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Reposted from fiddler crabby by ZenTrainer

To solve the nearly non-existent problem of crime in parks, the Tennessee legislature has come up with an intriguing solution:

Eliminate all local regulations against guns in parks, but ban squirt guns.

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Reposted from Joan McCarter by marykk
Screenshot of news report about state Sen. Todd Gardenhire.
A second effort in the Tennessee legislature to take up Medicaid expansion failed this week, meaning 280,000 Tennesseans still remain, needlessly, without any kind of healthcare coverage. When one of those Tennesseans confronted Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R), a wealth manager at Morgan Stanley about it, asking him if he'd be willing to give up his own insurance, well, Gardenhire showed his true colors.
One activist, Damien Crisp, asked Gardenhire if he would be willing to give up his own state-subsidized health insurance.

Gardenhire, in a video of the incident taken by another activist, turned around and said something along the lines of "Not giving it up, asshole" or, perhaps, "Why don't you give it up, asshole?" ("Asshole" is the clearest part of his rejoinder.)

Gardenhire's health coverage has been an issue in Tennessee before. He had previously claimed not to receive state-sponsored coverage, but the Associated Press, through an open records request, revealed that he does.

"I have it, but I don't use it," the lawmaker told AP after the revelation. "I use Morgan Stanley's insurance, which is far greater." […]

"We drove all the way up to Nashville and tried to engage in the process," Crisp said, "and this is the democracy we get, being called an asshole." Crisp said.

Isn't that charming. You won't be surprised to find out who Gardenhire considers his true constituents, (or maybe his bosses). Yup, the Koch brothers, who have gone all in to kill Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, twice, in special and regular session. It's pretty clear who the asshole is here.

Tue Mar 31, 2015 at 07:15 AM PDT

Nashville KosKats Meet-up - Updated

by ZenTrainer


I hope all of you can attend this meet-up.
Saturday  April 4th at 3:30 pm at the  Bunganut Pig in Franklin.

We haven’t had a meet-up since last summer so let’s all get out there and mingle and get to know each other and plan some action of our own.

You can RSVP here and I look forward to meeting more of you.


I haven't gotten many RSVP's for some reason. Have you all looked at the menu? While it is odd that the Bunganut Pig serves neither nuts or pig they do have; apps, soups, salads, wraps, tons of Black Angus burgers. They do have one called "The Pig". I would only order that to go and make a big deal out of telling them it was for a friend. Not me nuh-uh.

They have bangers and mash, fish and chips and one of my faves- Shepherds Pie. For desert they have chocolate lava cake and cherry cheesecake.

Plus, fried bologna wedges and thin cut fried bologna, oh and pig tails fries and deep fried twinkies. I don't think I'll be ordering any of those.

I will be ordering some of those other items though, how about you?

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Insure Tennessee
SJR 93 - Authorizes implementation of Insure Tennessee as described in TennCare Demonstration Amendment #25. This would authorize Gov. Haslam to proceed with plans to use federal dollars to help working people buy into employer-sponsored health plans and expand Medicaid eligibility to poor Tennesseans.


                                        Take action for Insure TN
                                              Tuesday March 31st
                                                   11am to 6pm
                                Meet at McKendree United Methodist Church
                                               523 Church Street
                                     Park at the church or the library.

Insure TN is on the agenda for the Senate Commerce hearing at 3:30 Tuesday March 31st. We know that the Commerce Committee is not favorable to Insure TN. We can change that.

                       Your presence can make the difference for Insure TN.

Can you only come for an hour? Come at 2:00, and let’s pack the hallway! Bring your church, your friends, your family and your whole community.

                     Register at or call Emilie at 615-846-4713

This is a flyer I got yesterday. One thing that has always driven me nuts about the Davidson County Democrats is that they never give notice for these things.

I am self employed and make my own schedule but that’s the key – schedule. I am already booked for that time but with a weeks notice I could have switched.

I knew about this going to committee a week ago why didn’t the Davidson County Democrats? I knew because my Representative Darren Jernigan mentioned it in his weekly newsletter. If this gets through the committee and past the Senate he will vote for it in the house.

