Friday, January 30, 2009

Police Arrest Street Preacher for Praising the Lord?

Posted by on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 5:15 AM

Okay, so this guy might be a little unhinged--in a jocular sort of way. But he claims Nashville police twice arrested him for praising the Lord.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sen. Paul Stanley: A 'Heartless, Cruel, Motherfucker'

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Sen. Paul Stanley today filed his bill to ban gay adoptions, and our very own liberal blogosphere immediately pounced. Behold the fury of Aunt B and Southern Beale. First, Aunt B:

Yes, Citizens of Earth, the very day after the House had to hold a hearing because Representative Williams didn't seem to understand he wasn't being elected by his constituents to represent them at a giant frat party, some other elected legislator had the audacity to try to tell us about what's appropriate morality.  See, they can fuck whoever they want whenever they want or die trying, but woe to you if you want to fall in love with someone and give a child a loving home, if you don't fit what they think is right.

Now, Southern Beale:

Tennessee's jobless rate is nearly 8%, we have an environmental disaster in the east part of the state and retirees losing promised healthcare benefits, we have Tennessee's higher education system facing budget cuts, and what is the priority for Evangelical Christian Republican Paul Stanley of Memphis? Senator Stanley wants to know what's happening in your bedroom.

Lincoln Davis Says He Won't Run for Governor

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 7:27 PM

While Republican Bill Haslam was raking in an impressive $1.4 million today for his campaign for governor, Democrats lost  a potentially strong candidate of their own. Congressman Lincoln Davis represented, in fact, perhaps the Democrats' best shot at winning the office in 2010. But tonight, he said in a statement that he wouldn't run. As his only reason, he cited his appointment to the important House Appropriations Committee, calling it "an opportunity for the district I represent that I could not easily turn away from."

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It's Payback Time: Democrats Going After Rep. Brian Kelsey

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 4:53 PM

They're pulling out the long knives at the legislature. It's OK for Rep. Brian Kelsey to stage little publicity stunts to embarrass his colleagues, collecting cigarette butts in the legislative garage or bringing bacon to the House floor. But when he starts dredging up sexual harassment complaints, hey, that's serious.

First, Rep. Mike Turner accused Kelsey of making a nervous wreck out of Rep. Susan Lynn by filing an ethics complaint against House Speaker Kent Williams based on his supposed sexual harassment of her.

"Susan Lynn is in the hospital [Wednesday], and in my opinion, I think Brian Kelsey put her in there and I think his behavior is terrible," Turner told Channel 2.  "I think it's sour grapes."

Now, Turner and House Democratic leader Gary Odom say Kelsey offered to lay off Williams in exchange for a committee  chairmanship.

Update: Kelsey admits he sent the following text message:
"Tell Kent I'm willing to talk about reconciliation if he's willing to talk about chairman of the full committee." But he denies it means what you're thinking it means. Kelsey's statement after the jump:

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Republicans Try to Shed Their Rep as the Economic al-Qaeda

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

It's been an amusing 30 years watching Republicans cling to the mantle of "fiscal responsibility." Their great saint Ronald Reagan was the king of the Drunken Sailor Method, raising spending to untold heights while simultaneously cutting taxes. Think of it as the Washington version of the guy who decides to go part-time, then max out his credit cards.

But now that they're in the minority again, it appears our heroes are trying to reestablish their fiscal street cred. Yesterday, they unanimously voted against the Obama stimulus package.

There are legit reasons to oppose the bill. It contains a helping of questionable expenditures that may not produce quick new jobs. Besides, Republicans have never been keen on supporting things like the National Endowment for the Arts (though the arts are statistically a major economic engine). And after the no-strings-attached Wall Street bailout, it's fair to regard any bailout as a sucker's play.

Yet the party's essentially been an economic terrorist organization for three decades. It ran up huge deficits, allowed the treasury to be raped by the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater. It diluted financial regulation, blunted consumer protection, busted unions, and turned a blind eye to the racketeering of Countrywide and Ameriquest. If Satan had a fiscal policy, this would be it.

But now we're to believe Republicans care about the public wallet. It's like casting Osama bin Laden in the role of Gandhi.

TVA Critic Practicing What He Preaches

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, has been on the biting edge of criticism of TVA since it dumped over a billion gallons of toxic sludge on unsuspecting small town folks in East Tennessee.

In just about every spill article you read, Smith is good for a snippy and reliably pithy quote on just how irresponsible TVA is and how much this spill actually sucks...which is a lot. Now he can continue to snipe at the hulking federal corporation from heights of relative impunity.

That's because he and his family live in a Knoxville home that will soon have the largest solar array in TVA's Generation Partners--a program to incentivize wind and solar generating facilities.

