Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Tennessee Mother is Charged Under New Pregnancy Law

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

WBIR in Knoxville reports that a new law allowing women to be criminally charged for drug use during pregnancy has been put to use for the first time.

Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested and charged with simple assault two days after giving birth. The station reports "Loyola and her young daughter both tested positive for amphetamine" and that "deputies say Loyola admitted to smoking meth three to four days before giving birth to her child."

When Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill into law in May, after it passed the legislature with bipartisan support, he made Tennessee the first state to enact such a policy. Women's groups, medical professionals, and the New York Times editorial board had urged him to veto it.

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Ten Days to Come Up with a Plan? I'm Sure this Will Go Well

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:54 AM

You'll be unsurprised to learn that, since the state government's plan for providing the support they're legally required to provide for Obamacare was just to throw $5 million at a company who failed to design a website, the Feds are unhappy with us. Tom Wilmon over at the Tennessean reports:


The federal director of Medicaid programs has put Tennessee on notice that it has failed to provide services for people as required by the Affordable Care Act and is giving the state 10 days to submit a correction plan.

Aw, shit. We have to come up with another healthcare plan? Do the Feds not realize that we aren't that great at actually coming up with plans? There's no way we're going to be able to make a ten-day deadline.

Okay, okay. We can do this, Tennessee. We know the Governor's Office's usual M.O. is to claim to have a plan and, when asked for specifics about it, to send people to video in which he claims to have a plan. So, we can scour YouTube for a video that exemplifies Haslam's plan to get into compliance with the federal law, share it with the Feds on a public platform, like, say, here at Pith, claim that's the Governor's compliance plan and save the state from further embarrassment.

So, without further ado, here's Tennessee's plan for getting into compliance with the ACA.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Daily Links: Tim Howard, American Surveillance, and Nazis Against Smoking

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Every day we read a lot of stuff. If it's interesting, thought provoking, funny or being shared by everyone we know on the Internet, we share some of it with you. Happy reading.

From Film Comment: A history of Hong Kong sexploitation movies

From The Dissolve: Thom Andersen's legendary essay film LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF is finally coming to home video

From ProPublica: Dispatches from Freedom Summer: Ghosts of Greenwood

From Grantland: Tim Howard and the ‘First American’ Phenomenon

Continue reading »

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Clemmons: 'Gary Odom Should Be Ashamed of Himself'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

In an email sent to supporters yesterday, John Ray Clemmons says his House District 55 Democratic primary opponent, incumbent Rep. Gary Odom, has "join[ed] forces with the Tea Party" and "has effectively handed the keys to Nashville's future" to them.

For this, Clemmons says, he should be "ashamed of himself."

The scorched-earth letter is copied after the jump. Although it criticizes Odom for a number of legislative sins, it is primarily a response to Stop Amp's recent endorsement of Odom and the incumbent's support for a legislative compromise passed earlier this year that gave the General Assembly more authority over Mayor Karl Dean's proposed bus rapid transit project.

Continue reading »

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Freedom's Just Another Word For... Well, a Bunch of Stuff

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:30 AM

I wasn't going to write any more about the Hobby Lobby debacle, but then Emily Kubis and Kim Green kept me thinking about gender issues all weekend, and, of course, now we have Wheaton College (home of C.S. Lewis's wardrobe!) wanting to not even have to tell the government they're not going to pay for their employees' birth control.

I'm struck by the notion that we have here two competing versions of freedom. A lot of women, myself included, think that freedom, when we get it, will look like us getting treated like everyone else. So, if you offer your employees prescription coverage as part of their compensation package, I won't have to take less compensation for my work, just because of my gender and your objections to the things I need to navigate the medical challenges of said gender. The roots of this version of freedom go back to that old saw, "no one is free until everyone is free."

But there's another kind of freedom in the U.S., with roots just as deep. Mark Twain describes it in Chapter 14 of Life on the Mississippi.

Continue reading »

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It Might Be Worthwhile for Our State Legislators to Attend UT's Sex Week Next Time

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:30 AM

I happened to come across the amicus brief filed by our state legislators in Tanco and The Other Goodguys v. Haslam and Them, the court case where three couples want their marriages recognized by the state and the state doesn't want to, because, ew, gay cooties.

The amicus brief starts out silly and then just gets worse from there. Remember, these state legislators are arguing that the state should be allowed broad powers to define marriage however it wants and to, if it wants, limit marriage to heterosexual couples. On page 4, in support of their argument about the state being able to limit marriage how it sees fit, they cite Loving v. Virginia, the case in which the Supreme Court decided that Virginia didn't have the right to limit marriage how they wanted to (in that case, by race). What kind of idiots cite Loving as supporting their claim that states should define marriage how they want?