I hope some of you can attend.

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Reposted from JoanMar by ZenTrainer
Two poor people by Margaret Bourke-White
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has made a difference in the lives of another 11.4 million Americans. Eleven million, four hundred thousand people can breathe easier today knowing that they will have access to quality care if and when needed. In fact, if you were to count all those with private health coverage, young adults allowed to stay on their parents policies, and those covered through the Medicaid Expansion Program, the number would be closer to 32 million. Thirty-two million? Wow! And still the number of insured could have been more. the number should have been more...much more, and someone(s) should be forced to explain what informed their decision to deliberately work to deny poor people health care coverage.
The right-wing think tank, Heritage Foundation, have been going out of their way to spread misinformation and disinformation about the ACA. Two experts,  Stan Dorn and John Holahan of the Health Affairs Blog have taken a sledge hammer to the lies being told and in so doing managed to show the desperate obduracy of  Republican Governors. Dorn and Holahan were able to cite figures which proved that not only are States deliberately and maliciously doing harm to their citizens, but that they are also shortsightedly cutting off their noses to spite their faces.  
while a Medicaid expansion would increase that state’s Medicaid costs by about $2.5 billion from 2014 through 2022, it would also save Ohio $1.5 billion by reducing state spending on current programs in favor of the largely federally financed expansion. Such programs cover so-called “medically needy” adults, women with breast and cervical cancer, and adults who are waiting for disability determinations. At the same time, expansion would increase state revenue by as much as $2.8 billion, in part because of the economic activity galvanized by more than $31 billion in new federal Medicaid funds, but also because of prescription drug rebates and taxes on Medicaid managed care premiums. The overall result: at least $1.8 billion in net state budget gains.
Yes, refusing the Medicaid Expansion Program does not make for sound financial policy. Refusing to give poor people access to healthcare is a crime before God and man. Governors who have rejected the Medicaid Expansion Program should be forced to explain their actions. Actually, they should be forced to do a perp walk, but we'll settle for a walk of shame for the time being.

Just to remind ourselves of the harm that is being done to the least among by the most powerful among us, this is a list of the services offered under the Medicaid Expansion Program in my home state of Connecticut.

• Visits
• Preventive Care
• Doctor
• Women’s Health Care
• Family Planning Services
• Maternity Care
• Hospital Stays
• Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy/Speech Therapy
• Audiology Services
• Physical Rehabilitation
• Dialysis
• Durable Medical Equipment
• Hearing Aids
• Orthotic and Prosthetic Devices
• Home Health Care
• Hospice Services
• Ambulatory Surgery
• Hospital Outpatient Care
• Laboratory Tests
• X-rays and other Radiology Services
• Vision Care
• Emergency Care
• Dental Services (through CT Dental Health Partnership)
• Behavioral Health Services (through CT Behavioral Health Partnership)
• Pharmacy (medications)

I am hoping that you read the above and that it made you mad. That you are so angry that some 17,000 people will die annually because of the wickedness of Republican Governors that you want to do something about it. I am hoping you will want to write a letter to the editor.

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Reposted from ATexican by ZenTrainer

Rs in Tennessee who have the responsibility of governing just discovered that when you "let loose the Kraken" (hint: last of the Titans) you are truly (what a surprise) unable to control the monster whose duty it is to "let no stone stand and no creature crawl."  

Americans For Prosperity (AFP) just dumped the two term R governor who is head of the R Governors' Assoc. into the toilet over Medicaid Expansion (see USA Today for 2/26).  The AFP supporters vilified the Gov and any R who had a kind word for him and his plan. Everybody (hospitals, health plans, mayors) wanted those Federal bucks. Well almost everybody.  R officials were in shock.

