Tag Archives: Tennessee politics

Here Comes The Wing Dang Doodle

Hello, Tennessee! Yes, your legislature still has a Republican supermajority. So let the crazy games begin!

Republican Tennessee State Senator Janice Bowling apparently doesn’t have anything more important to do than worry about what your married gay friends and family call each other. Check out what this lover of “limited government” is doing in her bill covering the semantics of family life, SB-0030:

linguistics

There’s a House version, HB-0030, sponsored by John Ragan.

Now, that’s what I call small government! Deciding what words married gay people and their kids have a right to use! This is keeping people up nights? Well, I’m sure it all came from the fevered dreams of David Fowler, he of the TN Family Assn. Family Action Council, where all the rest of this culture war nonsense originates.

I just can’t imagine what the point of this is, except some good old-fashioned shaming, contempt and mortification. YOUR marriage is different! YOUR family is different! YOU don’t get to have a husband, and YOU don’t get to have a wife. YOU only get to have a spouse. And YOU, little Timmy and Jenny, YOUR family is different from everyone else’s! YOUR FAMILY IS NOT NORMAL. That’s what the point of this is, isn’t it? Just, basically, to be dicks?

Here’s how stuff like this usually plays out: even though the legislation is sponsored by rural county Republicans (Sen. Janice Bowling’s District 16 covers Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren Counties, while Rep. John Ragan is from District 33, Anderson County), if the bill moves on up the food chain and becomes a national story, it will be Nashville which suffers. Nashville is the biggst city here, and Nashville is where the big conferences, sporting events and concert tours come. So when people want to punish the state for bigoted, anti-gay legislation, they launch boycotts of Nashville. Even though Nashville is a progressive city, which was the first to have an anti-discrimination ordinance (which the state overturned) and sends to the legislature pro-GLBT legislators, we still have to pay the price when our redneck neighbors get up to their old tricks. So it’s Nashville which stands to lose sports tournaments and professional conferences, while the rural rednecks who sponsored this hate in the first place get to spout their sanctimonious bullshit and go on their merry way, never suffering any consequences whatsoever. Everything bad will happen to someone else — someone they despise, by the way, so it serves us liberal pantywaists right.

So here’s a pre-emptive word to the wise, because if it’s not this particular piece of crackpottery, it will surely be something else: please target your activism toward the actual crazies in the legislature, not your allies representing Nashville. How about sending a message to Nissan USA, whose “Decherd No. 2” plant builds Infiniti engines in Winchester? Or why not send some letters to the CEO of Silver Spring, Md.-based Competitive Power Ventures Inc., which one year ago announced a $1 billion power plant in Grundy County? Or Germany’s Mann+Hummel, which builds car parts and has a plant in Dunlap, TN? Or maybe send a message to the CEO of 3M, which recently invested $135 million in a new Anderson County plant? Or why not hit the Google and find out which lefty-leaning corporations (CostCo, Amazon, Netflix, etc.) have distribution centers in these rural counties?

I strongly suspect that these corporations will have the ear of State Sen. Janice Bowling and House Rep. John Ragan to a far greater extent than liberal activists in Nashville, whom they already despise and are happy to ignore.

1 Comment

Filed under boycotts, GLBT, LGBT, marriage, Tennessee politics, Tennesseee

Tweet Of The Day

From Tennessee State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Democrat (of course), of Nashville:

JRClemmons

Clemmons is referring to the anti-GLBT counseling bill our Republican state legislature recently passed and which our Republican governor signed into law. Two counseling groups pulled conventions out of Nashville over the legislation, even though the Nashville delegation to the legislature overwhelming opposed the bills, in effect punishing those who agree with them.

And God, I am so sick of the hypocrisy. I’m sure the GLBT community really appreciates the thoughts and prayers of Republicans who have devoted the past few years to telling them who they can marry, where they can pee, which counselor they can see, which bakery and pizza parlor to do business with, etc. In fact, enter the search terms “TN anti-gay bill” into any search engine and you’ll find a long list of “thoughts and prayers” from Tennessee Republicans.

