Friday, June 22, 2012

Communist-Spotter Allen West Supports Chuck Fleischmann...And Blamed Gun Control for the Holocaust

Posted by on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Allen West knows a communist when he sees one and Chuck Fleischmann ain't no Red.

Yesterday, by way of the above video, Florida Republican, University of Tennessee graduate and McCarthyite U.S. Rep. Allen West announced his endorsement of Chuck Fleischmann, a Chattanooga Republican facing two primary challengers in his bid for re-election to Congress. Fleischmann is a "proven conservative," West says, and a fighter who has worked alongside West to "stop the destructive agenda" of the president and to "protect and advance constitutional conservative principles."

As the Tennessean's Michael Cass rightly pointed out, the announcement would be rather unremarkable were it not for the notoriety West gained two months ago by asserting that as many as 81 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.

Given his public eccentricity, a new insight from West — which is actually two years old, but was unearthed today by the Internet miners at BuzzFeed — is also remarkable, but unsurprising.

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Tennessee DREAMer Faces ICE Deportation

Posted by on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM


Despite President Obama's promises to halt the deportation of young illegal immigrants who've lived in the country so long as to be virtually indistinguishable from "Real 'Mericans" (aka DREAMers) and to provide them with a path to lawful citizenship, it seems that in one case in Tennessee, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has engaged in a game of chicken with the administration on the issue, putting one man's life in the balance.

A petition on the website details the story of Lesther Chavarria, a 21-year-old Nicaragua-born man who's called Tennessee his home for a decade, and who plans to join the Air Force or enroll in medical school. Although his age and circumstances firmly cover him under the June 15 memo issued by ICE's parent, the Department of Homeland Security, to cease fucking with people like Mr. Chavvaria, the petition states otherwise:

We, the undersigned, write to request that you take immediate action to stop the deportation of DREAM Act student Lesther Chavarria.

On September 2010, Lesther was pulled over by a police officer for driving with a broken tail light. Two months later, a police officer went to his house and arrested him for missing a court date. Thirty minutes into booking, Lesther found out ICE had placed a hold on him and he now faces deportation on June 27, 2012.

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The Hippodrome: Here's What Dickey Do

Posted by on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM

This Week In The Drome: Meet the Met, a team of Luccis, the goodness of Griffin, and more ...

Johan Santana is Sonic, by the way
  • Johan Santana is Sonic, by the way

Opening Face-Off

R.A. Dickey vs. Physics : This week in the dead-tree, I write on R.A. Dickey, baseball's unlikely pitching ace.

Appropriate perhaps that Nashville-reared Dickey — he recently sold his Green Hills home — is garnering attention at a time when New York is repeatedly (and often ham-fistedly) turning its eye to Nashville.

Yes, Dickey is the Nashville of baseball — a once-forgotten commodity turned sudden phenom. And if it took Jack White moving here to get the New York Times and GQ to notice us, then the knuckleball is the Jack White of baseball pitches: like Jack, it's a study in effective if often completely unpredictable weirdness which no one understands but most everyone enjoys.

The concern with the knuckleball is that, at some point, like a jukebox screeching at last call, it will stop the dancing. But Dickey, a convert from a more standard style of pitching, seems to be a special case. He's only walked five batters in his most recent six starts, leading some to argue he has control over the capricious pitch than none other has ever managed.

If he can manage to keep the ball jiving for another few weeks, Dickey's a shoo-in to start for the National League in next month's All-Star Game — wake up, Mr LaRussa. If he can keep it up for a few months longer, the man who once gave up six homers in a single start may get a Cy Young.

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Funeral Tomorrow for Pioneering Music Row Executive Donna Hilley

Posted by on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 5:20 AM

Frances Preston and Donna Hilley
  • Frances Preston and Donna Hilley
In less than a week, Nashville has lost another of the pioneering women music executives who planted the first cracks in Music Row's glass ceiling. Donna Hilley, whose tenure at Sony/ATV Nashville lasted 31 years — 11 of them as president and CEO — died Wednesday after a long period of poor health. From The City Paper:

Hilley was born in Birmingham, Ala., and began her career in the music industry at radio station WKDA, where Jack Stapp, founder of Tree International, was program director. After working at the radio station for eight years, Hilley became the assistant to the president of a Nashville advertising and public relations firm.

