandered on something as dumb as trying to sway the outcome of a midterm election, I just have to despair at how shallow we are as a nation.

Remember, too, that a large chunk of that sum was spent by people (*cough*cough*KOCH BROTHERS*cough*cough) who are fighting against even the teeniest tiniest increase in their taxes. That billionaires would spend millions to sway an election and hold onto their power pretty much proves why we need to raise their taxes in the first place.

Here’s something that makes me want to guzzle bleach:

beshearTWEET

Note the date. And time.

Are you people even fucking serious? We haven’t even had this midterm election and you’re already ginning up ideas for the next Senate campaign?

Here’s another sobering thought, from the same Wall Street Journal story linked to above:

What’s even more startling is that the $4 billion figure—which also includes $315 million spent on operating costs by PACs—doesn’t include the full picture of outside spending in this year’s races. The projection only includes spending disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. The CRP estimates that another $100 million will likely be spent on the election by next month, though the exact number is impossible to know because of disclosure rules.

Well, I suppose what we don’t know won’t hurt us, right? Meanwhile, remind me about how we can’t afford this, that and the other because of freedom and free markets and whatever. Right. Keep pretending this shit doesn’t matter, everyone.

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Filed under elections, media

Open Primaries Are An Awful Idea And They Suck

If you’ve been to Nashville lately you know we have an election next week, because every house and business seems to have sprouted a garden of campaign signs. Judging by the yard signs and amount of campaign literature flooding our mailboxes you’d think this was a national election. But no: we’re voting for District Attorney and a whole bunch of judges. These are not normally high-interest races, but this year in addition to the constant influx of mailers we’ve been inundated with robocalls, door-to-door campaigners, television ads, etc. Oh and let me add, Tuesday’s elections are for the primaries; the actual election is in August.

We haven’t seen this level of interest for judicial primaries since, well, ever. This time, however, early voting numbers have doubled what they were the last time we elected judges.

All of which I find really interesting. So, with that in mind, this caught my attention:

Dread

Adam Dread is the poster boy for why having open primaries is stupid and lame and should be changed. Dread is running in the Republican primary for judge but he apparently did not vote for himself because he chose to vote in the Democratic primary instead. He can do that because his race is uncontested and we have open primaries in the state of Tennessee.

Adam Dread is a vocal Republican. He has always been a vocal Republican. He has name recognition in this city because before going to law school he was a local stand-up comedian and college radio DJ who developed a douchey “Man Of Leisure” personae where he got to spout his sexist and racist BS in local media. He tried to run in the Democratic primary this time out and got busted for it. So he basically got shamed into running as a Republican, even though he is a Republican.

Such are the trials of being a Republican in true-blue Nashville/Davidson County. Though Tennessee is very, very red, Nashville is not. If you are a Republican in Nashville you swim in a very small pond. This is abundantly clear when you see the Republican primary ballot for Tuesday’s election: an endless list of “no candidate qualified” non-choices and non-contested races. Sucks to be you.

So the solution for Republicans is to sometimes run as Democrats instead, which Dread tried to do before he got busted. I’m sure we have more than a few Republican “Trojan Horses” on the Democratic primary ballot, and weeding them out is hard because there’s very little information on a lot of these folks. Let me add: I really don’t get this strategy. You will have a chance to go head-to-head against the Democratic candidate in the general election in August. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? I guess they want to take the easy way out, try to beat the Democrat in the primary and then coast to an easy victory as an uncontested candidate.

But even worse are all the Republicans who are voting in the Democratic primary this time out and supporting Democratic candidates. People like notorious Republican moneybags Lee Beaman, who has funneled bazillions of dollars to conservative groups like Americans For Prosperity, the Club For Growth, not to mention the RNC and related Republican committees.

Beaman is supporting Democratic candidate Glenn Funk for DA. As a result, I’ve seen Glenn Funk campaign signs in the yards of people I know to be Tea Partiers — people who supported Newt fucking Gingrich in the last presidential primary, fergawdsake. I mean, c’mon, people.

Why should Lee Beaman, an outspoken, prominent Republican, and his minions be selecting the Democratic candidate for DA? Again: these folks can vote for whomever they want in August. But these people are not Democrats. They should vote for a Republican candidate in the primary, and if the GOP can’t find one, well, sorry. Now you know how we Democrats feel every time we go to the polls for state and some national elections.

Let me add, I’m sure there are quite a few very red counties in this state where the tables are turned and Republicans dominate the local elections and Democrats are picking Republican candidates. This is wrong.

Also, just a little tip to all of you Republicans who plan to vote in Democratic primaries: you are now listed as a Democrat in the Election Commission data base. That data base will be used by canvassers in future elections. If you don’t want to be asked for money by the Democratic Party or receive mailers and door-knockers for Democratic candidates, do not vote in a Democratic primary. (I cannot tell you how many people told me they “didn’t know how they got on the Democratic Party’s solicitation list” when I was doing campaign work. I do: you voted in a Democratic primary, idiots. So don’t do it.)

I don’t think Republicans should be picking Democratic candidates. I don’t think Democrats should be picking Republican candidates, either.

I want this changed. Republicans should want this changed, too.

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Filed under elections, Nashville, Tennessee