Friday, March 30, 2012

Did Rick Santorum Come Close to Dropping an N-Bomb?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This is Rick Santorum, candidate for president of the United States of America. In this video, he's speaking in Janesville, Wisc., on March 27.

I've watched this clip about 20 times, and I can't come up with a single feasible thing that Rick Santorum might have been trying to say at roughly the 34:25 mark, other than the word he got 50 percent through saying before realizing he was one syllable away from pulling the cord on his political suicide vest. One poll suggests he was about to utter the words "Nickelback fan," which is an insult for sure!

Seriously, though: This man won the Tennessee Republican primary.

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Stacey Campfield: Do as He Says, Not as He Does, Because He Doesn't Remember What He Does

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Stacey Campfield has taken to his blog to expound on the Trayvon Martin situation and to answer questions about whether we have a similar Stand Your Ground law.

I have goten a few questions on if Tennessee has a "Stand your ground" policy. As I recall I am pretty sure we do have it in Tennessee.

As Say Uncle points out, we do have such a law. Stacey Campfield, in fact, sponsored it. I guess it didn't make much of an impression.

You'd think that Campfield would have some sympathy for a dead kid. But apparently not.

I am sorry but people wearing pulled up hoodies do apear ominous and I don't care what color the person is. If I saw a person in A pulled up hoodie (expecially in the summer in Florida) I would fear the person was trying to concele their identity for some nefarious reason. Seldom a good thing.

Wow, so Campfield is nervous about people who cover their heads in the rain, in the "summer" of February. So, covering your head is concealing your identity, possibly for some nefarious reason, but covering your whole face with a luchador mask before you go to a football game is all in good fun?

Or is this Campfield's way of admitting that he is up to nefarious things and we should rightly fear his ominous presence?

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The Hippodrome: Could Losing Help The Preds?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 7:15 AM

This Week In The 'Drome: Playoff projections, Cuban defections, fiscal expectations, Count Von Count and more ...

Opening Face-Off

One, one extra home game. Ah ah ah!
  • One, one extra home game. Ah ah ah!

4 vs. 5 vs. 6: With St. Louis earning the losers' point last night in Chicago, the Predators are officially all but eliminated from winning the Central Division and, thus, a top-three Western Conference seed in the playoffs (Ed. Note: Thanks to reader Seth Dean for noting that if the Preds win out and the Blues lose their remaining games, the teams will be tied and the Preds could win based on the regulation-and-overtime wins tiebreaker; your Dromemaster sometimes has math trouble).

And, unless they have an epic end-of-season collapse, there is similarly no chance of them finishing seventh or eighth. The Predators will, indeed, be somewhere between fourth and sixth once it all shakes out next weekend.

Fourth place looks to be ideal: home-ice advantage in the first round is a coveted asset, especially for a team which plays so well at home (the extra game of revenue certainly doesn't hurt). Conventional wisdom would say, then, that fifth is better than sixth; without home-ice advantage, better to face-off against the conference's fourth best team rather than its third.

But this is hockey, not logic class, so throw that conventional wisdom out the window.

Because the NHL rewards divisional winners with a guaranteed Top 3 seed, whichever of the troika of Central Division teams stuck in the morass of the middle of the standings — Detroit and Chicago are the other two — slips to No. 6 gets to play the winner of the Pacific Division, one of Dallas, LA, San Jose or Phoenix, all of whom will likely finish with fewer standings points than Nashville, Detroit or Chicago.

The Predators have played meh hockey in the last few weeks, but still cling to the fifth seed like Sméagol to the One True Ring. They can't seem to usurp Detroit in fourth, nor can they convince Chicago to come up and take the seemingly harder first-round match-up.

It's unlikely Barry Trotz would tank — at least not openly — and try to get his team into sixth. Playing a Pacific team might mean an easier on-paper match-up, but it also means longer travel with a team that hasn't been playing well. Ideally, they'd get into fourth and let Detroit and Chicago "fight" it out over who has the honor.

But if the Preds do continue this schneid and get into sixth ... well, that's not so bad.

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George Zimmerman's Other 911 Calls

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:06 AM

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Bad News for the TRA Chair

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Over at The City Paper, Pierce Greenberg has a hell of a story about Dr. Kenneth Hill, the chair of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which oversees investor-owned telecommunications and utility companies. You have to read the whole thing to get the magnitude of the delicious bizarreness, but the meat of the story is that Hill was appointed to the TRA by Ron Ramsey, and now the legislature is looking to gut the TRA — and with it Hill, whose doctorate from an unaccredited Baptist seminary with sketchy academic cred might not cut it as the executive-level expertise the post will demand.

In other words, Kenneth Hill, the TNGOP is just not that into you.

But Mr. (or "Dr."?) Hill, fear not. It's not you. It's the Republicans. They're not just out to get you. Look at what they're doing to your directors.

The proposed bill also would make the directors part-time and cut their salaries from $152,000 to $36,000 per year. An executive director position, appointed by the governor, would also be added.

Ouch. They could make more money working part-time for Mayor Dean.

Clearly this is a move designed to remove a whole lot of regulatory power from the TRA, and it seems like that might slowly be dawning on Hill:

“With those changes, basically I would say that we don't see it as being favorable for the consumer in Tennessee ... or for efficiency here,” Hill said. “There would be so many changes that will have to take place and quite honestly I don't think part-time directors will be able to do it.”

Which is exactly the point, of course. Maybe Hill can consider this continuing education.