Oh lookie, here are some:

tn anti gay bill

Take your thoughts and prayers and shove them, you transparent, phobic, phonies. And stop telling me the enemy is “radical Islam.” The Orlando shooter didn’t need to go to Syria to learn how to hate gay people, we’ve got plenty of assholes spouting that shit right here at home. Some even have friends in very high places. The fact that the Orlando shooter was Muslim, not Christian, seems to be more a matter of time zones and determination.

14 Comments

Filed under Current Events, GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

But …. Trannies In The Bathroom!

While Tennessee Republicans gnash their teeth and rend their garments over Obama’s transgender bathroom order — even considering holding a special session over the issuethis happened:

32 arrested, included children’s minister, in human trafficking case

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thirty-two men and women, including a children’s minister, were arrested on prostitution and human trafficking-related charges in Knoxville.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made the arrests during a three-day operation called Operation Someone Like Me.

[…]

Two of the men arrested, including the children’s minister, responded to ads for what they thought were girls under the age of 18.

WATE identifies the minister as Jason Kennedy for Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville. The church’s website says Kennedy, 46, is a pastor for children from birth through fifth grade.

Court records say he allegedly responded to an ad on May 19 via a text message and was made aware another girl would be present who was underage. A $100 fee for a half hour of sex with both females was reportedly negotiated, according to court records, and Kennedy arranged to meet them at a Best Western.

The children’s minister is further accused of finding out the underage girl was only 15 upon arriving and saying he wanted to have sex with both. WATE reports court documents say he placed $100 on the counter and removed his pants before law enforcement took him into custody.

Would the moralizing Christian Republicans geeked out about gender identity please please please clean up their own houses first, before sticking their noses in who is using which bathroom?

2 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Tennessee

State of TN To Businesses: Republicans Only, Please

This doesn’t surprise me one bit:

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – More than half of the money a state agency has spent on Facebook ads targets supporters of Tennessee’s top Republican politicians, with none spent on Democrats.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is to attract businesses to the Volunteer State, as well as to let the community know what’s going on.

One of several marketing strategies involves paying for ads on Facebook.

What pops up in a user’s newsfeed may seem random, but Facebook can target users based on interests.

And if you “like” certain officeholders, there’s a good chance you’ll see updates from the TDECD Facebook page.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is a nonpartisan state agency, except they’ve paid more than $18,000 to target people who “like” Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker or Sen. Lamar Alexander. Not a dime was spent on targeting fans of Democrats.

Well, sure. What have we been saying over here for the past month or so? Tennessee Republicans don’t want any more stinking liberals in this state. They don’t want to recruit those gay-loving, transgender-accepting, abortion-approving liberal businesses. They don’t want to be embarrassed by a scolding from lefty corporations when they try to pass gay-bashing, immigrant-hating, nativist legislation.

They sure don’t want lefty businesses meddling in their right-wing politics. That was obvious when Tennessee Republicans threatened to punish businesses that opposed their idiotic bathroom bill, yanking incentives for those who don’t agree with their paleolithic world view.

Jobs, schmobs!

The Tennessee Republican Party has become ideologically distilled, “becoming the stereotype more fully and grotesquely” as its only means of empowerment. This is simply another manifestation of that. This is what I’ve been saying for years: Tennessee is where the Republican Party has gone to die. And die they will, because they are out of step with the rest of the culture.

It’s okay, I get it. I really do. I’ve said all along that if liberals really want to change our state, we need to recruit more blue people to move here. Don’t boycott Tennessee, immigrate! I’m only half-joking; it’s not a new idea, and has only been marginally successful when employed elsewhere. But just count me as not surprised that someone in state government cooked up this idea. It makes a lot of sense. It’s obvious the legislature is tired of political meddling by our state’s employers. If only they could recruit ideologically like-minded employers, that would solve everything! I’m sure new Tennessee employer Beretta USA will support a smorgasbord of gun-friendly legislation, right? And then when those candy-assed liberals suggest things like McKayla’s Law or mandatory liability insurance for CCW holders or universal background checks, they can point to opposition from a major employer and slap it with a “job killer” label. Nice.

