Greetings, First Drafters! First of all, a big thanks to Athenae and everyone else for the warm welcome and the opportunity to share my rantings over here. I look forward to meeting some new friends. Also, please bear with me: I’m a TypePad newbie.
Let me start out by introducing myself. I grew up in Montclair, N.J. and Los Angeles, CA — two of the country’s most liberal cities. But I’ve spent most of my adult life in Nashville, TN, rural Kentucky and rural Pennsylvania — among our most conservative areas. (Let me debunk some regional stereotypes right now: I met more rednecks whose family trees had no branches in Pennsylvania than I ever did in Kentucky. Just sayin’, y’all.)
I have an undergraduate degree in environmental science. My professional career has been divided between the music industry and communications in environmental ed and resource management. I devoted years to a progressive church, where I coordinated outreach activities like monthly congregational letter-writing campaigns — but I’m so sick of Christians ramming their religion down my throat all the time that I haven’t walked through a church door in three years.
So, I’m a riddle wrapped in a contradiction tied with a flip-floppy bow. Most of my posts over at Southern Beale are written in a fog of outrage over some pile of stupid that’s been inflicted on the world, and Ido take this shit personally, so expect some cuss words. I think, as a longtime reader and commenter over here, that this won’t upset too many people.
I like living in Tennessee but a lot of stuff pisses me off here, and honestly there are days when it’s all I can do to keep from packing up the dogs and cats and telling the husband to meet me in California. The last few years have been particularly horrid. We’ve got every wretched piece of wingnutty legislation coming out of Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, with a special Tennessee twist: crap like our“Don’t Say Gay” bill, or how our Republican-dominated state legislaturedecided to override Nashville’s non-discrimination ordinance last year, because small government! And local control! Except when we don’t like it!
Democrats in Tennessee are an anemic, demoralized bunch but they do exist, and occasionally they come up with a good idea or two. One was a bill that would force legislators to disclose the special interest groups behind “model legislation” of the kind coming from ALEC and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sadly, last week the Influence Disclosure Actwas killed in a subcommittee, but not before Republicans kicked it in the teeth:
“This is a bad bill … horrible bill, really,” Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, said during the House State and Local Government Subcommittee meeting. “I know what it’s getting back at. It’s getting back at ALEC.”
Curry Todd … Curry Todd … why does that name sound familiar? Oh yeah:he’s the Tennessee state chair of ALEC, as well as an ALEC board member. How convenient! ALEC sure got their money’s worth!
But there’s something else, something nagging at the back of my head … oh yeah: back in the fall Todd, who sponsored our notorious “guns-in-bars” bill, was arrested for DUI with his loaded .38 special wedged between his seat and the car’s center console. Click on the link, the mug shot alone is priceless. Todd was so shitfaced he literally could not walk straight, let alone drive, let alone be trusted with a loaded handgun.
If this were a Demcorat there would be manufactured outrage all day and all night until the poor sucker was run out of the legislature and sent home with his tail tucked between his legs. But Curry Todd is a useful idiot for the corporatocracy, able to quash things like the Influence DIsclosure Act that would let everyone know which bills were written by the Koch Bros. or Corrections Corp. of America. So we’ve all kind of forgotten about the mess at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Blair, and anyway, didn’t a prominent Democrat do something awful once, too? Move along … move along.
Because that’s how we do it here in Tennessee.