Category Archives: Tennessee politics

Maybe David Fowler Should Just Shut Up Already

Here’s an interesting admission from David Fowler, the far-right religious nut who heads the Family Action Council Tennessee:

It happened on a family rafting trip in North Carolina.

David Fowler’s daughter went into the bathroom and never came back out. He sent his wife in to investigate and was later told his daughter had begun menstruation.

“For me, at the time, it was a relief my wife was there to handle a situation I felt utterly incapable of addressing,” Fowler said.

“It truly took both of us to raise our daughter; one without the other would have been a total disaster. My daughter might still think it was a total disaster,” he said with a laugh.

Fowler’s inability to deal with his daughter’s first period is supposed to be the reason we can’t let gays marry, which seems rather weird and not relevant. Should we remove all children from single-parent households, then? But beyond the illogic of his argument as relates to marriage equality, I have another question:

If David Fowler can’t handle his own daughter’s menarche, WHY THE FUCK HAS HE SPENT HIS ENTIRE CAREER TRYING TO LEGISLATE WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS????????!!!!!!

Just Go. The Fuck. Away.

5 Comments

Filed under GLBT, religious right, Tennessee politics, women's rights

No, Thanks

There’s this fantasy among a lot of the CCW-adoring crowd that somehow, a “good guy with a gun” is going to save the rest of us in the event of a crime. They’re all just heroes in waiting, ready to come in and rescue us like the Sir Gallahads they fantasize themselves to be. I get why CCW holders believe this but it’s super scary that this is being codified into law by our legislature. Yet here’s House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada explaining the purpose of the guns-in-parks bill:

Guns in parks today exist by law-breakers. What we’re saying is we want those law-abiding citizens that have demonstrated the ability to operate a weapon to be there and to avert a crime, which has happened many times across this country and this state. So, I think we’re being naive-like if we say there is no guns in park, and this is a guns in parks. This is not. This is letting permit holders there to defend unarmed citizens.

I just think that’s so cute, and so wrong. Guns in parks exist by law-breakers? That’s news to the Radnor Lake Rambo. “Demonstrated the ability to operate a weapon”? But you don’t need to have ever fired a gun to get one of those Utah CCW permits, like the one this “responsible” citizen defender fired at a police officer in his inebriated state.  But more to the point: “we want” CCW holders “to be there to avert a crime”? Who’s this we, anyway? I sure don’t! And what gives an idiot from Williamson County the right to tell Shelby County or Davidson County or any other county in the state what they want? We didn’t elect him. I don’t want these Mighty Mouse wannabes intervening in my business to save the day. You can’t tell me the paltry “education” you get in your CCW class is anything close to what people learn in the police academy. And even police officers are constantly in the news for their mistakes, shooting people in error, shooting unarmed black peopleshooting innocent bystanders caught in the crossfireshooting each other, or shooting themselves. It’s not like the professionals are any better at this firearm handling stuff than our wannabe heroes, which the legislature has just burdened with the task of protecting us all. So now we’re supposed to be grateful for klutzes like this week’s 2nd Amendment Hero, who not only accidentally fired a gun in church — where guns are not allowed — but also was just last week expelled from his college for carrying on campus, where guns are not allowed. Most responsible ever, my ass. These are the folks the Tennessee Republicans want defending the public? No, thanks! A thousand times, no thanks. But it’s not about safety. It’s not about the Constitution, or self-defense or home security, or anything like that. Jim Jeffries nailed it when he said those are bullshit arguments. It’s about liking guns, period. Own up to it, already. You like your toys and like any toddler, you don’t want to be without them. So, no. I’m good. I don’t need or want you to rescue me. If I’m in trouble, do me the courtesy of calling 911 and then let that be that. Oh, and here’s some fact-checking of Glen “guns are as safe as bicycles” Casada. Here’s a little data from the CDC for you. Are there a lot of bicycle injuries? There sure are. But I’ll bet they are far less serious than firearm injuries. And there’s no comparison when it comes to fatalities. (NOTE: gun data does not include fatalities and injuries from pellet guns and BB guns, which the CDC calculates separately).

6 Comments

Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Safety For Me But Not For Thee

[UPDATE]:

Guns in capitol rejected.

Tennessee’s legislature has been focused on guns-in-parks legislation this week, which strips local governments of the right to ban handguns in parks. Yesterday the Senate voted to allow handguns in the State Capitol and Legislative Plaza, which happens to be a state park. House Republicans think it’s a poison pill designed to spark Gov. Haslam’s veto. House Speaker Beth Harwell, who unfortunately is now my rep (I went to sleep one night in a Democratic district, woke up the next morning with Republican cooties. Thank you, Gerry Mander), is having big sads:

Speaker Harwell: It was poorly drafted and it jeopardizes the entire bill.

Reporter: How so?