In 1978, Hilley was named executive vice president and COO of Tree International. Sony purchased Tree International in 1989, and Hilley, who negotiated the purchase, became president and CEO in 1994. She was instrumental in negotiating more than 60 acquisitions including Acuff-Rose, Little Big Town, Maypop, as well as the catalogs of Conway Twitty, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

Entertainment Weekly magazine ranked Hilley fourth in its “Ten Most Powerful People in Country Music” in 1992, and Mirabella magazine named her as one of the “Women We Admire” in 1994. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1978, and in 1984 she was honored as “Lady Executive of the Year” by the National Women’s Executives.

Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business awarded Hilley with the first Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence shortly after her retirement from Sony/ATV Nashville in 2005. She was also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

“Donna Hilley’s influence on Music Row’s artists and songwriters and on the broader Nashville community could never fully be expressed with words,” said Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ATV Nashville.

Visitation will be Friday evening at Woodlawn Funeral Home, with the funeral service scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Forrest Hills Baptist Church.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

City Paper: Texas Man Indicted for Threatening Murfreesboro Mosque

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

From the City Paper:

A federal grand jury in Nashville has indicted Javier Alan Correa, of Corpus Christi, Texas, on two felony counts for allegedly threatening to bomb the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro last fall in a profanity-laced cellphone call.

Correa is charged with interfering with the religious freedom of members of the mosque by threatening to use force against them as well as threatening to use an explosive device to interfere.

U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin announced the indictment at the mosque construction site Thursday.

According to the indictment, a portion of the Sept. 5, 2011, phone message Correa left at the mosque read, “go back to your [expletive] dirty [expletive] country, [expletive] Muslim fascists, get the [expletive] out of here … On September 11, 2011, there’s going to be a bomb in the building … .”

Read the whole story here.

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Haslam Uninterested in Seeing Legislators Again This Year

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 5:00 PM


Gov. Bill Haslam isn't likely to indulge state Democrats' desire for a special legislative session, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

At a press conference Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats urged Haslam to call a special summer session and use the state's surplus revenue — which they say amounts to $225 million — to forestall college tuition hikes. They also repeated their call for additional cuts to the state sales tax on groceries.

In Knoxville for a meeting of the UT board of trustees earlier today, Haslam said he "understand[s] the concern" about rising college tuitions, but that he's "not certain it makes sense" to address them with a special session.

Politically, this may just work out for both sides. Democrats, who surely knew Haslam would not call a special session, will continue to run on the idea that their attempts to address the state's real issues are being blocked and ignored by a majority obsessed with a far-right social agenda. And Haslam can highlight his image as the prudent CEO governor, storing away extra money for a rainy day. (The argument, of course, is to what degree it is raining right now.) In the meantime, students, your tuition will likely be going up.

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Rebel Rep. Julia Hurley's Greatest Hits (Or: The Liberal Long Con)

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM

L'affaire Pepper: The Lost Footage, provided by the Knoxville News Sentinel

"I think it's a liberal ploy to take the attention off the bills and the legislation I've passed and the positive things I've done, to make me look like a bad person."

That's what Republican state Rep. Julia Hurley told the AP's Erik Schelzig earlier this week, in response to the latest kerfuffle of which she is at the center. In the video above — which Hurley posted on YouTube before removing it two days later — Hurley's dog and legislative assistant Pepper is held out the passenger window by a faceless passenger. Another person in the car — presumably Hurley who was, presumably, driving — can be heard laughing and instructing the passenger on the proper way to execute an activity apparently known by Hurley as "air swimming" and by others as "flailing in terror." Pepper has not yet commented on her state of mind during the activity.

Personally, I'm not overly concerned with whether or not this makes Hurley a "bad person." I wouldn't hold my dog outside of a moving vehicle, but I try to save up my moral outrage for alleged wife-beaters and drunk-and-armed drivers. Betsy Phillips feels more strongly on this point, as it relates to Hurley.

I'm more interested in this "liberal ploy" business.