Then there's how, in the middle of page after page of stuff like "Throughout history, marriage as a man-woman institution designed to serve the needs of children has been ubiquitous, spanning diverse cultures, nations, and religions." (page 5), they quote Joseph Raz as saying "For there can be no doubt that the recognition of gay marriages will effect as great a transformation in the nature of marriage as that from polygamous to monogamous or from arranged to unarranged marriage (page 25)." Well, dudes, you can't have it both ways. Either heterosexual couple marriage has been ubiquitous and history-spanning or the nature of marriage has changed pretty profoundly and is under threat of yet another hugely profound change. You have to pick one, because they both can't be true.

But that's not even the best part. No, for that you have to go to page 22, where they write — and again, remember that this is supposed to be the argument for why gay people can't get married in Tennessee — "Sexual relationships between individuals of the same sex, by contrast, do not unintentionally create children as a natural byproduct of their sexual relationship; they bring children into their relationship only through intentional choice and pre-planned action." So, marriage needs to be reserved for straight people because only straight people "unintentionally create children as a natural byproduct of their sexual relationship."

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Daily Links: Death, K-Pop, and Taylor Swift

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Every day we read a lot of stuff. If it's interesting, thought provoking, funny or being shared by everyone we know on the Internet, we share some of it with you. Happy reading.

From The Washington Post: Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor’s eyes

From Vanity Fair: Let’s Name the Victims on Both Sides of Israel-Palestine Clashes

From Good: Love Songs for the Censors: K-pop finds an unlikely stage in Turkey

From The Hollywood Reporter: Investors Say They Have Evidence of Paramount Pictures Financing Fraud

Continue reading »

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#MayoralChatter: David Fox Is Getting In the 2015 Mayoral Race

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

The 2015 Mayoral race has its third (official) candidate.

David Fox has confirmed to Pith that after picking up the necessary paperwork yesterday, he expects to appoint a treasurer for a mayoral campaign sometime this week. The former school board chair has been tying up loose professional ends in recent months, and says his last day at Titan Advisors, the asset management and advisory firm he's worked at for nine years, was last week.

"I've given it a lot of thought and I've had as many conversations as I can, but when I do get in I'm looking forward to giving it my undivided attention," he says.

Fox would join attorney Charles Robert Bone, whose campaign revealed a half-a-million war chest this morning including a $200,000 loan from the candidate, and At-Large Councilwoman Megan Barry who are already officially in the race. As far as a long list of people-with-money-to-give are concerned, Jeremy Kane is about to get jump in as well.

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#MayoralChatter: Rich, Connected People Think Jeremy Kane is Running for Mayor

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 8:31 AM

We'd already begun to assume that Jeremy Kane was going to run for mayor next year, but now it seems that more and more of the kind of people who help one become mayor assume it too.

An invitation from David Ingram — yes, those Ingrams — requests the presence of a long list of deep-pocketed and / or well-connected folks at a reception for Kane at the Belle Meade Country Club on Aug. 12. Ingram says that based his "recent conversations" with Kane "I expect he will have declared his candidacy before the date of this reception."

The whole invitation is below:

To all:

I hope you are well. Before I head out for the holiday weekend, I wanted to invite you to a reception at Belle Meade Country Club that Sarah and I are hosting for Jeremy Kane on Tuesday, August 12. I know it's a busy part of the summer, but it would be terrific to have you there.

I believe you are aware that Jeremy is seriously considering a run for Mayor. Based on my recent conversations with him, I expect he will have declared his candidacy before the date of this reception.

The race is now just over a year away. Two candidates have already announced and a handful of others are widely expected to do so soon. That is why I am pulling together a group of friends and colleagues to share why I'm supporting Jeremy and also, to give you the opportunity to visit with him in a group setting, ask tough questions about the future of our city and hear his answers and learn how he plans to win this race. I've been impressed with him "on the stump" and I believe you will be as well.

Karl can't run again, so we are faced with electing a new Mayor. I believe Jeremy is the right leader at the right time. I hope you'll join us on August 12 and decide for yourself.

Please let me know if you (and your significant other) can be there.

Many thanks and have a great 4th of July!

Sincerely,

David Ingram

At-Large Councilwoman Megan Barry and attorney Charles Robert Bone have already declared for the race, with a bevy of others said to be considering a run.

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Brian Haas, National Treasure

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 5:30 AM

I've come to expect a little snark from the Times-Free Press, but the Gannett properties? Not often. But I wanted to give a tip of the hat to the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Brian Haas, picked up by USA Today, for reasons that are obvious from the opening lines.


Dustin Hensley has had a busy law enforcement career in Tennessee.

He's worked at three departments in six years, shot two people dead and been subject to two federal lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths in those shootings.

It's funny and it stings

Genius.

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