The AFP leadership had warned all those Rs who might waver on the path to "economic freedom and individual liberty" that AFP would be watching.  They were, and they weren't fooling around.  These heavyweight ideological humps cracked the money whip and called out the troops. Rs in the leg. got scared witless and left almost 300k Tennesseans without health care

Everyone R official with half a brain knows that that Rs don't really have a coherent agenda for governance (Just say No does not count as an agenda). They only have a list of catchphrases and buzzwords designed to mobilize their base for elections.  Governance is really just that crap you have to wade thru until the next election.

But, these same folks have been happy to suck up to moneybags like AFP.  Now, it is a new century. They are discovering that those two greedy dudes with their big media money and the whack jobs who are their grassroots support ( maybe 40,000 in Tennessee) really don't take prisoners. Like the Senate Rs are discovering those rubes in the other body believe all that crazy stuff they spout.

You sly dog Rs who sat back and thought that you are smart enough to take the money and talk the talk, but you never expected to have to walk the walk (hey, who changed the rules and made the majority of the cards in the deck Jokers?).  Well, the turkeys have come home to roost, dudes.  These guys are in your state, and they will not be  happy with whatever you do, just because U are an R.  They have this hang-up about ideological purity. So, To badly paraphrase yet another movie classic -- "buckle your seat belts it's going to be a bumpy few years."  

The horrible thing is that--as you sink, you mat take the country with you.


Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 09:54 PM PST

Nashville Blues

by programmer

Reposted from programmer by ZenTrainer

Welcome. This is the inaugural edition of Nashville Blues. As the clever name suggests (chosen because no one else seemed to have it) I intend that this diary should focus, but not be limited to, Democrats, Progressives, Populists, Leftists, Left-curious, or generally disgruntled curmudgeons unsatisfied or outraged at the current state of affairs in the United States and the World, especially Tennessee.

I began this today because constant revelations and rants on Face Book may pass along information not available in the corporate news, but the postings in and of themselves accomplish exactly nothing. In fact they may serve to divert and diffuse righteous indignation by offering an impotent forum to those who might actually be a threat to the status quo, the power brokers that manipulate our nation and the world.

In addition, I set the focus on Nashville, TN in hopes that this might attract some Nashville and Middle Tennessee responses, allowing people with commonalities of interest to identify themselves to each other. Possibly gatherings might result, even plans for activism, which ultimately is the seed of movements for positive change. But such movements take people....lots of people....enough people who speak with one voice to be louder than the "free speech" exercised by the $Billionaires unleased by our esteemed Supreme Court to reduce our democracy to a pathetic shell of de facto Oligarchy or eventual Fascism.

Aside from being a platform for occasional rants and opinions, I welcome intelligent, thoughtful comment that may agree or disagree, or seek to expand on something I said or something I missed.

Be aware that I have a Zero Tolerance policy for intolerance, abuse and idiot trolls that have nothing to add but seek to disrupt and abuse the site. They will immediately go to Troll Hell never to return. More below the squiggle.

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Reposted from weinenkel by ZenTrainer
Kids, your conservative representatives might be on drugs
Tennessee's new policy of drug testing citizens who have applied for public assistance is going great!
Out of more than 16,000 applicants from the beginning of July through the end of 2014, just 37 tested positive for illegal drug use. While that amounts to roughly 13 percent of the 279 applicants who the state decided to test based on their answers to a written questionnaire about drug use, the overall rate among applicants is just 0.2 percent.
How awesome has this policy been? Ask a Republican!
“That’s 37 people who should not be receiving taxpayer subsidies, because they are not behaving as they are supposed to,” said state Rep. Glen Casada, a Republican from Franklin. “If the taxpayers are going to support you there are certain criteria you need to adhere to. This is a good use of taxpayer money.”
Super good use of tax payer money. For what it's worth, Tennessee is already not spending much on helping out its citizens that need the most help.
The state with the lowest benefits package in 2013 was Mississippi, at $16,984, followed by Tennessee ($17,413), Arkansas ($17,423), Idaho ($17,766) and Texas (18,037).
This is good news all around as Tennessee continues to grow its poverty levels while the rest of the country tries to lessen them.
Employment also improved across the mid-South. But poverty rates in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama remained above the national average. In Tennessee and Georgia, one of every six residents was in poverty during the most recent 2012-2013 survey by the Census Bureau. The share of persons living in poverty rose to 18.4 percent in Tennessee, up 1.9 percent, and to 16.4 percent in Alabama, but it fell slightly in Georgia to 17.2 percent.
Tennessee: Not as bad as Mississippi.