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Zelenik Takes Aim at Diane Black — Literally, Thanks to Murfreesboro Post

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

File this under “Crimes, Photoshop.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black and opponent Lou Ann Zelenik have been slugging it out in primaries and the courts for the better part of two years, trading jabs and briefs in one of the nastier intra-party squabbles we've seen in a long time.

But she's probably not ready to take a shot at Black just yet.

If you picked up the Murfreesboro Post this week, though, you might think otherwise.

On the cover, the staff of the Post photoshopped (what a horrible, useful verb) a picture of Black into an old campaign photo of Zelenik at a shooting range. The effect was to make it look like she was aiming at a target of Black's head.


In the wake of the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, officials, and especially members of Congress, are a little sensitive to the issue. Black's campaign went, er, ballistic, yelling at Post managing editor Michelle Willard for 20 minutes on Monday. Black’s folks even invoked Byron (Low Tax) Looper, the Republican loon who killed his Democratic opponent for the state Senate in 1998.

When asked by Pith if she would do the cover again, Willard laughed and offered a quick "no."

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That's Right, It's Not Africa. It's Tennessee.

Posted by on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 5:32 AM

Andrew Sullivan links to this video on Remote Area Medical in a post titled "This Is In America, Not Africa." He prefaces the video by saying, "A moving film about Remote Area Medical, the kind of volunteer health care charity that you see in developing countries."

I have really strong but mixed feelings about this. It is a national embarrassment that people in our country have to camp out to see a doctor they can afford. I mean, if this video doesn't make you think there's something very fucked up in our country, I can't imagine what will. These are people in our state who depend on a guy in a truck to show up and get them glasses, who don't even know that they have spots on their lungs from smoking because they can't get an X-ray, unless it's from this program. And the workable response we have to their health care needs is to treat it like a regularly occurring natural disaster, complete with people camping out in sports stadiums waiting for volunteer help to arrive.

But I hate the "This is in America, not Africa" stuff. Africa is a whole continent. If you looked at our whole continent, you could find some really backward hellholes, too. It's unfair to talk about Africa as if it's a place full of a common poor people with a common shitty culture when it's full of a lot of different ethnic groups with really different, vibrant cultures living in really different circumstances.

Honestly, would we really be so bad off if the people in this video from East Tennessee lived like people in Cape Town? No, that'd be an improvement, so maybe we should not use "Africa" as a synonym for "terrible place full of destitute, miserable people" — especially not when our response to our own fellow Tennesseans' suffering is so inadequate. OK, especially not when our response to the suffering in our own country is to just ignore it.

We are a country with no shortage of destitute, miserable people. Period. We don't need false comparisons to Africa. We need to find better ways to help them.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gibson Guitar to Provide Buses for RNC

Posted by on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Politico reports that libertarian darling Gibson Guitar Corporation, in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation, will offer "hospitality tour buses" at this year's Republican National Convention shindig in Tampa, Fla.

The Aug. 29 event will feature a bevy of Red State-approved acts, including Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Trace Adkins.

Other artists such as Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Randolph and Night Ranger may also appear. There will also be another major act for the closing night "Wheels Up" party that’s still to be announced. Sponsors include the National Energy Institute, Amway, Southern Company; the American Action Network and Citizens United. Liberty Plaza's production partner is PRG, the concert production and touring company responsible for lighting U2's 360 and Madonna's current tour.

The location will also be home to invitation-only events for groups such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP whip team and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.). Late night concerts will benefit the Navy Seal Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans programs. Gibson Guitar and The Heritage Foundation will also have hospitality tour buses on hand. "Liberty Plaza is excited that we have the opportunity to honor our nation's heroes and celebrate the sacrifices they made for the freedom we have today," said Ron Bonjean, spokesman for the group.

The venue can fit up to 3,500 people and will offer private air conditioned hospitality lounges. Sponsor packages, including tickets for every night start, at $10,000.

Gibson became a cause célèbre among conservatives following an August, 2011 federal raid on several of the company's Tennessee facilities for alleged violations of the Lacey Act.

Let's hope Skynyrd asks Mitt Romney to do backup on the inevitable "Freebird" rendition.

(H/t Joey Garrison, via "Lisa," via Real Life)

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