U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander feels strongly that we should not be allowed to make phone calls on airplanes.
So strongly, in fact, that our Republican senator has teamed up with California Democrat Diane Feinstein on the "Commercial Flight Courtesy Act," a bill that would prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights. Alexander announced the legislation today ahead of the Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 vote yesterday, advancing a proposed rule change that would allow passengers to do just that.
Can you imagine the horror?
“Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense,” Alexander says. “This legislation is about avoiding something nobody wants: nearly 2 million passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts.”
The bill would allow passengers to use email and text, as well as other devices like Kindles and iPads. As long as you don't make a phone call.
Poltical life is sometimes about contingency plans.
Should Joe Carr fall short in his quest to unseat Lamar Alexander in the U.S. Senate next August, he plans to take a shot at the state Senate, sources say.
Specifically, that would mean a bid for Sen. Jim Tracy’s seat. Yes, that’s the same Jim Tracy he was running against less than four months ago in a three-way race for the Congressional 4th District to beat out embattled Scott DesJarlais.
Most telling, though, is Carr’s campaign is silent on the issue. Repeated calls for comment have gone unanswered.
Tracy’s seat — which hooks around Murfreesboro and swings down to the state line — isn’t up for election until 2016, so an interim would take his place in the meantime. That leaves Carr, who heralds himself as a chief Tea Party type, about a year to regroup before launching a third campaign in four years.
In one of his periodic sit-downs with reporters yesterday, Ramsey hailed the poll’s 53 percent approval rating for the legislature as showing the Republican supermajority is right on:
“That’s unheard of,” he gushed. “When Congress is in the single digits and we’re at 53 percent that means people are paying attention. That doesn’t happen by accident. I think people like what we’re doing in Tennessee and so I think the team we put together needs to stay together for a few more years.”
But what about the even stronger support—63 percent—for Medicaid expansion, RonRam? Well, those same people who are paying such close attention to the legislature have somehow managed to miss out on important drawbacks of Medicaid expansion, he says.
“I bet I could word that question where they weren’t in favor of it. I didn’t see the question but I bet it did not say, ‘Would you be willing for your taxes to go up and other areas of state government to be cut to fund the Medicaid expansion.’ I bet you’d get maybe 25 percent.”
After you read these links, whether you like it or not, you will have 'Blurred Lines' stuck in your head. Enjoy.
From the National Weather Service: Mysterious Snow Showers North of Nashville
From Rolling Stone: 'Blurred Lines' — The worst song of this year or any other year
Yesterday we passed along two sets of poll results involving next year's U.S. Senate race.
One set of numbers came from the campaign of Democratic Senate candidate Terry Adams, who had commissioned a poll from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. The other was included in the most recent Vanderbilt University poll.
In our post yesterday, we said the two polls "offered conflicting pictures" of the Republican primary between Sen. Lamar Alexander and his Tea Party opponent — and Boner Award Winner! — state Rep. Joe Carr.
For the rest of the day, we heard detailed explanations from all over the place about how our take — such as it was — on the polls was wrong. OK. For the sake of argument, let's try again.
It's as if they planned it just so we couldn't include them in this year's Boner Awards.
Opponents of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro are at it again, this time in an effort to block an expansion of the ICM's cemetery. Last night, the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals deferred a decision on the expansion until the new year.
BZA member Keith Bratcher on a 3-2 vote won approval of a motion that called for a deferral until at least Jan. 8 or until the ICM can answer his questions with third-party expert answers about whether the soils can handle burials without caskets or vaults and the impact of traffic at the mosque entrance on Veals Road as well as the nearby intersection of Veals and Bradyville Pike.
Fellow BZA members Joe Crowell and Joe Meshotto agreed with Bratcher, but Jerry Sartain and Chairman Zane Contrell disagreed.
The BZA meeting lasted about four hours with most of it including the public hearing on the cemetery request.
Since it's the only toad native to Puerto Rico, conservationists have made a concerted effort to try to raise the population of the southern toads. Enter the Nashville Zoo. According to FOX17, the zoo has sent thousands of tadpoles to the island.
The Nashville Zoo began efforts to breed the Puerto Rican crested toad since first acquiring the species in 2008 but was not successful until last year. A recent shipment of 3,774 tadpoles has brought the total number to more than 5,000 produced for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release back into their native habitat in Puerto Rico.
I admit to being a little jealous. With December being what it is, who wouldn't want to go to Puerto Rico to make sure the little guys get settled in okay?
Anyway, we've had some good conservation successes here and it's nice to know that we're able to help other places have successes of their own.
From Bites: Chef Erik Anderson leaving The Catbird Seat
From The Atlantic: Why a Fair Death Penalty May Never Be Fair
The results of two polls released Wednesday morning offered conflicting pictures of the Republican U.S. Senate primary between Sen. Lamar Alexander and his Tea Party challenger, state Rep. Joe Carr.
The first, released by Democratic Senate candidate Terry Adams' campaign, declared the Senior Senator "surprisingly vulnerable" in the primary, and even suggested Adams might have a shot at the incumbent in the general election. Conducted by Public Policy Polling — a left-leaning operation that has drawn criticism for its methodology — the poll showed Alexander at 46 percent in the GOP primary, with Carr trailing closely at 40 percent (margin of error: +/- 5 percent).
The poll's general election figures seemed particularly curious. Amongst "uninformed" general election voters, the polls shows Alexander at 45 percent with Adams at 32 percent. But "after voters learn about Adams experiences as a veteran, and small business owner, middle class background, and statewide roots" Adams leads the incumbent by 4 points, coming in at 41 percent to Alexander's 37 percent.
After a quick gathering of the Metro Council last night, the Nashville Sounds new stadium at Sulphur Dell is a go.
From the Post:
Legislation enabling the project was the only thing on the agenda for Tuesday night’s special called meeting and it took no more than 30 minutes for the council to pass it all on third reading. The council approved the $65 million bond issue for the stadium by a vote of 29-7. Two other bills related to the project — one dealing with land acquisition and the other amending the Phillips-Jackson Street Redevelopment plan to accommodate the project — passed 31-5 and 34-2, respectively.
Along with the ballpark, which will sit on Jackson Street between Third and Fifth avenues, the project includes $87 million in expected private development. The current timeline would have the stadium ready for the Sounds opening day in 2015.
Read the full story here on what At-Large Councilman Jerry Maynard called a "historic" night. He wasn't alone in hailing the deal as a return to baseball's roots in the city, and a long-awaited public investment in North Nashville.
This may be the only think I've agreed with Lamar! about since he was governor.
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Ramsey never lets facts get in the way of his Republican talking points.