So yes, I get it. I just didn’t think they’d be so obvious about it:

So why would an agency that’s interested in developing businesses and creating jobs not cast a wide net to garner fans of all political parties?

The I-Team sat down with TDECD Commissioner Randy Boyd.

“Should politics be involved in a department that’s supposed to be apolitical?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.

“Politics is a pretty broad word,” Boyd said. “We have to work with the legislature and the legislature is always creating new legislation affecting things we do, and they are political. So in that sense, the politics of new laws and legislation do affect what our development and any department does.”

See, they’re not even denying it. They’re flat-out admitting it.

I’m dying to know which of our state legislators tasked Boyd with recruiting more conservative-friendly companies to Tennessee, though. You know he didn’t think this up all by himself.

Okay, I-Team. Get to work. I want to know who told Boyd to do this.

5 Comments

Filed under Republican Party, Tennessee, TNGOP

What The Hell Is Wrong With Rep. Courtney Rogers?

I’m asking because Tennessee State Rep. Courtney Rogers of the “faith, family, freedom” caucus gave a seriously unhinged rant on the House floor Monday night and I’m starting to wonder what’s wrong with her. It came long after the House decided to defund UT’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion and redirect the money toward “In God We Trust” stickers for police cruisers. I know, that’s pretty crazy in and of itself, it’s the kind of hippie-punching nonsense the idiots in our legislature waste time on every day. But near as I can tell, Rogers had nothing to say when debate over that actual legislation was going on. But long toward the end of the day when business was concluding, she offered this ridiculous rant on the topic.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know I’ve been visibly agitated on the House floor tonight, and for that I apologize, but I have an announcement from the Hawaiian caucus tonight.

You know, it’s not easy being a minority, I get it. But try being an endangered species. A Hawaiian in Tennessee. You know, my grandmother in Hawaii would go offer her lava rock offerings to the family god, the Aumakua. And then she would go to missionary school and pray to good lord Jesus because she didn’t want to offend all the gods, so she kinda missed the point. But that being said, missionary school taught servitude to minorities, and the Hawaiians had to fight for education, for English, for math, for science, and we got it.

And as I can see, here are minorities. They have it. If you want to help minorities then what I wanted to say here was yes, continue to shut down those specific diversity offers that waste dollars to teach us ways to somehow sexually abuse our bodies or tell us what not to believe. I would fight any office that would tell me I cannot pray to my family Aumakua, even though I don’t, or to the good lord Jesus. You know as much I would say no Christmas, no Buddha, No Allah, I don’t pray to any of those, but we have a thing called ideological freedom here in America.

If you want to help minorities then quit pushing this intellectual rubbish and start supporting those diversity offices that are recruiting the best, from light meat to dark meat, across the entire spectrum, and start pushing hard work and mental accuity. Those things bring about progress and success and equality. Mahalo.

What the hell is she smoking? Light meat to dark meat? Hawaiians in Tennessee are endangered? Minorities in Tennessee have everything they need so just shut up?

You can see her rant somewhere around the 2 hour and 58 minute mark here, during the announcements. What’s even more alarming is that she appears to be holding a piece of papers as she’s talking, so I wonder if she wrote this drivel down in advance.

Anyway, this is a whole new level of wackadoodle that I can’t even explain.

And yes, this is the same Courtney Rogers who wants to arm college students because of Kent State.

11 Comments

Filed under culture wars, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

One Weird Tip For Ending TN Legislative Lunacy

Rep. Susan Lynn has pulled her ridiculous “bathroom bill,” meaning it’s dead … for now:

“I have learned that our school districts are largely following what the bill says,” she said while inside her office at the Capitol on Monday. “I am still absolutely 100 percent in support of maintaining the privacy of all students. But I’m going to roll the bill over until next year so we can work on those issues.

