So Mike McWherter is running for governor on the "there's a place for everyone in Tennessee, but the weirdos should keep away from the decent folks" platform. And one of his campaign strategies — appropriately enough called "Mike Works!"—is for him to go around and work a regular Tennessee job.
I follow him on Twitter (for you people! The lengths I go for you people!) and it's a little like a tour of the manliest man jobs in Tennessee: Mike works at a machine shop! Mike picks corn! Mike is an industrial dishwasher! Mike works at a factory! Mike works at a restaurant! Mike works at another farm! Mike washes some more dishes — but in a restaurant, of course, where it's manly! Mike fights a bear with only a knife! Mike single-handedly reduces the number of wild boar in the state with his two-finger death poke.
We get it. Jesus Christ, we get it. Mike McWherter is practically a living Dos Equis ad. Sharks have a week devoted to him.
When does McWherter go do a job that's not so much about how manly he is? When do we see him shadowing a kindergarten teacher? Or working in a daycare? Why doesn't he get on the line with some of the gals at Tyson? Or sweep up at a hair salon? Or follow around an administrative assistant? Or bag some groceries?
Women have blue-collar jobs too. Aren't they worth doing?
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Tennessee No Evil|
We Middle Tennesseans looked like ignorant hayseeds last night. Nationally. One can only hope Nashville isn't guilty by regional association. Jon Stewart, Prince of weeknight infotainment, sent correspondent Aasif Mandvi to Murfreesboro to speak with mosque opposition leader Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a Zionist cartoon, former anti-abortion lobbyist and president of Tennessee's Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. What followed was by turns hilarious, embarrassing and terrifying. Bear witness.
As former Vice President Al Gore told me via email: "I think it’s already clear that the climate crisis has very real and serious implications for middle Tennessee and the United States as a whole. Although scientists warn us that no single weather event can be solely blamed on climate change because there is a lot of variability in weather, including the occurrence of extreme events — it’s clear that long-familiar patterns are being disrupted and the extreme events are becoming both more extreme and more frequent. Moreover, the changes — like larger downpours — are absolutely consistent with what the scientists have long warned us would accompany global warming."
I'm not sure if this point has been made, but it occurred to me that there would be an easy way for Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and the others on the right leading the charge against the New York mosque/cultural center to recalibrate the entire debate and demonstrate that they aren't fundamentally anti-Muslim or anti-freedom of religion: they should be leading the charge to build the cultural center/mosque in Tennessee ... and everywhere else.
If Newt Gingrich, etc., really aren't anti-Muslim, and this is genuinely about the "sensitivity" of building close to ground zero, then they should not only have no issue with other mosques but in fact should be defenders of them. And given how nasty this debate has gotten, they should do so in a public way. What kind of signal would it send to this country if a Republican leader opposed to the NY facility, showed up in TN to support the Muslim community trying to build a facility down there?
Everyone seems to appreciate that this is a teachable moment. But the anger is coming from the right, and the media's push on Obama to rise to the occasion is completely misplaced, since the people most vehemently opposed are the least likely to trust Obama. This is a moment for someone, anyone, on the right to rise to the occasion and demonstrate that they too can sometimes unify this country and not just talk about it mockingly. We've made it too easy for the leadership on the Right to always play the role of dividing the country without ever asking them to unify it.
And I got an email from a friend about the whole Murfreesboro mosque situation and some ugliness she'd read about in one of the national papers, and she said, "Right now, I'm embarrassed to be from Tennessee."
I get what she's saying, but I'm never embarrassed to be from Tennessee. Oh, I'm embarrassed that these assholes would rather be mean and scared than not, but I'm embarrassed for them, not embarrassed to be associated with them.
To reporters today, Gov. Phil Bredesen gave an impassioned defense of top aide John Morgan's selection as Board of Regents' chancellor. He lashed out at critics who are questioning whether the appointment was rigged. The governor accused Republicans of engaging in "this kind of Washington politics stuff," and he bristled at suggestions that the fix was in for Morgan.
"I mean that’s kind of offensive. We have during the entire course of the time that I’ve been governor, I have worked really hard to put the right kinds of people in these jobs. And there’s no place where I have slid somebody in."
To choose Deputy Gov. John Morgan, the Board of Regents had to abandon its practice of requiring chancellor candidates to hold a doctorate degree. The job description seemed written with Morgan in mind, focusing on an ability to work with state leaders and on knowledge of the state's new higher education law. The search committee interviewed only Morgan shortly after the application deadline passed and hired him a week later.
Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, is calling for legislative hearings into the appointment. "That disappoints me," Bredesen said. "That is very political. That’s about a guy who’s trying to advance politically in his party" apparently referring to the possibility that Ketron will run for the Senate GOP caucus chairmanship next year.
Given recent local beefs over locations of mosques and Islamic centers, and coverage of said beefs from the national press, an observer from afar might reasonably wonder if Middle Tennessee has anything more to offer than nativism and xenophobia.
So it's with an exquisite sense of timing that one Maura Satchell of Smyrna, a mother of two Iraq war veterans, gets her pithy letter on the Ground Zero brouhaha published in today's New York Times:
The uproar over the proposed Islamic center is at odds with what the United States military is trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan right now and actually puts our troops in danger. Our troops swallow any prejudices they might have had and find common ground with their Iraqi and Afghan interpreters to win the hearts and minds of the civilians, or perhaps only to survive. Their lives rely on a bond forged with their Muslim brethren. The xenophobic actions back home counter that effort, reinforce resentments some Muslims harbor against us and make our troops less safe. This nonsense must stop, if only for our troops’ sake.
Yes, this nonsense must stop, and yes, there are voices of sanity and reason in the provinces.
Our friend Merle Hazard, the man in beige who stands at the vortex between country music and economic theory, ponders the possibility of a double-dip recession in his latest video, shot (where else?) at Bobbie's Dairy Dip on Charlotte Avenue. See if you can spot the hidden mathematician.
With representatives of each candidate watching over their shoulders, election officials will do a recount of the Yarbro-Henry state Senate primary election this afternoon. This result is supposed to satisfy everyone and make our hearts swell with patriotic pride. We will have witnessed a great triumph of democracy right here in our own backyard. Gail Kerr is already gushing about it. Not so fast.
Actually, only a couple hundred absentee ballots will be recounted. As for the rest of the 11,400 votes, fuggedaboutit. Davidson County is one of 93 Tennessee counties that use voting machines with no paper trail to verify results.
With great fanfare in 2008, Republicans and Democrats alike embraced the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act to eliminate the notorious hazards of paperless, unverified electronic voting. This law called for replacing these machines by this year's elections with paper ballots to be marked by voters and then read by optical scanners—a system allowing for recounts and audits of the actual tallies.
What happened? Republicans took control of the legislature and voted to delay this obvious good-government election reform. They were placating county election officials who were whining about having to go to the trouble of implementing the change.
"They can't recount the machines. All they can do with the machines is press the tally button and get the same tally. There's nothing tangible that they can recount," says election reform advocate Mary Mancini of Tennessee Citizen Action.
So we can't ever know who really won this election between Jeff Yarbro and Douglas Henry because we can't ever really have a recount under this system. Too bad.
Has he tried an experiment with the red ants?
Quoting passages from the bible is irrelevant as an argument related to government programs.
Here's the money quote: "I’m Chucky. I’m a different person."
That you are, Chucky.
I just posted a long comment on Chuck Mangino's YouTube video in question. First of…
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