Thursday, February 17, 2005

Tennessee--We put the TeeHee in State Politics

Last night, I stayed up late to watch the channel 4 news, which is the worst news in Nashville, which is what makes it the most fun. They always lead with the most ridiculous item. Fifty people could have been killed by a sniper in North Nashville, and they'd lead with a story about a man with a pet bear that danced on Lower Broad. So, last night, even though our state is in a fiscal crisis worse than the time when they had to shut the state down for a couple of weeks (this lead to a very funny thing: they kept emergency funding for the state police, but classified gas for state employees as something that could be done without, so we ended up only having state police coverage for a couple of days during the last crisis, because they had no gas for their cars) and close all our state parks. This crisis is due to the fact that our state is full of very poor people who depend on TennCare for their healthcare and it's the most expensive item in the state budget. The governor is trying to either totally dismantle TennCare or at least reform it. Reforming it will mean that about 200,000 people will be booted from the roles. Most of these people will not qualify for any federal assistance and so they will be without health insurance at all. So, as you can imagine, this shit is tied up in the courts. But what does Channel 4 lead with last night? A good ten minutes on the drunken exploits of Kid Rock. I know we're supposed to be shocked at his behavior, but I say, "More power to you, Bob. If you need another apartment in my part of town to hide from the cops in, my door is always open. Well, the back door is always open, because it doesn't lock. The dog will stand at the top of the stairs and growl menacingly, but it should be okay." If anything, I was shocked that John Rich was with him at the strip club, because I'd been under the impression that John Rich didn't care for those things. After that, though, Channel 4 had the most hilarious five minutes that caused me to almost call the station and ask if it was intentional. In fact, this morning, before work, some folks here in the building were wondering whether someone at Channel 4 has a highly tuned sense of irony or if this is a harbinger of the stupidity to come. The second story of the evening was about how we are about to ban gay marriage in Tennessee--even though gay people can't get married in Tennessee. [I guess it will be a double ban, which, like a double dare, makes it harder to get around. "Fred, will you marry me?" "Why, Bubba, I thought you'd never ask. Sure." "Hey, you guys are banned from getting married." "Aw, shucks. Never mind." "And not just banned, double banned." "Well, hell, I guess I've got to move out. But who will get the coon hounds?"] The third story is about how we're going to try to ban gays from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The fourth story was about a straight woman who poisoned her seven year old son. The fifth story was about a guy "ain't paid child support or nothin' 'cause I was in drug rehab, but I been there for my kids" who was trying to get custody of his very young twin daughters after the state discovered that his ex-girlfriend was keeping them locked in a closet all day. Her three other children were also removed from her custody. I didn't stay up to see if there was going to be an update on the gym teacher who had sex with her junior high student. Maybe it's not just gay Tennesseans that need to be prevented from being near children. I'm calling up my idiot senator who, though a doctor, thinks you can get AIDS from sweat, and asking him to sponsor an amendment to the Constitution banning all Tennesseans from adopting or fostering children, because, wow, talk about dangerous to have around children, that's us.


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