Rep. Lynn is of course notorious for a whole string of questionable actions since she’s been in the legislature: distributing anti-Muslim videos to her colleagues, killing equal pay legislation, etc. She’s an embarrassment to the state of Tennessee.

While all of the threats of boycotts and hand-wringing and protesting and petitioning has been nice to see, there’s really only one way to stop this nonsense that has overtaken our legislature. Get rid of people like Susan Lynn.

As it happens, Lynn has a Democratic challenger. Her name is Trisha Farmer. Let’s send her some financial help and send a message that Lynn’s bathroom BS is not what the people of Middle Tennessee need.

5 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

This Is Not About Us Ladies

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Crooks & Liars! Please see my update to this post here.

—————————————————-

I’m sorry, I thought this whole bathroom nonsense was really about punishing transgendered people for having the nerve to not be like everyone else. Much to my surprise, I learn the Sir Galahads in the legislature are really just trying to protect the ladies. Awwww:

The bathroom — more specifically, the women’s restroom — is the one publicly sanctioned refuge for women, a sanctuary from harassment and abuse, a safe space, to employ that overused phrase. In all my conversations and in all the articles I’ve read on this issue, I haven’t heard anyone express the fear that a person who was born a woman and now identifies as a man will cause harm if he enters a men’s room.

But the fear that a person who was born a man and now presents as a woman will lurk behind the stalls to attack unsuspecting daughters is threaded throughout objections to the bathroom mandate.

“We’re in denial about most of the violence against women in our society, and this brings it to the surface,” Ladin observed. “If I am in a women’s room and see someone who looks like a guy, I’m taken aback. It doesn’t make sense, except for the fact that women everywhere are exposed to violence.”

Indeed, in Tennessee as elsewhere, it appears this really is just about protecting us ladies. Again: awwwwwww.

Yes, if I had a dollar for every time a man dressed up as a woman so he could gain access to the women’s bathroom to harass me! You know, as opposed to just harassing me out in the open, which is where women are actually harassed on a daily basis. Seriously, guys? This is your argument? The “Tootsie” defense? Bullshit.

Why don’t we ask Republican House Rep. Jeremy Durham how often he dressed as a woman to harass his victims in bathrooms, instead of doing it the old-fashioned way? I’m going to guess the answer would be a big, fat never.

No, no. Your transphobia is your problem. You will not hide behind me on this one. This is not about me. It’s about you.

In my fifty-something years on this planet I’ve been to public restrooms all around the world. Oh yes, I’ve peed in big cities and small towns. I’ve used locker rooms at gyms and swimming pools in major metropolises and small rural burghs. I’ve peed in arenas and stadiums, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, train stations, airports and shopping malls. I’ve showered at the Centennial SportsPlex in downtown Nashville and the fitness center at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Kentucky. I’ve used pools and locker rooms in Los Angeles and Copenhagen and London and New York City. Good grief, y’all. In all my many experiences with public facilities in five decades on this planet, two things have never ever ever ever EVER happened:

1- I have never been harassed by a man dressed up as a woman;

2- I have never examined or in any other way even noticed another person’s genitalia, nor have I flashed my own. We go about our business with a certain amount of decorum in the facilities. We do not inspect other peoples’ business.

Have I shared a locker room or bathroom with a trans person? Maybe! Probably! I have no way of knowing. I’m not checking what’s under the towel.

I’m increasingly hearing this “we’re just thinking about you ladies” excuse and I find it incredibly offensive and condescending. If you guys really gave a shit about women and women’s safety you wouldn’t have blocked a paltry $2 million needed to address a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits two years ago.

No, no. This isn’t about us. It’s about you. Own it.

16 Comments

Filed under LGBT, Republican Party, Tennessee