Wednesday, June 30, 2010

With Nothing to Lose, Ben Leming Sides with Muslims in the 'Boro

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Ben Leming
  • Ben Leming
We think we like this guy Ben Leming, who is running to succeed Bart Gordon in Congress. Leming had the guts to speak out for Muslims in Murfreesboro. "The people that want to build a house of worship in Murfreesboro are not the enemy. Osama Bin Laden and his band of thugs and criminals are the enemy," he said as his Republican rivals fanned the flames of hatred. Leming isn't given much chance to win November's election. There's something exhilarating about having nothing to lose. Now, showing his sense of humor, he has issued a statement in which he pats Jim Tracy on the back for sticking up for religious freedom in America:

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Thanks to Republicans in Legislature, Murfreesboro Mosque Looks Like Done Deal

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 6:37 PM

This will look great next to the Tastee Freez in Murfreesboro.
  • This will look great next to the Tastee Freez in Murfreesboro.
If that Islamic community center is built in Murfreesboro over the vociferous objections of all the ignorant bumpkins in that city, they can thank Republicans in the state legislature. They enacted a so-called Religious Freedom Act last year to prohibit discrimination against Jesus freaks. Unfortunately for Murfreesboro's Muslim haters, the law also protects local adherents of the religion of Islam. It's strange how life works out sometimes, isn't it?

Who knew Islam is a religion too? Apparently not state Sen. Jim Tracy, one of the sponsors of the Religious Freedom Act. He's in a tight spot now as he's running for Congress in the Sixth District against Lou Ann Zelenik, who already has staked out her position in her campaign as a fierce hater of Muslims. Another Republican candidate in the race, state Sen. Diane Black, voted for the bill too.

Rutherford County planning officials learned of this little dilemma at a meeting with lawyers this week. "At the end of the day, we can't look at a mosque any differently than we do for a Church of Christ or Baptist church," planning commissioner Will Jordan said. What's the world coming to?

But there are Muslim pamphlets that promote killing, one commissioner sputtered. "Isn't that our Bible?" responded fellow Planning Commissioner Vincent Windrow, a pastor at Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church.

Rep. Joe Carr's Little Problem with the Truth

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM

State Rep. Joe Carr has done it again. Caught doing something really stupid, he's claimed he didn't know he was doing it when he did it, thereby proving himself to be even dumber than we thought. We love this guy. He's hilarious. On his website, he claimed an endorsement from Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Tom Humphrey. When he was called out for this blatant lie, he said he didn't understand that, when he put Humphrey's name down under "Endorsements" on the web page, it meant Humphrey had endorsed him.

“That’s not at all an endorsement,” said Carr when contacted. “I understand that and it’s my fault. I didn’t even think about that when we put it under endorsements. I apologize.”

This recalls what Carr said when he was caught racking up exorbitant legislative per diem:

"I didn't realize that every time I came to the legislature, they did a per diem."

Hahahahaha! So when Carr filled out forms asking for the per diem, signed for the checks and cashed them, he didn't know what he was doing? Maybe he was knocked on the head on his way to the bank and suffers from temporary amnesia.

Bredesen Runs and Hides on Immigration Issue

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 7:32 AM

A Tennessee Democrat on the campaign trail.
  • A Tennessee Democrat on the campaign trail.
OK, this is exactly what's wrong with the Democratic Party in this state. Gov. Phil Bredesen admits he thinks the legislature's Arizona-style immigration bill is wrong, yet he says he signed it into law partly to avoid a political fight with Republicans in the fall elections.

“I guess you could do it (veto) as a symbolic act, but if you do so you’re just throwing it out, you’re throwing gasoline on the fire, and now there’ll be a whole bunch of political campaigns this fall about ‘we’re going to toughen up this kind of thing. In the end, I didn’t think what it did was unreasonable. Symbolically, I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was necessary.”