"Our neighbors already stop and kind of cock their heads. They ask about the panels and it opens up a conversation," said Libby, Smith's wife.

The solar panels should generate around 700-kilowatt hours per month, and any energy they don't use goes back into TVA's energy grid.

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SEC Charges Franklin Financial Advisor for Bailout Scheme

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Gordon Grigg
  • Gordon Grigg
Franklin's Gordon Grigg, CEO of ProTrust Management, was accused Wednesday of bilking some $6.5 million from investors in one of the first known schemes aimed at profiting from the federal bailout. The Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the assets of Grigg and his company.

The SEC is alleging that Grigg, whose company website is currently down--but links advertise life coaching and consulting (snicker)-- told investors that their investments would be funneled into the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury's bailout plan. Here's the problem: Grigg has no connection whatsoever with the SEC or any other regulatory body that could give the scheme even a smidgen of legitimacy. In a shining example of true vultureism, Grigg preyed upon those seeking a secure way to invest their money. And what could be more secure than the government?

At least 27 clients were told their investments were being placed in securities he described as "private placements," according to the Associated Press, when the statements they received were actually fabricated. A hearing is set for Feb. 6.

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New Info on Catholic Priest Pedophile Relocated to Nashville

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 12:06 PM

It's not everyday that an article from the Indianapolis Star is a must-read for those in Music City. But this piece on former Catholic priest Harry Monroe, long since relocated to Nashville, certainly fits the bill.

For a decade starting in the mid-'70s, Monroe allegedly abused dozens of young boys in Indianapolis. The Archdiocese responded by shuttling him back and forth to a dubious, Catholics-only treatment center that declared Monroe not to be a threat to young children. In 1984, after more parents came forward to church officials claiming their kids had been abused, the Archdiocese removed Monroe from the ministry.

Sometime in the interim between then and now Monroe relocated to Nashville. It's unclear whether this was church mandated or by his own accord. Because the statute of limitations had run out, Monroe was not forced to register as a sex offender. Nor was his new arrival made public by Nashville's diocese (us Catholics aren't too keen on warning the neighbors when our pedophiles move next door).

In 2006, Monroe was working unsupervised at Centennial Hospital. Since then he's been fired. Because no one is answering at his current listed number, there's realistically only one group of people who know Monroe's current whereabouts. And they're the last people who'd be willing to tell.

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Kent Williams: Even Creepier Than We Thought?

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Over at Post Politics, you can read the complete statement Rep. Susan Lynn planned to give at this week's sham meeting of the House Ethics Committee. The statement, her fullest accounting yet of what happened in the legislative parking garage two years ago and afterward, paints House Speaker Kent Williams as a real snake, even creepier than we had been led to believe previously--and that's saying a lot. It raises more questions about the committee's "sweep-it-under-the-rug" dismissal of Rep. Brian Kelsey's ethics complaint.

According to Lynn, Williams made his "very inappropriate" remarks to her three times "as though I should be flattered by his high regard." When they met with GOP leader Jason Mumpower, Williams didn't apologize at first. Instead, Lynn says, he insisted he was sincere when he said he'd give a week's pay to see her naked. Charming, eh?

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Frank Cagle on Sex and the Legislature

Posted by on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 9:18 AM

In his latest Metro Pulse column, Frank Cagle offers advice to lawmakers who are now supposed to be revising their sexual harassment policy (as per vote of the House Ethics Committee yesterday). Things aren't as bad as they used to be at the Capitol, Cable observes. ("There are more churchgoers and fewer drunken louts.")
You no longer hear stories like the one about the House member back in the 1990s who got a staffer drunk and parked on a lonely road. While she was throwing up out the window, he ran the electric window up, trapping her under the chin. Then he pulled up her skirt and had sex with her. He's gone, as is the legislator whose colleagues exited a club one night to discover he had a naked intern spread-eagled on the hood of his Cadillac.
Still, lawmakers have got to be worrying a lot lately. Is there a file drawer somewhere full of secret sexual harassment memos?
If other people do things to anger their colleagues, will other memos see the light of day? I do know that some of the members, over the years, have had their offices "swept" to discover if any bugs might be planted. And they weren't worried about the FBI either. Perhaps they were just being paranoid. But when the official policy is secrecy it tends to foster paranoia. Having been outed by a memo, perhaps Williams should step up and change the policy. Let it be known that all allegations of improper behavior will be investigated by a discreet subcommittee, something like the Board of Professional Responsibility that governs attorneys, and then quashed or released. If there is wrongdoing, it needs to be made public. If it is a spurious allegation, it needs to be quashed. We don't need a system where the possibility exists of secret files that either cover up wrongdoing or are there to keep members in limbo about whether the hammer might fall on them should they get out of line.

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