Friday, May 20, 2011

The Vote Was 59-39

The collective bargaining bill passed amidst a very historic debate indeed:

It was pleasing to see that there was actually a debate in the House Chamber, as opposed to the mere rediculous question-and-answer format that has prevailed by default for years that often makes debate in the General Assembly look like a television quiz show as opposed to a substantive parliamentary body. Yesterday's proceedings produced real debate with passionate pleas from both sides, something Tennesseans should see more of. The debate dragged on for so long, however, that it was limited first to five minutes per speaker, then to two minutes each. House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) bemoaned that debate was being limited at all. Someone should have responded to Fitzhugh with the truth, which was that no one wanted to be at the Capitol until 3:00AM, and that carrying on debate past a certain point would simply act as a cheap Democratic attempt to filibuster the bill when they didn't have the votes to carry out the real thing.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Marathon

The end-of session legislative marathon begins today:

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Senate staff had already scheduled Senate Sessions on Friday and Saturday at the beginning of this week, along with hearings of the upper chamber's Finance, Ways, and Means Committee Friday. "We're going to be there through the weekend," Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) said over the previous weekend, "its possible we might be here next week, but I wouldn't place a bet on it."

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to Get Real

Either we can face the music on the national debt now, or we can face it later:

What would happen if the Dollar were no longer the world reserve currency? The debates we are having over raising the national debt limit would be useless, because without that special status the U.S. would go immediately into de jure default. Whether the Dollar maintains that special position is really up to the countries who use it as such, the biggest of which is China. The Chinese are already buying fewer dollars, and other nations are looking into the possibility of using another reserve currency-even creating one if need be. Either we face the music now and get our fiscal house in order, literally by default, or we have a much bigger default and crash later, making the Irish situation look like a cakewalk.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Showdown at the House Well Corral Thursday

The Tennessee House of Representatives will take up the collective bargaining bill Thursday:

"They (the Democrats) know that when the bill comes up, that we will have to substite and conform to the Senate bill because it was passed ahead of our version. Those are our rules, and those are rules they (Democrats) are familiar with," Representative Maggart, the House Republican Caucus Chairman, told The Examiner in an interview at the weekend. "I have every intention of fighting to insure that the final bill is amended to include the changes that have been made in the House during the [legislative] process." Maggart added that whatever version is finally agreed on by both the House and Senate, a bill such as 130/113 making it as far as it has is proof that things are changing in Nashville.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Controversy, Run!

It seems that some in our State Government are just trying to avoid political controversy:

The budget deficit has no doubt caused great damage to many programs that people care a great deal about. Hence, the State doesn't have $3 million to carry out the provisions of an immigration enforcement bill. The Governor's cabinet has mysteriously found, however, that while the State has no money for Carr's legislation, it does have a whopping $97 million to give Electrolux to build a plant near Memphis, and $35 million for Wacker Chemical's operation near Cleveland. Of course there is the $5 million (a number that would more than cover the cost of Carr's proposal) that is being held out to the University of Memphis to take over the formerly-private Lambuth University in Jackson).

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