Tomorrow evening Nashville’s City Council will decide whether or not to implement a large increase in the city’s property tax. It is a tax increase that has the backing of the mayor, the chamber of commerce, and a host of “respectable” organizations.
Let me tell you why I am against it. When it comes right down to it, this is a tax increase sold on the basis of paying for the salaries for policemen, firemen, and teachers. In truth, it is a bill to raise taxes to continue to pay government workers who were only hired as a result of the President’s “stimulus” bill, which was supposed to be a temporary Keynesian measure to get the economy going again. Obviously, Keynesianism didn’t work. It never does in practice, but the theory sure sounds good. Now, rather than cut the city’s budget, the city’s “leaders” think that I should cut mine.
Bottom line: somebody’s budget is going to get cut this week. Either Nashville’s city budget will take the cut, or the residents of Nashville will take the cut in their own family’s budgets in order to pay the tax increase.
If you live in Nashville, have friends or family in Nashville, or just care about Nashville, now is the time to contact your council representative and urge him or her to reject the Mayor’s budget.
This is about the Virginia ABC–Alcohol and Beverage Commission. Tennessee’s is just as bad if not worse. Unlike in Virginia, in Tennessee you can’t buy wine in grocery stores. Nor can you buy a corkscrew, or or ice, or wine glasses, or anything else you might want to accompany your wine and liquor when you are shopping in a wine and liquor store.
You can have a wine and cheese tasting in a grocery store where you can buy the cheese half of the pairing, but not in a wine store where the other half can only be sold.
You can’t buy wine from out of state and have it shipped to your home. But you can go to a Tennessee winery and have it shipped to your home out of state.
If there’s a special wine you like, you can go to your wine store and have it special ordered, if the winery has a Tennessee distributor. But the winery can use only one Tennessee distributor*, so he sets the price. But if it’s a boutique winery with only a few thousand cases a year, good luck, because many of them won’t sell in monopoly-franchise states like Tennessee.
You can tour the historic distilleries of Jack Daniels or George Dickel. You can even get a tasting there. But you can’t buy any. Not there.
Stupid laws. All of them. And it’s time for them to change. Watch the video; the last line is the best.
I just came back to dinner with Mrs. Krumm and some friends and discovered another stupid Tennessee alcohol rule. Since ABC governs the rules for restaurants serving liquor and wine, but local communities have authority over beer sales, you can get some strange rules. In Nashville, the local government has decided that houses, schools, parks, and churches shouldn’t have beer sales within 500 feet of them. (Remind me some day to tell you about the first trip with my wife when we were stationed in Bavaria and she discovered that looking for the church was how you found the town’s bar–it was always just across the street.) The state, however, has no distance restrictions. So to protect the children–or people whose faith is so fickle that a brewski will send them to satan–at the restaurant we visited tonight you could order wine and Jack Daniels, but not a beer. Yes, dumb. Very dumb.
*There can be only one distributor in each of the state’s four non-overlapping regions.
Byline: bob | Category: TN Politics | Posted at: Friday, 6 February 2009
Speculation in Tennessee centers today around the possibility that Gov. Phil Predesen will be appointed to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. More than a few Volunteer State Democrats are apoplectic at that thought because they fear the prospect of Republican Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey taking the governor’s office.
But would Bredesen actually be doing the state’s Democrats a favor by handing the office to a Republican?
State government took in $114.3 million less than projected during January, pushing the state’s revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year past the $522 million mark.
This is only the sixth month of the state’s fiscal year, and the prospects for improvement look bleak. Would Gov. Brededesen love to saddle his Republican successor with this problem?
Consider also that the new Republican governor would have deal with new Republican Speaker of the House Kent Williams, who just yesterday, Ramsey said should leave the GOP or get kicked out. The blood between them has been bad and it isn’t getting better. The discord is probably the best insurance that the GOP would not be able to run roughshod, especially since if Williams does bolt, that leaves the House in a 48-48-1 deadlock. Would Gov. Bredesen love to saddle his Republican successor with this problem?
Consider also that there are three declared strong Republican candidates for the 2010 governor’s race and no major Democrats in the race. This is the state that in both 2006 and 2008 saw Republican gains in the state legislature. Democrats in Tennessee have the weakest bench in decades, if not forever. An incumbent Gov. Ramsey freezes the Republican field in place (including the one candidate who just raised $1.4 million last week), while his incumbency–particular in a period of economic downturn–gives Democrats somebody to rally against. Would Gov. Bredesen love to saddle his Republican successor with this problem?
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that the best opportunity for a Democratic victory in the Tennessee Governor’s race in 2010, is if a Republican is the incumbent.
Byline: bob | Category: TN Politics | Posted at: Wednesday, 14 January 2009
It seems that everyone in Tennessee was shocked by yesterday’s news. For some reason I wasn’t; I never thought that a one-vote margin would be enough to win the race. Somebody was going to switch. The only surprise was to me was that Jimmy Naifeh didn’t manage to keep the gavel.
Oh, and what is it with Tennessee Republicans name “Williams“?