Harwell: It will put a fiscal note on it. We’ll go back into Finance (Ways and Means Committee). I just feel it jeopardizes the entire bill.

Reporter: Do you think it makes it more likely the governor will veto it, the entire bill?

Harwell: I can’t speak for the governor, you’d have to ask him that. But I would suspect that it would.

Reporter: What do you personally think of the idea though, of being able to carry guns in the Legislative Plaza and the Capitol?

Harwell: I think that should be a separate issue that we address in another bill.

Reporter: Why would it have had a fiscal note?

Harwell: All of the security that we have everywhere, it’s not just the Capitol. If you read the bill, it’s all the surrounding, all the buildings surrounding the Capitol are included. Obviously, it was not offered in a constructive fashion.

Reporter: So, the Supreme Court? Library and Archives?

Harwell: If you read the amendment, all of that is included.

Reporter: So the buildings across the street?

Harwell: Yes.

Reporter: Doesn’t the security machines, wouldn’t they detect that anyway?

Harwell: We’d have to have extra people down there probably to check and see if someone has a card on them, we’d have to verify the card is on the person. There’s a lot of issues we would need to look at if we chose to go that route. Anything else?

Seems to me that those are the very same issues that the rest of us now have to deal with, thanks to the passage of guns-in-parking lots, etc. State park rangers will have to check everyone’s carry permit, for instance. Security guards at shopping malls and businesses, at banks, etc. will have to do that. There’s a lot of security at many businesses, and now those people will have to be checking for carry permits. Thanks for recognizing that there are costs and hassles associated with this. But why should we citizens have to shoulder these burdens and you don’t? What makes you so special?

Tennessee Democrats should be supporting this legislation, whether it was written to kill the bill or not. If the rest of us plebes have to be faced with armed citizens in all aspects of our daily lives, then so should our legislators. But House Democratic Caucus leader Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville had this to say:

“I’m opposed to having guns in the Legislature where tempers can get hot,” Stewart said. “I think it’s absolutely not an insignificant risk that in the heated exchanges that go on between people that come up to advocate for opposite sides of bills that … somebody could pull out a weapon.”

What? Like tempers don’t get hot everywhere, all the damn time? Have you been stuck in traffic on Hillsboro Road lately, buddy? There’s steam coming out of peoples’ ears. Tempers get hot at sporting events, Little League games, bars and restaurants, at the Kroger, you name it. Peoples’ tempers get hot because that’s what it means to be human, and it’s not like political discussions are limited to the state capitol. When you add a gun into that mix, you’ve got a deadly combination. As Rep. Stewart seems to understand. Give him a gold star.

I just don’t understand why our legislators feel like they deserve to be protected from hot-tempered, armed citizens but the rest of us do not. I just don’t understand why Beth Harwell thinks the state legislature should be immune from dealing with the costs associated with allowing concealed carry everywhere but our cities and municipalities and businesses do not.

Maybe we all need to bring sleeping bags to the state Capitol, since that’s the only place people will be safe from the gun loons.

10 Comments

Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee politics

Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

Apparently Gov. Haslam has no clue what is going on in the state of Tennessee.

In a pathetic attempt to appear tough on the Muslim-Usurper-Blackety-Black-Man-In-The-White-House and exploit a national news story, Gov. Haslam has sent what local media are calling an “angry” letter to President Obama demanding answers about 760 immigrant and refugee kids who were sent to families here in Tennessee.

In so doing, he has made an absolute fool out of himself:

The unaccompanied minors have been placed into Tennessee households with approved “sponsors” — typically their own families and relatives — as has been happening for years, said immigrant and refugee advocates.

“They’ve got somewhere to go,” said Eben Cathey, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “They’re not getting dropped off. They’re getting placed with their mom, dad, aunt or uncle.”

Haslam’s letter demanded to know such things as how the sponsors were selected, what criteria were used to determine sponsors’ suitability, etc. The Haslam administration is “still waiting” for answers, too. Which I find hilarious. Haslam is demanding to know answers about something which has been going on routinely in this state for over a decade! Perhaps there’s someone right here in Tennessee he can ask? The Tennessee Office of Refugees, perhaps?

It’s hard not to see this for the political maneuvering it so obviously is. I guess Bill Haslam is still harboring dreams of a presidential run some day down the road. Hilarious. No one is fooled, though:

Dan Kesselbrener, National Immigration Project executive director, said the process for minors has been the same since 2002 and has never included a mandate to inform states about placements.

“The only thing that’s new is the volume,” he said. “To me, the only way to make sense of the letter is that he cares now because it’s a bigger deal. It appears to be consistent with someone who is trying to score points against the administration.”

Bingo! Thank you for playing!

