Friday, February 25, 2011

Health Care War is Back

The Tennessee Senate stands ready to take on the federal government over health care yet again:

In a redux of the last session of the General Assembly, the Tennessee Senate Wednesday again passed the Tennessee Health Freedom Act. The bill would, if passed, allow Tennesseans to "opt out" of the federal health care law if they choose to do so. A party line vote in the Senate saw all 21 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The bill now awaits its hearing before a more friendly House Commerce Committee than last time after passing out of the General Subcommittee of Commerce.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Defense of Marriage

The President won't defend marriage anymore:

The administration's decision is a slap in the face to voters in Tennessee, who voted to constitutionally declare that marriage is between a man and a woman with 81% of the vote in 2006, and shows no regard for the will of the people in many other States that have passed similar referendums. The President, rather than learning from his party's November beating at the polls, seems to delight in waging political war no matter what the personal cost to him or the political cost to the nation.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It Takes All Kinds...

I'm glad we live in a place where all kinds of people from every background can have a chance to be elected to office:

By now much of the news reading country has read the story of Tennessee State Representative Julia Hurley (R-Lenoir City) and how she worked her way from once waitressing at Hooter's to being a self-employed businesswoman and successful candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives. We discussed Hurley in this space after her story hit the AP wire and was shared with the country February 9th. While surfing the internet yesterday, this writer discovered that the Julia Hurley story wasn't just a popular news item in this country that day, but apparently Representative Hurley has become something of an international celebrity-her story also made the London Daily Mail. The tone of the Daily Mail's staff rewrite almost expresses amazement not that Hurley herself could be elected, but that someone seemingly so ordinary and from such a humble background could find their way into the halls of power.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Union Crackup

Unions at their worst could make parts of our country become as Britain has been:

Tennessee now must grapple with its chance to deal with the scourge of public sector unions as the General Assembly has signaled itself ready to take on the Tennessee Education Association and its ability to hold local school boards hostage, and stop forced withdrawals from teachers' paychecks to support a union dominated by the Democratic Party. Unchecked union power has brought governments down in Europe that refused to bring union leaders into subjection. Refusal by then-British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath to "bust" the trade unions (Heath did introduce an Industrial Relations Act, but failed to take on the unions in the direct way that Thatcher did) led to a situation that many believed was the beginning of a national collapse in that country. It was only when Margaret Thatcher began to get tough with the unions and make the unpopular choices to chip away at an exploding public sector that Britain began to turn around economically.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Bills Bills Bills...

Well, at least it was around 200 fewer than last year:

Last Monday I wrote in this space about the relatively few bills that had been filed in the Tennessee General Assembly up to that point-a mere 700-which was a fraction of the number of bills traditionally filed prior to the close of the bill filing period, which ended Thursday, February 17th. However, in the days since that column was written last week the total number of bills filed mushroomed somewhat dramatically at the last minute, and went from 700 last Monday to over 2,000 by the Thursday deadline. It is not known yet how the sudden jump in the amount of legislation to consider will impact the length of this year's legislative session.

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