A South Carolina blog claims to have seen the five names on John McCain’s short list for Vice President: Joe Lieberman, Charlie Crist, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Marsha Blackburn.
Blackburn would certainly be a good choice to help consolidate some of the Talk Radio Conservative who claim that they’re going to sit out the election rather than vote for John McCain. The Tennessee Republican congressman is fiscally conservative, strong on illegal immigration, and a supporter of victory in Iraq. She is also a scrappy fighter who came to prominence as a Tennessee State Senator who spearheaded the successful fight to stop a state income tax proposed by a Republican governor, and then emerged successfully from a heated primary over two better-funded candidates to win her first term in Congress in 2002. Blackburn is also a darling of Talk Radio Conservatives and frequent guest on their shows.
The blog claims that the McCain campaign is also considering a “secure the center” strategy which would allegedly put 27 states, instead of the usual 12 to 14, into play for Republicans in November. The leaked memo claims that
. . . the inevitable outcry such a centrist strategy would bring from conservative talking heads like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, noting at one point that their “vocal indignation” would actually help attract the more moderate voters McCain is targeting.
Rush Limbaugh agrees, saying just last week that his criticism of McCain helps his strategy of peeling votes away from Democrats disenchanted by the bitter fight on their side:
McCain wants criticism from me. He’s going after Democrats and independents, not conservatives. And if he wants those votes, the best thing that could happen is for me to criticize.
It’s a good strategy–particularly against Barack Obama, who is so far left of center that his nomination would leave America’s political middle completely vulnerable to Republican conquest. But if that is his strategy it probably means that Blackburn won’t be McCain’s veep choice.
John McCain’s advantage in all this is that he doesn’t have to choose which route to take until after the Democratic nominating process has played itself out. If somehow Democrats do manage to make amends by the end of their August convention then McCain will likely choose a traditional “secure the base” strategy, in which case Blackburn is the perfect choice. If however, the bitterness and division still exists in the Democratic Party after a divisive convention, then McCain has a great opportunity for a landslide by capturing the middle. Joe Lieberman and Tim Pawlenty could be better choices under that scenario.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s plan outlined in the New York Times yesterday will only work if the primary of superdelegates gives Hillary Clinton enough of a margin to push her over the top. If Barack Obama still has the lead, this won’t be over. And you can expect it to get uglier.
Here’s another suggestion: whomever is the Democratic nominee, Phil Bredesen would be one of the best Vice Presidential choices in the entire Democratic Party. Especially for Hillary.
Howard Dean reportedly doesn’t like the idea. So? After the August riot I suspect that there won’t be a whole lot of people who like Howard Dean . . . except Republicans.
Tennessee Free thinks that Bredesen is angling for a spot on the ticket. I agree. I also agree that he would be a good choice for Tennessee Democrats–not because it would put Tennessee in play for the presidency, but because it just might help Jimmy Naifeh keep control of the House.
Others liken it to selecting the nominee in a smoke-filled room. But the truth is that with or without the smoke, it’s out of the hands of the people and their elected delegates already. Bredesen’s plan just formulates a way to deal with that reality.
Obama is showing us that Americans have gotten beyond race.
Really? I think that most Americans have, but have Democrats? Let’s ask the Rev. Robert Poindexter of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, who had this to say about his representative in Congress, Steve Cohen:
He’s not black and he can’t represent me, that’s just the bottom line.
And then there’s the anti-semitism being slung Cohen’s way. This is the title of a flyer being distributed in his district (emphasis in original):
Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the JEWS HATE Jesus.
The good news for Cohen–who btw I’ve met and like even though we agree on virtually nothing–is that in Tennessee the date for the presidential primary is different from the other primary races. Had he been on the ballot a couple weeks ago against fellow Democrat Nikki Tinker (campaign slogan: “I’m black like you and he’s a Jew”) while Obama won the district by about 3:1, Rep. Cohen would have been sent packing after just one term in Congress. As it is, he might survive his primary fight, only to face another third-party challenger–and this time it won’t be the idiot brother.
Commercial Appeal: No comment from Tinker: The worst kind of rhetoric didn’t get a reaction from the candidate who could benefit.
Well, probably not . . . since it’s a battle between Georgia and Tennessee over whether the location of the border gives Georgia access to a part of the Tennessee River. But if war did erupt it wouldn’t be the first time.
You remember the Toledo War, don’t you? In 1835 Michigan contended that the border was drawn wrong and that Toledo belonged to them. Both states sent armed militias into conflict. Casualties were avoided only because the inept armies couldn’t find each other. Eventually cooler heads prevailed and Ohio won possession of Toledo.
In the end Michigan won because . . . Ohio won possession of Toledo. In exchange Michigan was awarded the Upper Peninsula. Most Buckeyes today would gladly swap.
Bill Hobbs weighs in and has a press release from the Tennessee Republican Party. Say Uncle is organizing a militia. Gid raises the political football of, well . . . football.
It’s one thing to ask a bunch of Romney, Huckabee, and Paul supporters to come together and support John McCain, but there will be a war if someone attempts to redraw a state border and expect a bunch of Volunteers to instead yell “Go Dawgs” or “Roll Tide”.