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Traveling World War I Exhibit Downtown Today

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM


To celebrate its 75th anniversary, asset management/financial planning company Waddell & Reed has developed an 18-wheel traveling World War I museum that stops in Nashville today as part of its 75-city tour.

The "Honoring Our History Tour" big rig will be parked on Seventh Avenue North between Charlotte and Union from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

According to the press release, "Visitors will experience the tight conditions of trench warfare, see the relatively primitive tools, weapons, equipment and uniforms of a war from nearly 100 years ago."

"Visitors will experience the tight conditions of trench warfare" — now there's an ingenious spin on the space limitations of a museum in an 18-wheeler.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated, and funds raised at this stop will be divided between the Tennessee State Museum-Military Branch and the National World War I Museum based in Kansas City, Mo., the first and only WWI museum designated by U.S. Congress.

More photos after the jump ...

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From Beef Bouillon to Gold Bullion, the Stripper Tax Goes Down

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Relax dude. Were not going to tax you. That looks taxing enough.
  • Relax dude. We're not going to tax you. That looks taxing enough.
It's not really my life's goal to work the stripper beat here at Pith, and yet, here I am. I'm woefully underqualified, as I've only ever been in a strip club once — and that was when a drunken libertarian took me to the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta. I'm not sure I can be held accountable for anything that happens with a drunken libertarian.

Anyway, that's a story not appropriate for a publication my parents might read. Let's turn our focus back to our strippers, who, you remember, Joe Carr and Stacey Campfield wanted to tax in order to lower the food tax. Remember how Campfield was all "It will raise $55 million!" and I was skeptical?

Well, the bill has died for the year, which is almost not worth noting except for this one little thing: "A House panel has killed a bill seeking to tax strippers to pay for a reduction in the state tax on gold coins, bullion and investment income."

Hmmm. From alleviating the food tax to reducing the onerous tax burden on coin collectors. I guess Carr and Campfield ended up not believing there was $55 million worth of tax revenue to be found in strip clubs either.

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Take a Hike, Woods: Tennessee General Assembly Declares Christmas in April

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 5:03 AM

Woods: lovely, dark and deep
  • Woods: lovely, dark and deep.
In a sad note for Pith as well as the sanity of the state, we say goodbye for now to one of our strongest voices and a cornerstone of the Scene’s political coverage for many years. This marks the last week (for now) for Jeff Woods, whose career covering Capitol Hill dates back to the glory days of the late, lamented Nashville Banner. He is retiring from full-time duty for a six-month hike on the Appalachian Trail (hence the fake headline drafted to mark the occasion: “Guns on Trails Bill Passes House”).

An ink-stained wretch with a seismographic bullshit detector — and a brilliant political reporter who's won national honors — Woods was put on earth to make scoundrels quake and scalawags tremble, and he assures us he’ll be back in the fall. We’ll hold the fort until the cavalry returns. In the meantime, we leave you with this excerpt from this fake proclamation and fond roasting presented to Woods last weekend by the Tennessee Capitol Hill Press Corps.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

House Subcommittee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

"Medical cannabis is no longer a radical idea — this is not Cheech and Chong with a bong."

With those words, Memphis Rep. Jeanne Richardson heralded the House Health Subcommittee's passage of HB 0294, aka the "Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act," which would allow doctors in the Volunteer State to offer patients the option of ingesting marijuana to cure what ails them.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, said the bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to cancer and other patients.

It creates a licensure and enrollment program for the production, distribution and dispensing of marijuana for a qualifying medical condition. The measure also authorizes a person with a qualifying medical condition to enroll in a “safe access” program in which the patient can receive a prescription from a licensed practitioner for marijuana and receive the product from a licensed pharmacist at a participating pharmacy.

Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, a physician, opposed the measure, saying “we’re not really trained to prescribe cannabis” and doctors “don’t know how much is needed” to relieve pain or nausea.

The bill now goes to the full House Health and Human Resources Committee and must clear other panels before going to the House floor. The Senate bill has not started moving.

The Senate bill, SB 0251, has been filed by Memphis Democract Beverly Marrero.

Responding to Hensley's claims is Morgan Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who wrote in an email to Pith that he hopes people will realize that the drug can help seriously ill people who just want to lead normal lives.

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Pedal to the Metal: Can the Mayor Move PSC?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 7:08 AM

If you haven't read Joey Garrison's cover story in this week's City Paper, definitely check it out — and not just for Eric England's award-caliber cover image. Garrison does a great job of laying out why Mayor Karl Dean wants to make a second-term priority of relocating perpetual civic eyesore PSC Metals (including the chance of getting that long-dreamt-of baseball stadium on the East Bank), while explaining the practical considerations that have kept the 55-acre scrap heap stubbornly in place:

PSC has no reason to readily vacate its spot on the east bank outside of a major financial incentive, a factor that’s created one of the greatest impediments to relocation. Its current location provides the three components the company needs to function: access to the interstate, the railroad and barges along the river.

That combination has made it tricky to find another location in Nashville where PSC could thrive. Acquiring the land via eminent domain, many say, is simply not an option. First, the company, as a metals scrap plant, is a necessity for the city. In addition, the Metro Development and Housing Agency is in the midst of a public relations fiasco after a judge ruled Tower Investments, a development group, deserved more for its Music City Center land than the city paid through condemnation. Metro has appealed that decision.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Garrison's article: the identity of the controversial financial wheeler-dealer who actually owns PSC. At least it was a surprise to me.

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