Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Unless Haslam Vetos It, Miscarriages are About to be Crimes

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Usually, I like to gloat when I'm right about something, but it brings me no joy to see Tennessee moving toward the criminalization of miscarriages. I can't imagine what it would be like to suffer through a miscarriage and then have to call the police so that they can come and investigate me, to see if I fucked up my pregnancy in some way. But it's been obvious for a while that this was the way we were headed. And now here we are.

Women's rights groups have been trying to raise the alarm about SB1391, which allows prosecutors to go after women who give birth to babies who are addicted to drugs or whose babies die because of drug use, but there hasn't been much outcry here in the state.

Tara Culp-Ressler over at Think Progress explains the many problems with this bill — that it's scientifically inaccurate to describe newborn babies as "addicted," that there's little proof that illegal drug use by pregnant women has long-term harmful consequences for babies, that this will disproportionately hurt women who are poor and of color, and, as I said, it adds to the tragedy of miscarriage, since it seems impossible to determine if, and I'm quoting from the bill here, "if her child dies as a result of her illegal use of a narcotic drug taken while pregnant" unless you investigate every miscarriage to see if the mother was illegally using narcotics.

If you're thinking this will encourage drug-addicted pregnant women to go to rehab, Culp-Ressler points out, "Only 19 of the state’s 177 addiction treatment facilities currently provide care for pregnant women, an issue that SB 1391 doesn’t address whatsoever."

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Daily Links: Flash Boys, Retweet Rules, and Everybody Talk About Pop Music

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:10 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 New York Observer: Flash In the Pan: On ‘Flash Boys,’ Michael Lewis’s Baffling New Book

From Shadow and Act: Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film

From NPR: Why We Fight About Pop Music

From the Billfold: Can't Take It With You

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RIP Jack Gunter: Banner Exec, Power Player, Wild Man

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 9:15 AM

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Services were scheduled today for Jack Gunter, a decorated Korean War veteran, award-winning photographer, Nashville Banner news executive, local power player and as original a wild man as I've ever known.

The order of burial was to take place at St. George's Episcopal Church, which he often called, with a smile, "Our Lady of the Mink."

He grew up humbly in East Nashville, not far from Shelby Park. He then served as a photographer in the Korean War where, according to a recent obituary by family friend Mary Hance (and I'm borrowing some other facts from her), he was decorated for acts of heroism. I am not surprised.

After the war, he returned to Nashville, becoming a photographer at the Banner where he had worked while a student at East High School. He ultimately rose to become the newspaper's chief photographer, churning out images in a day and age when ethics were adjustable.

As former Banner writer and editor Pat Embry reminded us the other day, Gunter liked to carry around an empty bottle of whiskey and a tricycle in his car. Upon arriving, say, at the scene of a fire, Gunter might just throw the bottle and tricycle in the yard so they would appear in the frame of the conflagration. Think about that.

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The General Assembly Decides Rape Victims are Too Expensive to Help

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Monday morning, I caught Bobby Allyn's story at WPLN about how Rep. Matt Hill's efforts to include some kind of raise for teachers had failed. This part stuck with me:

As debate ping-ponged, some warned that the pay raise issue could pit the party against itself. In particular, Rep. Curry Todd, standing in front of a group of his Republican colleagues, said: “The last thing we need to do is go out of here a split Caucus.”

I thought about Todd's warning as I read Brian Haas's story over at The Tennessean about Rep. Antonio Parkinson's efforts to get some money put in the budget to force the immediate testing of rape kits has run into trouble. Yes, we're not talking about dealing with the backlog of rape kits, not just in Memphis, but across the state (though the situation is Memphis is so dire that the DNA evidence of 12,000 rapes going back almost 30 years remains untested, and no one has been fired or died of shame or been struck by lightning, which is mind-boggling), which is another task that the state legislature is also going to fail to address.

We're talking about a law that would require "police departments to forward all new rape kits to the TBI within 10 days. The TBI would have to analyze those kits within six months." And what does Parkinson tell Haas?