Sun Jan 04, 2015 at 02:16 PM PST


by vlboyd53

Reposted from A Day In The Life by marykk

This is a very personal diary today. It deals with a topic that is near to my heart, because I am currently homeless. The path that led me here is a story that could belong to anybody.

My husband and I worked very hard our entire lives. I think our average work week was over sixty hours, each. We never took our vacation days. In 2003, I was injured at work. Two botched surgeries and four years later, I was informed that my condition was now permanent. I began the long process of applying for my Social Security Disability benifits.

At that time, my husband was earning a very high salary, and he provided both of us with top notch medical insurance. We owned a beautiful home in an exclusive Atlanta suburb. We both had fat 401K accounts, and a large portfolio of stocks, as well as hefty cash savings.

Then in early 2007, my husband's kidneys failed. He had a bad reaction to an antibiotic that he took for a chest cold. Thus our fall began.

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Reposted from wesmorgan1 by marykk

The Metro Nashville (TN) Police Department (MNPD) is one of the 40 largest local police departments in the US, according to the 2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies; in that year, the MNPD employed 1,315 sworn officers.

In recent months, Nashville has seen several protests in the wake of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Interstate highways were blocked, and hundreds of protestors took to the streets of the city. No significant violence was reported, and (as far as I can tell) both protestors and police conducted themselves honorably.

That wasn't enough for some folks, who clearly expected the police to "crack down" on protestors. Several of them made their concerns known to the Chief of Police, and his response to the worst of the complaints was absolutely brilliant.

Follow me beyond the Great Orange Colophon to read more about an absolutely correct police response to public protests - and to the idiot fringe.

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Wed Dec 03, 2014 at 09:23 AM PST

Bobby Keys RIP

by Evolution

Reposted from An Ear for Music by ZenTrainer

Bobby Keys was the saxophone player with the Rolling Stones since 1969. He died last night at age 70.

He is on every album the Stones made from 1970-1974 and from 1980 on. He played on every Stones tour since 1970. He is one of the saxophone players you have heard the most throughout your life.

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Reposted from nancyjones by ZenTrainer

We're off to a good start!  

On September 8, citizens of Gainesville rallied to unite.  We're taking seriously Rev. William Barber's admonition at the NetRoots gathering that we not be fools.  If you missed what he said about that, here it is:
The reality is, the greatest myth of our time is that extremist policies only hurt a small subset of people such as people of color, or women, or poor, or the LGBT community, when in fact they hurt us all.

So we need the kind of coalition where educational advocates stand for education, but they also stand up for LGBT rights. Where health care advocates stand up for health care, but they also stand up for labor rights. Where labor rights people yes stand for labor rights, but they also stand up for civil rights.  

Why?  Because we understand that these tea party type extremists, they are against us all.

The same people that fight labor rights, they fight women's rights. And the same people that fight women's rights fight LGBT rights. And the same people that fight LGBT rights fight working rights. And the same people that fight workers' rights they fight healthcare rights. And the same people that fight healthcare rights they fight immigrants' rights.

if they are together and we're not together who's the fool?

So we stood together in Gainesville.
 We talked about campus rape
We talked about the Medicaid Gap in Florida
We talked about organizing
and the pain of injustice
and voting rights
and reclaiming the word "morality"
and spreading the movement

And we sang.

We sang for freedom, we sang for justice, and we sang for love between our brothers and our sisters.

We're gonna rally again on October 13th, and every second Monday of the month thereafter until our personhood is reclaimed and our democracy restored.  Moral Mondays Gainesville is going forward together!

The links are to videos of the talks, courtesy of David Wilcox.  They are all on his YouTube stream here.  Peace and solidarity.
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