That sounds like someone trying really hard to rationalize a bad decision. This law aims to harass and chase foreign-looking people out of our state. But rather than explaining that to voters, the governor decided it was better to throw up his hands and surrender to fear and ignorance. We wouldn't want to anger the Republicans, would we? They might say mean things about us. Politics is supposed to be the art of persuasion. To Tennessee Democrats, it's a game of hide and seek.

Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area — A Review (Tennessee Coneflower Edition)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 5:00 AM

The Tennessee Coneflower, which you can see, in the wild, at Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area
  • The Tennessee Coneflower, which you can see, in the wild, at Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area
In short:

Location: On the edge of Long Hunter State Park
Size of Park: On the medium-small side
Crowds: None
Approximate Age of Patrons: mid-30s and a dog who was acting like she was 87
Topics of Conversation: "I can see the car. Are you going to fink out on me 100 feet from the car every week this summer?"
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: Sedan
Perceived Safety: Medium high
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: I thought high, the dog thought there wasn't enough shade or creek
Number of pitbulls sighted: Mine
Accessibility: You must be able to walk and fairly steady on your feet
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: Plant enthusiasts, fans of conservation

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Can Marsha Blackburn Do This?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 6:48 PM

The Phil Williams Inquisition: Audio

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Williams, scourge of the parking scofflaw
  • Williams, scourge of the parking scofflaw
When Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Dan Eisenstein spent most of last Wednesday morning on the bench venting his fury over a police effort to fix a parking ticket for NewsChannel5 investigative reporter Phil Williams, Williams himself — winner of multiple journalistic awards for exposés of local ticket-fixing — was not in the courtroom. And testimony from a series of police functionaries hauled before the court made clear Williams had not asked for any favors.

Still, past targets of the crusading journo's stories — including Eisenstein — find the whole situation pretty rich. After the jump: a few choice audio excerpts from the judge's rant last week.

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New Park Scuttlebutt: Lockeland Springs?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Ooo, park enthusiasts, be sure to check out Joey Garrison's story about Lockeland Springs' first baby steps towards becoming a park.

I'm more excited about this than is probably warranted, but, dang, this is cool.

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Poor, Poor Sheriff Hall

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Turns out, when you have to fill an advisory committee with people from the communities adversely impacted by your racist pet project, they won't just behave themselves and provide you political cover, like good boys and girls.

Luckily for Sheriff Daron Hall, he's already made inroads with some folks who would be more than happy to cheer-lead for him.

Shoot, this is funny.

But, to switch tracks to something more serious, it also tells you something very disturbing about the sheriff. Advice can only come from people you are willing to acknowledge have expertise or perspective you don't have. When a person in a position of power wants an advisory committee that only parrots back to him the things he already knows, not only is he not in a position to see his mistakes, he's signaling that he has no interest in even knowing he's making them.

That's not a healthy attitude for a person in a position of power to have. And whether you agree or disagree with 287(g), everyone in this city should be concerned about a sheriff who thinks he doesn't need outside perspectives, who doesn't think he should have to listen to and treat respectfully opinions that differ with his. That's an attitude that will bite the whole city in the ass.

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In Education Spending, We're No. 46!

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 6:43 AM

Gov. Phil Bredesen and legislative leaders can't stop bragging about our victory in the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition. We snagged $500 million because we passed a law expanding charter schools and another one to tie teacher pay and tenure decisions to student test scores. Big whoop.

Here's some much more important education news that you haven't heard much about. Tennessee ranks 46th in education spending. We're behind even Mississippi. The bottom of the rankings:

Utah ($5,765) Idaho ($6,931) Arizona ($7,608) Oklahoma ($7,685) Tennessee ($7,739) Mississippi ($7,901)

That's some great company, isn't it? When businesses are looking for places to locate, do you think they consider these rankings? Of course they do. But none of our political leaders—including the candidates for governor—are talking about this. It's much more fun to pretend our schools are great and state government is bloated and wasteful.

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