You know what else I just love, love, love? Right-wingers are always all like, “let the churches deal with x, y, z problem, let charities handle it.” Catholic Charities does, in fact, carry a tremendous amount of the load when it comes to immigrants and refugees, not just here in Tennessee but everywhere. But they have an especially strong presence here in Tennessee, providing sponsors, placements, English classes, and all sorts of other programs. Tennessee in general is blessed to have a lot of churches and charities which serve the refugee community — we’re the Volunteer State, fer crying out loud. It’s why we’re a go-to place for refugee resettlement, because of the support from the church sector. It’s why we have the largest Kurdish population in the nation. It’s why we have so many refugees from Somalia and Sudan living here. It’s why Nashville is seeing a large number of refugees from Myanmar. So we are, in fact, doing what right-wingers want: churches and charities shouldering the load, embracing refugees from war-torn parts of the world, assimilating immigrants into America, rah rah.

And Bill Haslam wants some answers from the White House about what we’ve been doing for years? Puh-leeze.

Here’s a thought for Gov. Haslam: why don’t you just high-tail it on down to NICE, Catholic Charities, the TIRRC, Conexion Americas, or, heck, just take a little tour down Nolensville Road and talk to some shop owners to get yourself up to speed on immigrants in Nashville. Hell, you can sit in on my ESL class today. We won’t mind. Just keep your yap shut since so much stupid keeps falling out.

7 Comments

Filed under Gov. Bill Haslam, immigration, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

What It Takes To Get An “A” Rating From The NRA

I’m just now catching up on all the news I missed from the past week. This is absolutely hilarious:

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has gotten a boost in his reelection bid in the form of an endorsement from the powerful National Rifle Association’s political arm.

“On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund is proud to endorse your candidacy,” wrote James J. Baker, the group’s director of federal affairs in a July 14 letter.

The NRA-PVF gave DesJarlais an “A” rating.

DesJarlais is facing a tough reelection fight after it was revealed that the pro-life Tea Party wackaloon is a serial philanderer who pressured at least one mistress to have an abortion, while his wife had two abortions. This is a pattern with pro-lifers: my abortion is necessary and perfectly fine. Yours, not so much.

But here’s what I love about the NRA endorsement: this is the guy who allegedly dry-fired a gun outside his then-wife’s locked bedroom door and held a gun in his own mouth for three hours during an argument with her.

An “A” rating from the NRA, yessirree. And they wonder why we call them gun-humpers.

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

Take That, Bob Corker: VW Chattanooga Has UAW AND SUV

Oh, my! Major Tennessee Republican FAIL: On Friday, the United Auto Workers established a local union to represent workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

Suck on that, Bob Corker.

(For more on this, read here, here, here and here.

[UPDATE]:

Trying to make lemonade out of this huge bag of lemons they’ve been handed, right-wingers are saying there’s no way that Volkswagen will ever recognize the new UAW local in Chattanooga. Really? I beg to differ:

First, the February vote was a narrow loss — 53 percent to 47 percent — and the result showed strong support among workers, despite heavy opposition from outside groups and Tennessee legislators.

Second, the UAW said it already had signed cards from a majority of the workers prior to the election, saying they favored representation.

I have no doubt in my mind that the UAW would have won that February election had it not been for outside interference from the likes of Sen. Bob Corker and right-wing cheap labor groups.

I suspect that unionization, like Obamacare, is one of those things people actually like once they’ve lived with it for a while. That’s when they realize it’s not the path to ruin/Fascism/Socialism/FEMA death camps they’ve been told it is by the Fox News crowd but, in fact, something that actually benefits people. And that’s why Republicans like Bob Corker and Bill Haslam have been shitting bricks over this VW plant for the past year.

34 Comments

Filed under Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, unions

Your State Under Republican Rule

Hey, Gov. Bill Haslam: you might want to rethink that whole “we can’t afford the virtually free Medicaid expansion” deal the Feds are offering:

Crews were called to the Advance Auto Parts on Nolensville Pike after the robbery occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to a release from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

With a black mask concealing his face and a semiautomatic pistol in hand, he demanded money from a cash register. He allegedly repeatedly told the clerk “my girl’s got cancer, I need this money,” police said.

After the cashier complied, police said, the suspect fled on foot near the Full Gospel Mission Church.

I swear to God, Republicans have no clue how to run a government. On the other hand, I guess they’re wishing/hoping that cashier had been armed so he could “stand his ground” and shoot and kill the guy. Problem solved!

Republicans don’t care about people, plain and simple. They don’t care about black people, poor people, sick people, or anyone who’s either not a fetus or or a person of the “corporate” person.

Looks like it’s time for me to amend my “Top Signs Your Healthcare System Is Broken” list and add #6: when people rob you at gunpoint to pay for their girl’s cancer treatment.

I’m sick to death of Republicans driving people to desperation because they’ve never had to wonder where their next meal is coming from and assume everyone who does is just lazy. Fucking fuckers.

11 Comments

Filed under healthcare, Nashville, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics