At long last, Tennessee is No. 1 at something that's not embarrassing. This week, a Brown University public policy institute ranked the state government Web site first among all 50 states' online hubs. Tennessee.gov soon will be known far and wide for its "readability, usability and availability of online services and quality control," according to news reports.
Of course, the state always seems to rank near the top or bottom of national surveys. We're the nation's ninth poorest state, according to the U.S. Census, with 14.3 percent of residents living in poverty between 2001 and 2003 (as defined by the ridiculously low national poverty standard for a family of four, $18,810). We've got the 44th lowest average household income, at $37,529. Higher education earns bottom-shelf marks from national think tanks, as do per-pupil spending, literacy and state high school graduation rates. And the Volunteer State leads the nation in per capita personal bankruptcy filings.
But to be fair, we're above the national average in health care spendingat least until Bredesen's TennCare reforms kick in. And once again, Overdrive Magazine put Tennessee roadways in the top five nationally, making us six-year top-finishing veterans of the asphalt-kissing list.
On second thought, maybe it is a little embarrassing to have smooth roads, a high-tech Web site and a populace too poor and uneducated to use either safely. But in a state that ranks last in taxation, you get what you pay for. The least they could do is let us buy Powerball tickets on the Web site.J.S.
Ann Coulter for mayor
Chattanooga's weekly alternative newspaperThe Pulserecently published a feature on potential replacements for popular 'Nooga Mayor Bob Corker, who's stepping down after a single term in office. A name at the top of the list was one "Ann Coulter." Unfortunately for political writers across the state, this Ann Coulter is not the bold, brassy, pain-in-the-ass conservative writer that liberal Democrats love to hate, but rather Ann Coulter, executive vice president of the nonprofit RiverCity Co., the driving force behind Chattanooga's wildly successful downtown revitalization program.
The Pulse noted that Coulter's biggest obstacle is her lack of name recognition and then, further down the piece, observed that conservative Republicans haven't seemed to coalesce around a candidate yet. Does anybody else see some serious electoral synergy here? If Coulter could devise some strategy whereby she can get Chattanooga's right-wing voters (and there are a lot of them down there) to think that they're actually voting for the Ann Coulter, rather than just a regular, run-of-the-mill Ann Coulter, then she'd have it in the bag.R.A.
No pics of the thong wedgie? Damn!
Whatever, Gast. I could post stuff that reflects my attitudes all day and you'd never…
"liberal death cult"? Are they the ones who lied about WMD's and got us involved…
Puss in Boots.........that fits him to a T!
You're talking about Sofia Vergara of course?