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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Daily Links: Local News, 'Say Anything,' and the Pulitzers

Posted by on Mon, Apr 14, 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 New York Times: Local News, Off College Presses

From NPR: Nothing bought, sold or processed — 'Say Anything' at 25

From NPR: Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community

From Spin: You Will Ache Like I Ache: The Oral History of Hole's 'Live Through This'

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Proposed Charter Amendments Include Shrinking Council, Clarifying Fairgrounds Situation

Posted by on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 4:10 PM

A resolution on the agenda for tomorrow night's Metro Council meeting reveals four Charter Amendments that could be put to voters this year.

Among them are an amendment that would shrink the council to 27 members and limit them to three consecutive terms, and another that would allow the council to demolish or redevelop the Tennessee State Fairgrounds with 27 votes.

You can read all the amendments here and a summary for each after the jump:

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Royal Rumble in Rutherford County

Posted by on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 5:30 AM

The Royal Rumble is an event the WWE holds every year. It's pretty straight forward. It's a 30-man battle royale where the last one eliminated wins. There's inevitably some shenanigans with people being unfairly eliminated or with unexpected people being introduced. But it's a time-honored tradition in wrestling and, apparently, in politics.

So, turn with me to Rutherford Count and Scott Broden's story in the Daily-News Journal.

Retiring city Mayor Tommy Bragg will remain on the ballot to compete for a seat on the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee, party leaders decided Wednesday night.

The Rutherford County Democratic Party wanted him off the ballot, claiming he didn't meet the qualifications of being a Democratic candidate as set by the county party, but the state party decided he was a Democrat and could go on the ballot.

It's hard to pick a clear favorite here.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

The Daily Links: Glam Hacking, Nicolas Cage, and Vox vs Wikipedia

Posted by on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 5:25 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 Mashable: Blogger Pulls Off $30,000 Sting to Get Her Stolen Site Back

From Modern Farmer: 12 vintage pictures of abandoned, Depression-era farms

From New York: Ezra Klein on Vox’s Launch, Media Condescension, and Competing With Wikipedia

From Grantland: Irrational Treasure Making (some) sense of Nicolas Cage’s strangest decade (so far)

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Carr's Campaign Spokeswoman: Carr Doesn't Have "Courage To Be A Leader"

Posted by on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Hillary Pate, the campaign spokeswoman for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr's bid against Lamar Alexander, took to the Facebooks yesterday to champion two true conservatives who stood up to Gov. Bill Haslam's wasteful budget:

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Among those voting for the governor's budget? Her boss, Joe Carr.

In the comments field, Pate doubles down, implying that her boss didn't have "the guts to vote against it."

Every Republican but two conservatives voted for it the hard vote wasn't to vote for it the hard vote was to vote against it. to stand up and for something. I am very proud of Judd and Jeremy. I will praise them. No one else had the guts to vote against it and maybe just maybe those voting for the budget didn't even know what they exactly were voting for just towing the party line...voting for the governor. I will always support people who take the hard stance when it's the right thing to do. Look at the budget in more detail. Voting against it was the right thing to do.

Just so we're clear, when Joe Carr — Pate's bossvoted for the budget, he didn't "take the hard stance when it's the right thing to do."

To put this in context of this particular race's campaign lore — if the budget vote was the Alamo, does that mean Joe Carr fled in the face of Santa Ana's troops? Is Judd Matheny our state's true Davy Crockett?

Pith called and emailed Pate for a comment. We'll post it when she responds.

The next staff meeting at Carr HQ should be an interesting one.

UPDATE, Saturday, 3 p.m.: In a move that will surprise exactly no one, the Facebook post has been deleted.

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Assembly Required: The Role of Charters

Posted by on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Here is the video from Wednesday night's Assembly Required event on the role of charter schools. Thanks again to Will Pinkston, Candice McQueen and Natasha Kamrani for participating.

Assembly Required from Nashville Scene on Vimeo.

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